Happiness is an attitude – not a goal. It is a direction - not a place. When you decide to face that direction you do not have to do anything to gain it. It is all yours! Like Leo Tolstoy says, if you want to be happy, be. First step to happiness is just deciding to be happy and you are already on your way !
One of the main reasons why we compare our lives is to get approval. And in general wanting approval from others is a very big obstacle for a happy life because it hinders your personal growth. We may want the neighbors, friends, and the world to think/say, “Did you see that new car/house/dress/jewelry etc etc? It is the best”. The problem with comparing yourself to others and wanting approval from them is that you let others control how you feel in life. You feel bad when you are saving for, let us say, a big new car. You feel great when you finally have enough money to drive it home. And then you feel bad again when you see someone else has even a better car! You become a puppet of other people, pulling the strings controlling what you do. They limit your movements and your life. When you learn to get rid of your need for approval, you automatically give up the need for both positive and negative approval. They both are connected because when if you no longer crave positive cheers and approval from people then you will no longer have fears of criticisms and non approval either. The good thing is when you no longer need approval from others you will have a greater inner freedom to do what you want. You will notice positive opportunities in your life that was not there before.
If you compare the strengths of others, with your weaknesses, how do you think you’d size up? You have started playing a game already with a feeling of having lost the game. And do you think this would make you feel good? The funny thing is, this is what most of us do at one time or the other and many of us do very often. It’s a sure shot recipe for a drop in self-confidence and you straight head to unhappiness. Comparing yourself with others doesn’t do you any good. You end up either feeing proud when you are above or jealous and frustrated when you are below. Both do not bring any happiness. Even if you compare strength to strength, there will always be those who are better, and those who are worse. Even if you do well in comparison with others, you may be artificially inflated from this comparison. It’s a short-lived boost of your ego. If you think you have won, that victory is easily knocked down. You end up resenting others when they are doing well. You might criticize someone in public, trying to knock them down, often unfairly. Or you might end up talking about your own accomplishments more than is necessary. Both are not appreciated by anybody.
If your only goal is to ‘be like so-and-so’, you are missing out on something really important. You are missing out on really being yourself and expressing the individuality that is you. Why give up your uniqueness and become a clone? Wouldn’t you rather enjoy your own life rather than someone else’s? So it is better to focus on what you 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 be alive at all in the first place. Instead of looking at your weaknesses, find out for yourself what your strengths are. Be proud of them. You do not have to brag but can just feel good about them and use them to your best advantage.
If it’s a must to compare your self to someone else, then compare the whole package and not just a single trait. Someone may be more handsome than you but you may be smarter than him, some one may be richer than you but you may be happier than her. Think of yourself as a package because it not fair to judge yourself based on only one thing that you don’t have or that you cant do.
It is perfectly alright to be imperfect. No one is perfect and never can be. When you learn to look at it in a different way you understand that it is that imperfection which makes you who you are and you already are perfect. Life is not a competition. It’s a journey. We are all on this journey and the journey has nothing to do with how well other people are doing, or what they have. It has everything to do with what you want to do and where you want to go. That’s all you need to worry about.