Don’t ‘Go Compare’

20130320_131418000_iOSI realised a few years ago that poor comparisons are one of biggest impediments to happiness and progress in our lives:

  1. we compare our inner thoughts and doubts to the the glossy outside mask that other people often show us
  2. we compare our worldly goods to those of the richest in our society but rarely to the poorest
  3. we compare our draft writing to the years of work and polished editing that goes into the books we read
  4. we compare our first laboured mile of running to the Olympic runners as they sprint round the track
  5. we compare our prototypes to others peoples finished products, refined through hundreds of failures
  6. we compare our process to other peoples end product

These poor comparisons discourage us when we most need to be encouraged. They set unrealistic expectations that are sure to be disappointed.  They lay the seeds of depression and imposter syndrome.

We also fail to do some pretty interesting comparisons, for example we don’t compare our lives with the lives of kings and queens only a few decades ago, or the poorest of our society today with the richest 200 years ago!  We can choose the comparisons we make to increase our level of satisfaction with life, just look at Buddhist Monks for inspiration.

If we banish one habit from our lives it needs to be comparing ourselves unfavourably to others.  We need to learn to be at peace with ourselves, more grateful for what we have, content.

Today’s photo is of the lovely Blackpool promenade.  Blackpool is a town with an image problem compared to some other premier English seaside towns.  When faced with improving things the regeneration consultants chose not to try and change Blackpool so much as to celebrate it.  They renovated the prom to show off the wonderful beach to best effect.  They invested in amazing town centre light shows to solidify the already great reputation of the illuminations.  Their approach was to improve Blackpool as a family friendly destination whilst always staying true to Blackpool’s fun ,seaside town, roots.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

3 Responses

  1. Vince says:

    Good points. When I started to leaner to play an instrument I was both inspired and overly challenged by all of the great musicians. I had to tell myself that these are people at the top of their game.

    One piece of advice I gained at the start was not to set personal Everests. In other words make your goals achievable. I was not going to play like Paul McCartney in a few weeks or even months.

  1. September 6, 2014

    […] but sometimes I compare my inside to other peoples outside and need to remind myself that it’s a bad comparison.  I have an enormous amount to be grateful for, but being grateful is a skill that has to be […]

  2. September 6, 2014

    […] compare your inside to other peoples outside, or maybe don’t compare yourself to others at all.  This reduces dramatically the temptation to […]

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