The pain and stupidity of comparison
Many people’s idea of success is nothing more than a comparison of them to others. And who do you think these folks compare themselves too – people; who are smarter, wealthier, happier, more attractive, more influential, or just better off in some way? I seriously doubt it. These folks, to feel better about themselves in some or in any area of their lives must look better than others. I know, because there was a time in my past when I was guilty of this stupid life philosophy.
Why do we care what other people think about us? Why do we need other’s approval? Why are we afraid to show or share weakness, failure or inadequacies? Why do thousands of people every day add new “amazing” photos of themselves to social media sites? Is it only for approval, or due to insecurity or just an egotistical life approach OR, could it be all of these or even something else?
I went to one of my ‘friends’ social media pages (someone I do not know – so they are really a stranger) pages before writing this article and they had over 950 photos of themselves. Who has time for that? Who is interested in seeing all of them? No disrespect intended – but I just don’t get it. Many single people (according to their profiles) routinely add numerous photos (mostly them at their best) every week. But a better question is - why the need? Does this approach make them feel – unconsciously or quietly in their own mind – better than others or are they just searching subtly for some type of acceptance? I am not judging but I can say that as long as you don’t have your own self-approval or self-acceptance it’s doubtful you will ever get enough of it from others.
Please understand - regardless of your wide circle of friends, your hundreds of social media connections and the thousands of people who you will meet in your lifetime – you will always find people who are better off than you are and worse off, better looking than you and uglier, poorer and richer, happier and sadder.
People who have a healthy self-esteem, like themselves or are real, tend not to need to compare themselves to others.
Success is not a comparison of you to someone who is less successful. If you must – success is a comparison of you and your past or present to your own potential.
Happiness is not about what you have, and others don’t, but who you are -inside-out not outside-in.
Contentment, inner peace, and self-love are not about anyone else or anything else – it is simply an acceptance of who you are and where you are going where you have been and what you have. This does not imply that a lack of initiative, purpose, effort – whatever – is not required for what you want in life but what you want is up to you.
If you want to stay; poor, unhealthy, alone etc. – that is your choice but if you want something more or better in life, that’s ok too – all I am suggesting is use your own standards, not someone’s who has less or more.
It doesn’t mean you wouldn’t benefit from new skills or better attitudes, more learning or positive change, new lessons and new experiences.
So, in summary - what’s the point or value of comparison? It’s all about “you and what you have, what you know, what you are, what you believe, what you have accomplished, what you look like, who you know, etc. etc. etc. compared to someone or something else that is or has less.”
If this is, you – is it working? Do you feel OK with who you are, where you have been, where you are going and what you have or own? Or, are you on a mission to – do more, have more, be more so you can finally be ok when you are compared to what others think or believe about you?
My life mantra is simple – I was not put on this earth for your approval. Like me, don’t like me, approve of me or don’t, judge me or don’t – whatever - I don’t care. I’m not perfect in any way and never will be. I am not famous and don’t need to be. I could have more or better stuff, but I’m ok with what I have.
In the end – trust me - the only acceptance that really matters is your own of you.