To be insanely happy, stop comparing
Why you compare yourself with others and why you should stop
“A flower does not think of comparing itself to the flower next to it. It just blooms.”
The act of comparing
We, as human beings, are surrounded by other humans. And, we have this fickle-natured aspect called mind, which is always on the prowl for instant answers, satisfaction and contentment. So,it is only natural that we see ourselves in others and condition ourselves to attain the state that others are in, assuming that it is better than ours and thinking that it is what we are meant to do. This is the basis for the fact that we always compare ourselves with others . We compare ourselves with different people with regard to different aspects of life. We compare ourselves with others regarding each micro component of our life. We either reflect on situations in which we felt happy and contented or reflect on the lives of others, wishing we were there.
My experience with it
As a student,I have had ample experiences like this. When I see a popular guy with a huge following, when I see a guy who gets the top grades, when I see someone with great oratorical skills, when I see a guy who has great technical skills, I feel unsatisfied with my life. I strive to change my life to achieve the same as that of the other person. I struggle to fit myself into the standards defined by others.
As a blogger, whenever I see a well written article garnering huge support , or when I see a blogger with great creativity and thousands of followers, I begin to work towards achieving the same. I feel worthless and without a purpose if I don’t strive to work towards it. I compare my posts with his posts and end up feeling disappointed.
I assume , you too have had similar experiences in your life.
Expectation and happiness
Why do we become unhappy?
We become unhappy when we feel that we are not doing something right or when something is not happening right.
Why do we feel that something related to our life is not going right?
We feel so when we have some expectations in our mind of how it should be and when the happenings are not in sync with the expectations.
How do we get expectations?
When we compare our life with others’ lives.
Comparison leads to unsatisfaction
The very act of comparing our life can be the cause of our worries and restlessness, thus preventing us from being happy and living a life of contentment.
When I compare myself with other students in my institution, I strive to achieve their status. I try to mold myself into the person that they are, thus distancing myself from my originality. Without my originality, I lose my foothold ,which results in an unbalanced life. This unbalance prevents me from working towards what I want. All that results in the end is unsatisfaction, restlessness and anguish.
When I see a blog post garnering huge support, I try to emulate the same. I define that as success and assume it as the position to reach,so that I can be happy. When I start writing my post, this thought sits in the back of my mind. It makes me think about the response the post might or might not get. The thought that the post might go unnoticed or won’t receive the support it deserves, kindles a fear in me. This fear hinders the very process of writing. Writing becomes a mechanical act,rather than one from the heart. I write for the sake of results and not for the happiness that I get in expressing and channeling my views. I write for others to appreciate and praise me and not for my own improvement. The whole process becomes meaningless and loses the quality.
When we compare ourselves with others ,it leads to the loss of quality in our life and creates an atmosphere of jealousy, restlessness and disappointment.
Happiness with no strings attached
The act of comparing can cause a person to lose perspective in life leading to disappointment and unhappiness.
We cannot improve the quality of our lives unless we practice to not associate our happiness and contentment with external factors. We must constantly ask ourselves as to what we can achieve by trying to fit into the standards set by others and trying to emulate them. Rather than comparing our lives with those of others and believing that we can be happy and contented only when we reach there, we must focus on how to act and improve without expectations over the results or consequences.
Happiness is not a state that we can achieve through constant struggle and strife towards a particular level of existence and possession of certain traits. It is a state of being that we can choose anywhere and anytime, and of course, that requires practice and insight. We begin to gain insight when we perform our act without the intention of becoming like others or to meet certain expectations created in our mind. We can experience real happiness when we learn to act just for the satisfaction and contentment behind the action.
When I write for my own happiness and for expressing myself, without desiring praise and credit from others, the very process of writing itself becomes beautiful and requires no other reason at all.
Similarly , when we learn to act without expecting and be happy without comparing ourselves to others, we gain happiness from mere existence and the process of living becomes beautiful and enjoyable. Isn’t it the purpose of every human?
Comparison is the thief of joy ………. — Theodre Roosevelt
Think, reflect and act. ☺.