There’s always someone with more money than you.

More friends.

Better teeth, better skin, better hair.

A bigger house.

A more prestigious job title.

Theodore Roosevelt said that “comparison is the thief of joy.” And in the age of social media, comparison is stealing joy at an unprecedented rate.

But in comparing yourself to others, you’re measuring your success against the progress someone else is making on their goals – not yours.

Instead, focusing on consciously and purposefully defining your goals is the only way to measure yourself against what really matters to you.

Explore what success is as you define it. Think about what ‘enough’ looks like for you. Do the emotional labour – and go really deep into understanding what matters.

Once you’ve identified what enough looks like to you, anything that others have over and above that means nothing. It’s superfluous to your life. So take a deep breath out, let it go, and take comparison’s power away.

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3 Comments

  1. Comparison fuels capitalistic mentalities and foolish, empty political victories. Seldom does it benefit, frequently it harms. It plays a major role in the facade of democracy which typifies the socio-political system that is now the USA.

  2. The typical school system thrives on comparison, as does capitalism. We are thoroughly brainwashed! ‘Twill be challenging to overcome, but we should try to moderate it as a societal custom/tradition. Does more harm than good!

  3. Such a thought provoking piece Adam and one that raises some important questions in the context of social media and its apparent affect on out mental well-being – most notably in comparing ourselves to an illusory ideal. I love the challenge to reframe our own goals and definitions of success in the context of ‘what is enough?’

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