Growing up, my aunt figured that by comparison, she would bring out the best in her kids but that didn’t really play out well. It was a moral killer and suffice it to say that she ended up making the kids inferior and somewhat timid.

She always compared them to the other kids in the neighbourhood and this made them withdrawn and unable to fully blend in with the world. Fortunately, some of them had a change of mentality on time and didn’t allow themselves to be shaped by the comparisons but one is still trying to find his feet and try to fit in.

Life is a somewhat difficult and challenging journey. If you think the road is too bumpy, so you would rather travel by air or sea, remember that sometimes, there are storms on the sea as there can be turbulence in the air. It’s seemingly calm appearance may just be a facade. Everyone was created in his/her own unique way. That we all travel or make this journey of life together doesn’t mean we all get to go at the same pace.

Every individual is different as are their talents, potentials, strengths and weakness. Stop comparing your life with the lives of others just because it seems you are in a rut or somewhat stuck in your life. You have no idea what they went through before they got to where they are today. You don’t know what they are going through but conceal behind a pretentious mask of smiles and happiness or a face of bravery and lack of expression.

Be careful what you wish for. Everyone has his/her own demons they fight behind closed doors. That others seem all bright and shiny doesn’t mean life is rosy and cosy with them. No one has it all good and comfy. Of course, there are hiccups. You never really know anyone as much as you think you do. John Green said “The vast majority of us imagine ourselves as like literature people or math people. But the
truth is that the massive processor known as the human brain is neither a literature organ nor a math organ. It is both and more.”

You have no idea what you can do in a given situation until you are in it. So don’t go thinking all a friend tells you about his/her success was easy peasy. Do you know the rivers they had to cross and the mountains they had to climb to attain that which you admire so much and beat yourself up because you haven’t made that accomplishment yet?

We surprise ourselves with our own capabilities. Listen to stories of people, pick out what can benefit you and help you become a better person. Don’t get into the comparing mode and even sometimes get judgmental, jealous or envious.

That is precious time been wasted. Instead, with an open mind, separate the wheat from the chaff. “How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbour says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.” ― Marcus Aurelius.

Admiration of noble and worthy attributes of others is good and should inspire us to become better people. Stop comparing and start living. Mark Twain says “Comparison is the death of joy”. The only person you are allowed to compare yourself with is you. See where you were a while back, check the progress you have made and applaud yourself. You did great.

It’s not how far but how well. Stop the injustice to yourself and others with the act of comparison. That you are slow in achieving results now, doesn’t mean you are worthless, unproductive or a “cast away”. We are who we are in our own unique ways.

Even identical twins have differences too. Live happily and be who you really are. I so much agree with Daisaku Ikeda who said, “I cannot say this too strongly: Do not compare yourselves to others. Be true to who you are, and continue to learn with all your might.”

Keep striving! Keep working hard and that goal which seems unreachable now will be a starting point for you.

Has comparing your life with others ever helped you?


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