For those who don’t want to read…. but it’s a kinda shitty video I know, but maybe still better than reading…don’t know.
Sometimes I get depressed because of it and I must say that it is my weakness. Then I am thinking how to stop comparing yourself to others. Or myself I should say. Because it is the dumbest thing we can do. We are all unique and have our own destiny. The older I get, the more I understand this. At least I think that.
I was born to certain people at the certain time and place because of a reason. I did not choose circumstances that surrounded me, they were given to me. Although my thoughts and actions based on these circumstances are fully mine to make, it is naive to think that our lives are not predetermined to some level. The logic goes action-reaction. People who raised you, set up your thinking somehow. They helped you to choose your neighborhood – the people who surrounded you and shaped you. Then they put you the to state’s educational institution called the school, and your worldview is being beaten up there pretty bad. I do not want to go on with this, but what I want to say is that we are not living in the woods, instead, we are social animals. Why are we comparing ourselves to others?
Reason # 1 – Human nature
We are animals and we have two basic instincts: survival and reproduction. Anyone who is more successful than you has a higher probability of surviving and reproducing. Women are naturally attracted to men in higher positions. I think this is rooted in our biochemistry and lot of goes to natural stress – response system, which indeed influences our well – being. In hierarchical societies (usually societies led by men) the better positioned are you, the less cortisol (stress hormone) you produce. This is scientifically proven, conducted tests on closest to us humans – chimpanzees. The great resource to this topic is Sapolski’s book Why Zebras don’t get Ulcers.
So the better your position in the society – the better your biochemistry.
If your biochemistry is great the chances are, you are happy in life. Isn’t it our goal to live a happy life? Of course, the number one goal! In essence, we are machines. Biomachines, but machines. Imagine you would be constantly under neurotransmitters of happiness – dopamine, serotonin and such. I guess you would be happy because you would have felt it. Yes, I am more of an idealist to think that happiness is more than biochemistry, but I think it makes sense – the constant flow of positive biochemistry = happiness (of course this is not possible since the body can’t produce hormones of happiness all the time).
I was speaking of hierarchical systems, but of course, we are living in the democracy – the system built around equality, ain’t we? This leads me to reason number two, but before I want to say that. We are not influenced that much by democracy as we are by capitalism. This is a question for political scientists. I will leave it to pass as the influence of the system.
Reason # 2 – The System
People are competitive in nature. We could discuss the influence of upbringing of children, but if we were to leave this aside, the competition comes from the human nature itself. First, there was a trivial, wild competition for resources among first nomadic family clans. The horde that has found a valuable resource, let’s say the forest full of deer to hunt, had quickly discovered the advantages this brings to its members. They then wholeheartedly dedicated their striking power to protect this newfound prosperity against different troops that could steal it from them. In the contemporary world, most of the civilized world do not have such problems. Thanks to the centralized monopoly of physical force that is delegated on state – the government. We are not using physical force anymore as organized collectives, at least not legally. Instead, we do compete on resources by other means. People are divided into classes and organizational units. Everybody has his or her own starting point that is not rigid but is changing. I just remember the moment when I first learned the Kiyosaki’s quadrant. Although it was nothing new – not like nothing you would not have heard about before, seeing it like that in the picture was mind – opening.
We have developed currencies that are exchangeable for services and goods we provide to each other. The circulation of currency and the fact that everybody wants to get as much as they can to provide privileges and securities this brings for themselves and their families, this also creates competition among us.
I am writing this shit, because can you imagine that this could be different? This World we live in is just human-made system. It’s a system made of owning, distributing and of the usage of capital. I do not want to go further with this, it’s not a philosophical window. All I wanted to say in this subheading was that system is making us competitive and hence being compared and comparing to others. They say that capitalism is the system that truly reflects human nature. On the other hand, stands communism that was artificial and that is why it failed. I personally do not think so, since I do believe that behaviors and tendencies in capitalism are learnt the way they would have been in different systems. Communism did not endorse competition. Instead, it endorsed equality. As we found out that is not the way how you propel a society since you are wasting talents. This is the argument that is probably being used the most why did communism as a system failed. However, I do think it’s adequate. Instead this problematic should be decomposed to the question of motivation. So why did motivation (reward system in a society) to produce competitive outcomes failed in communistic regimes – that would be more appropriate. But I am getting way too far, ain’t I? This is for a long debate. Let’s get back to how to stop comparing yourself to others.
