Comparisons are very useful for some things in our lives. Before buying something expensive we read reviews of different brands, different hotels, or different travel destinations. We easily compare prices on the web every day.
Comparisons are useful in chemistry in identifying different compounds by testing for their melting point, boiling point, or colors when separated using different solutions. Differences will be seen in all of these helping us to identify one from another.
Businesses use financial reports that compare one period against another to gain perspective on whether their growth or decline in dollars is real.
The list can go on forever. Comparisons are useful. But not always.
We are all guilty (either frequently or not) in our lives of saying “they have”. Go ahead finish the phrase “They have……..” And what question follows? “Why don’t we or I have……….?” And we finish by saying that “they are so lucky and I/we are not”.
We can NEVER exactly have what another person, couple, or family has unless it is an object.
Our lives close in on us when we try to compare our life or life situation against others. We will never measure up. If you think about it, the only reason we notice is that the other person’s situation seems to always have something that we are missing.
I find that while many would list objects like this TV, smartphone or those shoes it’s the broader deeper stuff of life that people dwell on such as more money, intimacy, time, freedom, respect, fame, health….These are certainly much harder to solve or change. What would you add to this list?
For me it’s inconceivable for anyone to truly be exactly like someone else or exactly in the same situation. Our experiences are different. Our interests are different. Our energies & skills are different. Our discipline is different. You may be seeing an end result after many years of struggle. You may be seeing harmony when behind close doors only lives conflict.
You can never be me and I can never be you. We can only be ourselves.
So stop comparing yourself to others.
Think about this: our impressions of others almost always contain half truths.
They are formed with a little bit of what we choose to see, a little bit of what we choose to hear, and a little bit of what others have decided to tell us. Our impressions of others are from short “snippets” of their life that we are “allowed” to see. We rarely see the “whole” story.
I continue to strongly believe we are more imperfect than we think.
What we need to do is to become more aware of who we are. Each one of us has more talent and gifts from God that we sometimes overlook. We take them for granted because we are more focused on “something else” when we try to compare.
Work at becoming more authentic and more engaged. Be happy with who you are first before you try to change the stuff around you. Then work at adding new skills, understanding, habits or perspective using both patience and effort together to begin to change the stuff around you.
Never sit by the window, separated from life, wondering why this or that doesn’t happen to me? You will only waste your time pouting and feeling cheated.
Get up, get out, engage, connect, learn and put in the time to create something new, better, and authentic.You have a lot to offer others. (You already have and may not have noticed.) Each one of us can always do more than we think.
In the end, both our paths and our outcomes will always be a little different no matter how hard we try to be like others. Embrace this diversity. Accept its imperfections for here in lies the true beauty of life that yearns to be revealed.