Comparison is a joy killer.
Since childhood, we’ve been taught to see our actions against others.
We’re compared to our siblings and to our classmates. We feel comparison with grades and with awards.
And as adults the prizes and comparisons just become larger – we compare homes, salaries, jobs and abilities.
In our best moments, we realize there will always be someone wealthier, stronger, or smarter – and we are grateful to be who we are.
But too often, these comparisons derail our ability to enjoy our daily lives, what we have and where we are in life.
But some argue comparison, like competition, allows us to improve and grow. We get a bench mark. We strive to become better.
In her book, The Myths Of Happiness, the author, Sonja Lyubomirsky has some great insight on comparing our lives to others and our happiness.
When we ask ourselves, “How good am I?” those who rely on their own internal, objective standards seem to be happier. These attitudes keep us from being buffeted by the winds of external and outside issues.
By contrast, those who base self evaluation on comparison with others live unhappy lives.
Think about it, if you always feel blue because someone else got the promotion, or a nicer car, bigger accomplishments or triumph, you’re going to live an unhappy life.
Each person must figure out ways to discipline themselves to stop thinking about what others think about them.
A long time ago now, I heard this little quip somewhere:
- A high school student worries what others think about them.
- An adult doesn’t care what people think about them.
- A senior adult realizes, “they were never really thinking about me anyway.”
If we are living our lives constantly asking ourselves what other think about this decision (photo, comment, job change, project, etc) then we are in trouble. Comparison in this sense truly is a joy killer.
Not comparing doesn’t mean you’re not growing and striving. You assess where your efforts have gotten you so far and then determine the next best step or action to take to reach the next level.
And here’s another remedy for comparing: Ephesians 2:10 – For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
God doesn’t create junk. You are loved. Be who you are.
And in this confidence, we will live out grateful lives!