Comparing yourself to others is a fool’s game
It’s human nature to rank things. Best football team, fastest car, smartest student in the 8th grade. We seem programmed to need to know where we fit vis-a-vis our neighbors.
And, boy does that ever make us miserable.
Because no matter what, there’s always someone else in our orbit who’s making more money, looks younger, has kids doing better in school than ours, or just bought a new car while we’re struggling to pay the Netflix bill.
Comparing ourselves to others is a great way to get disheartened and induce inferiority. And staring at how green the grass next door is will automatically put a serious dent in your self-esteem.
It’s a loser’s game — there’s always someone who, at least from appearances, is getting a better deal than us.
Sages through the ages understand this. Cast down your bucket where you are. Acres of diamonds in your own backyard. Live in the moment. The power of now.
OK, so how do you stop fixating on keeping up with the Joneses?
What works for me is to stop and quickly make a litany of what I’m thankful for. It immediately takes me from useless thoughts about what the Jones have to the galaxy of awesome experiences, people, and things in my life right here and now. It’s like reaching for a lifesaver.
Often the turnaround to the joyous realization of all that’s wonderful in my world is so stunning it practically takes my breath away.
I believe you get what you focus on. If you focus your thinking on resenting the other guy’s good fortune and overlook your own, you’re doomed to be unhappy. Comparing yourself to others is literally self-sabotage.
Your assignment: Quickly make a list of 15 things you’re grateful for. Then “compare and contrast” that with how you felt before you made the list.
It works every time.