Often, the only way we find satisfaction and happiness is by comparing ourselves to other people. Whether we’re looking up, down, or straight ahead, we use others as a measuring stick for our own success. Their position on the stick allows us to evaluate our career, health, wealth, looks and life.
And although comparing ourselves to others is an ingrained part of our nature, it rarely serves us well. Like the placement of prostate, it’s one of those pieces of evolution that takes a while to understand. If then.
Constantly comparing ourselves to others invites jealousy and judgement into our thinking. It makes us feel inadequate and superior towards others. Neither of which contribute to a constructive life.
And as you know, what happens at the individual level increases exponentially when it happens in groups. Whether it’s in our families, communities, cities or countries.
There has to be a better way.
Improving one’s mindfulness is one of these ways. Understanding the pitfalls of one’s mind makes it easier to notice unhelpful and destructive patterns in thinking. Patterns that seep into the rest of our lives and control our actions.
It doesn’t mean that we’ll never struggle with comparing ourselves to others. We’re all human after all. And unless we’re all looking to become monks, some parts of our evolution are impossible to completely shake off.
But I think it’s a step towards a calmer, more content life.