Amplifying tools – Reason #3
So the reason of comparing to others is natural and systemic. If you come up with something else then let us know in the comments. Do you know though why we are so much more competitive than in the past? Because of ICTs baby. Contemporary tools of sharing the superficial moments of our lives. Instagram, Quora, facebook…
Isn’t this a phenomenon of this era? Cars, airplanes, show to the people of the world. Quora is pissing me off a bit too. There are these constant dumb questions. Like “I am 25 and already have 5$ million on the account. When I was 16 I started my first business and by the time I was 20 I was making seven figures. Am I considered successful ?”
What is this? Why the hell would you go around with these questions? And over and over like even a guy who made a million in a very young age must be searching for success approval from outside. It’s the inner feeling, the harmony, the true healthy feeling of being proud of yourself. But no, most of the people, even successful one objectively are on the constant search of egomaniac approval from the outside. Not good…
You will never be happy when you’ll “live” somebody’s else’s life. Do not get interpreted into their stories, obviously, when they are not even their real lives, they just pose. These people are not all the time in front of luxury cars and airplanes are they? They might be working very hard for this achievement, what is usually than not recorded on Instagram.
Cars and planes do create attention. In another hand someone from the self – made millionaires should be posting pictures like working till 3 AM on a business plan or wasting countless hours in front of prospects, pitching.
How to stop comparing yourself to others
It’s your life and your story. I am always telling myself. Of course I do get hyped about these statements as I mentioned – he’s 29 and he’s worth 100$ million, you are 30 and you’re piece of shit (I love you McGregor). Take happens sometimes, but shortly you must get back on your path, that is not being compared by you to others. Especially if you understand that it’s not like that. Guys who are really well on it right now have done something years ago, maybe when they were only kids and that worked out for them. They got to the position where they’re currently at. It’s their life and their story. Good for them!
The freedom is to let go your ego and to concentrate on your life only.
It’s so liberating to see how other people prosper and to be happy about it than to be jealous all the time. If someone is really successful when he is 30, he might not be as well on it when he is 60. I mean everybody has his or her primetime – someone sadly never – or it really depends on the scale of performance as it is all so relative.
It’s time to look into your own life and find out what makes you joy and where can you become closest to God as possible (by God I mean perfection). For someone this takes lifetime, for someone no time.
The good technique is to feel a bit of spiritual pre – determinism in your life. If you are religious you believe that your paths are already drawn. You have a freedom of choice, but God has the own way for you already.
So how to stop comparing yourself to others ? Just don’t! Practice focusing on your life only. Don’t get attached to the life of others – their highs and lows. Concentrate on your life and on your talents. Instead be happy of other people’s success and wish them prosperity.
Just think how many people are on it way worse than you? Billons! There are 2 billions people living on 2$ a day, the amount of money you do not even recognize spending. Oh! my bank took 3 bucks of my account 10 days ago. Ohhh bummer!
Concentrate on yourself – your growth and progress, permanently!
You can start to :
- Meditate – practicing focusing and living in the present moment
- Instead of being jealous, change your mindset to being a supporter of that what is seemingly a prosperity
- Focus on your life – Write your ideas down and execute on them
- Never, never, never stop progressing and experimenting in life – learn new language, learn new skill, get a new boyfriend, start a new business, whatever. The content of this universe is endless!
- Have a sense of destiny in your life. Everything happens for a reason and God has a plan for you already. Enjoy the ride in the process!
- You want to be successful like other people? You will be 10x as much successful! It’s just not your time yet!
- How many people are way worse on it than you? Billions! Instead of being jealous, think how you can help those needy.
- Focus on practical things – learning skills, languages, finding new experiences, starting new adventures. Jealousy is for losers!