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30 Days To Greater Happiness - Nov. 15th - Don't Compare Yourself To Others

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Today's "30 Days To Greater Happiness" SP tip is,

"Don't compare yourself to others. Happy people judge themselves by their own yardsticks, never against what others do or have. Keep up with yourself - not the Joneses."

tells us what’s wrong with comparing ourselves with others:

• To begin with it's usually an unfair comparison to start with. You’ll always come off bad if you look at someone’s strengths (including what they have, like houses and cars) and your weaknesses.
• Even if you compare strength to strength, there will always be those who are better, and those who are worse. Where you are on the ladder of accomplishments or purchases has nothing to do with what you want to do.
• Even if you do well in comparison with others, you may be artificially inflated from this comparison. It’s a short-lived boost of ego if you win the comparison — easily knocked down.
• You end up resenting others for doing well, without really knowing the true person. You can see this if you’ve ever resented someone upon first meeting them, and then later realized you got the wrong idea.
• You might end up talking about your own accomplishments more than is necessary. No one appreciates that.
• You might criticize someone in public, trying to knock them down, often unfairly.

None of these are good things. Here are some ideas how we can break the habit of comparing ourselves with others.

• Awareness. Most often we do these social comparisons without realizing we’re doing it. It’s a natural act and as a result it’s something that is done without consciousness. So the solution is to become conscious — bring these thoughts to the forefront of your consciousness by being on the lookout for them. If you focus on these thoughts for a few days, it gets much easier with practice, and soon it’ll be hard not to notice.
• Stop yourself. Once you realize you’re doing these comparisons, give yourself a pause. Don’t berate yourself or feel bad — just acknowledge the thought, and gently change focus.
• Count your blessings. A better focus is on what you do have, on what you are already blessed with. Count what you have, not what you don’t. Think about how lucky you are to have what you have, to have the people in your life who care about you, to be alive at all.
• Focus on your strengths. Instead of looking at your weaknesses, ask yourself what your strengths are. Celebrate them! Be proud of them. Don’t brag, but feel good about them and work on using them to your best advantage.
• Be OK with imperfection. No one is perfect — intellectually, we all know that, but emotionally we seem to feel bad when we don’t reach perfection. It's OK to keep trying to improve, but don’t think you’ll ever be the “perfect person”. If you look at it in a different way, that imperfection is what makes you who you are, you already are perfect.
• Don’t knock others down. Sometimes we try to criticize others just to make ourselves look or feel better. Taking someone else down for your benefit is destructive. It forms an enemy when you could be forming a friend. In the end, that hurts you as well. Instead, try to support others in their success — that will lead to more success on your part.
• Focus on the journey. Don’t focus on how you rank in comparison to others — life is not a competition. It’s a journey. We are all on a journey, to find something, to become something, to learn, to create. That journey has nothing to do with how well other people are doing, or what they have. It has everything to do with what we want to do, and where we want to go. That’s all you need to worry about.
• Learn to love enough. If you always want what others have, you will never have enough. You will always want more. That’s an endless cycle, and it will never lead to happiness. No matter how many clothes you buy, no matter how many houses you own (seven, in the case of one famous candidate), no matter how many fancy cars you acquire … you’ll never have enough. Instead, learn to realize that what you have is already enough. If you have shelter over your head, food on the table, clothes on your back, and people who love you, you are blessed. You have enough. Anything you have over and above that is more than enough. Be good with that, and you’ll find contentment.

"The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet. " ~ James Openheim

"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have." ~ Frederick Keonig

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