May 12th, 2010 by Kevin Ngo
Why would you want to know about a sure way to dislike your life? I’m sure no one would purposely want to dislike their life, but unfortunately, there is one habit that many people have that causes this very outcome. It’s a habit that most of us were actually brought up to do. Our parents, teachers, and even friends all helped instill this habit into the majority of us. So what is this habit I am talking about? It is the habit of comparing yourself to others.
There comes a time and a place to do this of course. That is why competition was formed, in order to see who is better by comparison. What I am talking about is comparing yourself to other people to the point that it becomes self destructive and unhealthy. Many of us were brought up to think this way. Teachers gave kudos to the smartest kids in the class. Many parents constantly compare their own kids with other kids and no matter how well their child performed at something, there seemed to always be someone who was better.
If you want to feel unhappy about your life, start comparing yourself to people who are younger than you, yet accomplished twice as much as you. If you have a decent job but compare yourself to someone who you think is less talented yet have a job that pays way more than yours does, you can be sure that you’ll feel a little less than happy.
If you are going to compare yourself to someone, the only person you should do that with is yourself. Everyone grows up with different circumstances and has different experiences so comparing yourself to others is like comparing apples to oranges. But when you compare yourself to the old you, you can use that information to dramatically improve your life.
Sometimes comparing yourself to others will help you see what is possible and motivate you to work harder. In this case, it’s fine. However, if you constantly compare yourself to others and just feel terrible about your life afterwards, you need to break that habit. Constantly doing this will not only make you unhappy, it will make you go insane.
The way you break this habit is to catch yourself when you are doing it, and think about what you are grateful for in your life. When you replace the habit of comparing yourself and feeling miserable with reminding yourself about what is good in your life, you will experience a happier, joyous life.
Again, if comparing yourself to others motivates you, then that’s fine. If it brings you down, then for the sake of your happiness and sanity, stop doing it. That being said, if you want to feel more fulfilled and happy, you need to do what you can to be better than the old you in whichever aspect of life is important to you. This is why we set goals and continually try to push ourselves to become more. As long as you’re growing and making progress, you’re at least headed in the right direction.
Until next time…
Love Life. Do Good. Live Well.
Go from Comparing Yourself to Others to Improvement page.