Everyone filters information according to their own perspectives which are based on their individual experiences and knowledge.
Think about your mom for a second. Doesn’t her life revolve around her family? Isn’t that all she cares about? She doesn’t care about the Kardashians (or any other celebrity). She doesn’t even know who they are. And she’s definitely happy in her own little world.
Now let’s talk about us (our generation). Thanks to the internet and social media, we constantly expose ourselves to people going on vacations and whatnot, see them doing things that we long to do. But in reality, we barely leave the house, right? Our lives are just not as exciting as we want them to be. And most of the time, there’s nothing much we can do to change anything instantly.
So given our reality, and the fact that we expose ourselves to things that are far from our reality, aren’t we bound to be unsatisfied with our lives?
If you are at A and your ideal life is at B, the more the gap between them, the more unsatisfied you will be. Simple.
So what to do about it? How to not feel bad when we see others doing what we want to do? How to stop comparing yourself to others?
At the beginning of the year, I met my friends after almost a year and got to catch up. I learned that most of my friends are going abroad for their studies and I couldn’t be happier for them. It made me a little proud, to be honest. We talked for a long time that day, about everything. Our lives, our future plans, our ambitions, everything! I left for home feeling encouraged and completely motivated.
Just a few hours later, I was back to my regular pandemic life – at home, scrolling through my phone for the most part of the day. And I wasn’t feeling like before at all, after being exposed to so many things far from my reality. And that’s when I realized something!
Comparison is NOT supposed to leave you uninspired. NEVER. It is supposed to leave you encouraged and motivated. And that will only happen if you know how, what and who to compare yourself to.
DON’T expose yourself to things that are not going to influence or affect you positively in the immediate future.
Life is a long, long journey. You should not be exposing yourself to people doing what you want to do in 10 years. That’s not helping you. Instead, look up what you can do in the immediate future to bring you closer to that life.
I read or heard this somewhere – “Go out on the streets. That’s your reality.” It sounds harsh but is effective. Not sure what exactly it implies but I’ve assumed that it tells us to stay connected to our reality.
Stop comparing your life to people 1000 miles away whose lives are not even remotely similar to yours. Those are not the people you should be comparing to. And even if you do, that’s not how you should.
When comparing your life with someone else’s, so many things come into the picture. Their parents, friends, upbringing, exposure, experiences, circumstances, etc., and all are inextricably connected. You cannot just compare one aspect of your life to someone else’s, and definitely not on social media where everyone puts forth their best selves.
If you have to, you have to compare your whole life to theirs. And then you will realize, it makes no sense. You just can’t compare two individuals and their lives.
You cannot look at one picture on social media of someone vacationing somewhere and wish you were in their place. Analyze before feeling bad.
Always keep your Bs closer to your As.
Comparison is human-nature. We can’t help it and it’s actually good. The problem is, we compare wrongly. Compare with intent. Compare critically.
If you are a student, you cannot compare your life to a working professional who has far more resources than you. Their circumstances are completely different. Only compare yourself to people you know personally and/or people who work in your field.
Comparison should be inspiring. Like when I compare myself to my friends, who are definitely doing much more than I am, I feel inspired to learn more and do more. And that’s how it should be! If you ever find yourself feeling bad, you’re doing it wrong.
Stay connected to your roots. Stay connected to your reality. Nothing will ever make you feel bad then.
So I suggest to really give some thought before you compare and feel bad, especially during these times when some people are still going out while others are stuck at home.
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