Photo by P1r
If you search high and low, look far and wide, you will never find the one true measuring stick by which lives ought to be measured and judged. There isn’t a scale where you can weigh the value of your life choices to determine some life equivalent of a BMI. (“Does this house make my butt look big?”)
And yet, so many of us fall into the trap of comparing our life and our life choices with the lives and choices of others. Do they have a “nicer” house? A “better” job? A “happier” marriage? Or maybe it’s just that their life looks “easier” than ours. Sometimes it all seems quite effortless for them, doesn’t it? Well, I’m willing to bet that looks can be deceiving.
You see, you and I aren’t the only ones who get caught in the comparison trap. Almost everyone is busy looking over their shoulder to see how they’re doing in relation to other people.
- Am I smart enough?
- Am I good enough?
- Do enough people like me? (Do I have enough social media friends/followers?)
- Do I have the right stuff (house, car, wardrobe, HDTV, bank balance, retirement plan, etc, etc)?
As I said at the beginning, there is no magical measuring stick or scale that we can use to measure the value of our lives. You will surely drive yourself crazy try to live your life according to what you see out there. Instead, I suggest you live your life according to what you feel in here. (You can’t see it, but I’m tapping my chest right now. It’s a very dramatic point I’m making, so I thought it would be good to use a gesture to illustrate it.)
You need to be at peace with yourself, because happiness begins there. Now the tricky part is that you need to be at peace with yourself in a vacuum – that is, without comparing yourself and your life to others. The comparison game is a no-win game. The comparison game is what brought us the global nuclear arms race. (I know that’s a drastic example, but it’s true.) There is no way you can measure up to everyone’s standards and there’s no way you should try.
Instead, I suggest you spend some quiet, reflective time each week (or each day, if you can manage that) thinking about what YOU want YOUR life to look like, sound like and feel like.
- Which people do you want in your life?
- What sort of things you want in your life?
- What experiences would you like to have?
As you’re spending this quiet time imagining and planning out your life, be on alert for any thoughts of comparison. You’re creating YOUR life. A life that pleases YOU. Not a life that measures up to someone else’s standards.
If you walk into a restaurant and only look at the food of those around you before you order, you’re limiting yourself. Instead, look at the full menu, ask about the daily specials, then order your meal and specify exactly how you want it prepared. Create a feast for yourself that’s truly fit for a queen or king!
Because you’re worth it! And it’s YOUR life… so choose the life YOU want!
(PS: If you often find yourself stuck in the comparison game, you might be interested in an online course I offer called How To Be A Better Person.)