Comparison is the thief of all joy. It is the root of all unhappiness that we experience over the course of our lives, and if we never compared ourselves, then we would never be unhappy. It’s a pretty bold statement but just think about it.
The other side to this, though, is that comparison can also lead to greater levels of success. If you are willing to sacrifice your ego and happiness for success, then comparison can definitely help you to achieve the things that you have not yet achieved. It can give you the spark of motivation that you need, or it can be the fuel to your fire.
But then there are those like me, those who want both success and happiness. If this is you, then here you go. The ultimate key to happiness in life while achieving newfound levels of success is to know when to compare yourself, and when to shift your attention to the present moment.
The Thief of All Joy
The only time that we ever encounter unhappiness in our lives is when we compare ourselves to either our past experiences or when we compare ourselves to others. If we quit comparing ourselves to our past experiences or our lives to the lives of others, then we will never have anything to be unhappy about.
Remember the last time that you felt down or depressed? What were you thinking about that led you to feel that way? I guarantee you that it had something to do with comparison. You were either comparing your life to the lives of others, comparing your life to one that you wish you were living, or comparing your life to the one you used to have. In all circumstances, without comparing yourself in some way, you would not have felt that unhappiness.
Examples of Comparison
Perhaps you just lost your job and think that’s why you are unhappy. The truth is, losing your job doesn’t cause unhappiness. All of your unhappiness stems from the fact that you are comparing your life to the life that lived when you had a job. You are comparing yourself to others who have a job, reflecting on the past when you could willingly spend your money, and comparing how you feel now compared to a time in your life in which you actually believe in yourself.
Maybe, just maybe, if you quit comparing yourself you will realize that losing your job could actually be a blessing in disguise. Maybe it will help you to find the time you need in order to actually pursue the things that matter to you. Maybe it will lead to you actually doing the things that you want to do in life instead of always using the job that you just got fired from as an excuse for why you can’t do the things that you want.
This may be an extreme example, but it’s one that gets you thinking. Again, no matter how bad something is in your life, it all stems from comparison. Without comparing yourself to your past, to the life you wish to live, or to others, then there is nothing that you could ever be unhappy about.
How Comparison Leads To Success
As much as comparison is the root of all unhappiness, it is also the root of all motivation. You get motivated when you want something that you don’t currently have, right? It’s because you are comparing your life now to a life that you want to live, filled with things you wish to have.
When I decided to lost a lot of weight, I was comparing my then current self to how I wanted myself to look. When I was applying for my first corporate job, my motivation was to make more money than I was previously. I was comparing my then current finances to how I wanted my finances to look.
In both circumstances, it was comparing my life to one that I was not yet living that motivated me enough to actually go out and achieve the success that I envisioned for myself. It was comparing myself to my desires that ultimately led to my success.
The Ultimate Key To Happiness
As much as comparing your life can lead to all unhappiness, to say that you should never compare yourself would also be to sabotage yourself as comparison can also lead to motivation, which will, in turn, lead to success.
The ultimate key to happiness in life isn’t to compare yourself less or more. The ultimate key to happiness is to translate comparison into motivation. It’s to only compare yourself when you are strong enough to use the thought of achieving a certain outcome as motivation to actually go and achieve it.
Live A Happier Life
This is the only one that you are going to get. Everything in life is already waiting out there for you to take it. All you need to simply do is to put forward the effort in actually turning the things that you desire into your reality.
Comparing yourself to others and comparing your current life to the one you wish you were living isn’t going to do you any good if you aren’t actually willing to change. You know what you need to do in order to become happier and more successful. Now, you just need to do it. Go after life with everything you have, use comparison as a tool only to fuel your motivation, and live the best life that you can imagine.
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