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The More We Compare, the More We Lose Ourselves

The More We Compare, the More We Lose Ourselves

What is a sure-fire to completely destroy your self-esteem with as little effort as possible? Compare yourself to others. Their achievements, their appearance, whatever it is that they have that you don’t. Completely ignore the factors circumventing their success, and the fact that you have up until this point led a very happy life. Destroy all of that contentment by telling yourself that you need to be more like “them.”

Who is to blame? Science? Nature? Or instant-gratification culture?

Since our developmental stages, our brains are wired to compare and contrast. It is a facet of our personalities; the preferences that we gravitate to. It is only natural that our eyes wonder and consider the possibilities of having something different. How would that something different improve our lives? If we had made an alternate choice somewhere down the line, where would we be now?

Many individuals who envy and strive for the fortune of others are themselves insecure.[1] That should not be surprising, because you are not plagued with the need for improvement when you are self-confident. Perhaps they don’t know what their purpose in life is, so they look to others who have made it and think, “I should be more like them.” It could stem from the way they were raised. There was a very strong emphasis for a need for success within their family, and to fill the impossible shoes of the fortunate achievers who came before them.

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The most likely culprit, riddling the average individual with notions of failure and FOMO; peer comparison. The knowledge that someone in your class, from your neighborhood, or some extension of your social circle is doing “better” than you.

Instant-gratification culture has made it nearly impossible for the average person to comprehend that the majority of successful people in today’s society must still make lots of sacrifices in order to achieve their position. Most people don’t just get “lucky.”

Focusing on what someone else has achieved will not bring you the same fortune.

It’s easy to fixate on someone else’s success, and beat yourself up for, well, not being them. But everyone is on their own path, and have made many choices that led to where they are. It’s time that we stop comparing ourselves to others, and focus on personal improvement.

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You need to focus on what you bring to the table, and how you can hone it to manifest your own success.

You are the one responsible for losing yourself and having yourself.

Realize that everyone is on their own path, and you have made many choices to bring you to where you are.

Do you regret taking that gap year to backpack through Europe? I really, honestly doubt it. Maybe it set you back in terms of your “career,” but you have acquired experiences and skills that you could never have attained anywhere else. And you’ve opted to LIVE your life, instead of filling your bank account in hopes of living your life later. Good for you.

Don’t focus on your weaknesses.

You’re not good at everything, and you never will be. Neither is anyone else, so just let that one go. What made one person successful might not necessarily work for you. Do you enjoy making cold calls and manipulating buyers into acquiring your product? No? Well then you’re not going to make your fortune by manufacturing a product. But you have always been good at fixing computers. Perhaps there is a Freelance I.T. career in your future. You can always find a way to market the skills that you already possess.

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Accept who you are, and don’t be a phony.

Way too many try to project themselves as someone they’re not, because they think it will bring them success. If you’re really good at being fake, good for you I guess. But most people can pick up on the lack of authenticity and I’ll tell you what, they don’t respect it. If you’re trying to pass yourself off as a guru of something you don’t really care about, but it’s a popular subject so you think it will bring you traffic; it won’t. Be yourself. Embrace what you love. You will attract people with similar interests, and they will respect you for being authentic.

Let others inspire you, not deflate you.

There are always going to be those who pioneer a niche, and are mentors for our desired success. It’s okay to want to be like them. To use their style in influence your own. But don’t forget to include yourself in the mix. The addition of your personality and style is what makes your product or service unique.

Realize that no one is judging you.

And brush off anyone who is. Whether it’s a long term friend or family member. If they are weighing you down with negativity, making you feel as though you are not good enough, kick them to the curb. Most people are not waiting idling by, anticipating your failure. Most people will notice what you are doing, but they are not emotionally invested in your success.

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Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

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Jenn Beach

Traveling vagabond, freelance writer, & plantbased food enthusiast.

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Last Updated on April 1, 2019

How to Be Happy: Why Pursuing Happiness Will Make You Unhappy

How to Be Happy: Why Pursuing Happiness Will Make You Unhappy

When we talk about happiness, we often think about staying happy all the time – every single day, every single minute with zero negativity. Many try to pursue this constant state of “happiness” as their ultimate goal, and avoid anything that may take it away from them.

But, what is the meaning of this type of “happiness”?

It’s a lot like your favorite food. The more often you have it isn’t always better. On the contrary, when you only have a chance to eat it sparingly, that’s when you really savor every bite. So is it the food itself that makes you happy, or is it how valuable it is to you when you are eating it?

Always remember that only by experiencing sadness do we understand what it is to be happy.

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Video Summary

Don’t Assume Others Are Always Happy

Most people see those who have seemingly perfect lives and assume they are happy all the time. Since childhood, we are conditioned to chase the idea of “happily-ever-after” that we see in fairytales. On social media, everyone tends to share only the best looking aspects of their lives. So, it’s very easy to have a distorted view of what “happiness” is around us.

In reality, there is always something missing, something lacking, or something unpleasant.

No one has a perfect life. Even the most glamorous celebrities or the richest billionaires have their own set of challenges and problems.

When we feel negative, we’re only focusing on a small fluctuating curve. As CEO of Lifehack, I’ve had to deal with countless problems, and some of them felt like real setbacks at the time. During those moments, it really seemed like these problems would be the life or death of my company and my life goals. But, I got through them; and, weeks, months and eventually years passed with many more ups and downs.

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You need to keep your sights on the extended curve.  Looking back now, a lot of those “really big” problems at the time now seem like only small blips in a long line of experiences. Recalling them in my mind now makes me smile!

Stop Trying to Be Happy–Just Be

It’s natural to want to be happy as often as possible.

So what can we do?

First, throw away the belief that a perfect life means happiness. Personally, I would be miserable if everything was perfect. It’s through experiencing the pains of lifelong challenges that drives us to care for others when they are experiencing similar trials. If life was perfect, you wouldn’t be able to empathize. If life was perfect, you wouldn’t grow.

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To be truly happy, stop chasing permanent happiness.

It sounds like a paradox. But, what I mean is to accept that there will be ups and downs throughout life. Gracefully understand that happiness is a fluctuation of positive and negative events.

Understand the importance of gratitude. Instead of focusing on the unpleasant moment, flash back your memory to when you didn’t have something. I like to think about my career, for example. When I didn’t have a career I was passionate about, I felt lost and demotivated. I felt like everyone was figuring out their lives but me. But, when I found my purpose and started Lifehack, I was deeply happy, even before I realized I would be successful! This memory keeps me going when I hit tough spots. It takes the darkness to make us grateful for the light.

Happiness and Sadness Exist Together

What it all comes down to is this: your life will be filled with beautiful, happy and incredible moments–happy tears and joyous shouts and funny stories. But, your life will also be filled with rain and storms that never seem like they will pass while you’re going through them.

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But, whether your face is warmed by the sunshine, or your heart is dampened by the rain, know that it’s all part of the ebb and flow of life.

Treasure the happy moments and power through the sad ones. Don’t try to avoid “sad” or “negative” experiences, and blindly chase being “happy”. In the end you will achieve a true level of contentment in your life, based on meaningful experiences and achievements. Being able to create growth and meaning out of both positive and negative events — that is the true meaning of “happiness”.

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