Sometimes my mind goes on a “what -if” tangent, where it thinks up crazy scenarios about pretty much any and every given thing. Here’s one that I thought of recently: what if we all just minded our own business about everything?
No, really. What if, instead of being jealous of our friends for having that one thing we have always wanted, we just congratulated them, and then put all of that envious energy into seeing how to obtain it ourselves?
Or, what if, instead of looking at the girl in front of us while secretly wishing we could have her looks/popularity/life/intelligence/whatever, we just focused on the good things that we do have, and on improving whatever needs to be improved?
The way I see it, there is only good that can come from it. First off, it will relieve the pressure to live up to some preconceived standard of what should and shouldn’t be. Next, it’ll help us feel better about our lives, instead of being unnecessarily depressed. Thirdly, it’ll help our relationships with people, because self-comparison can lead to jealousy, which can be death to friendships (I mean, who wants a hater in their inner circle? Def not me.). And lastly, and probably most importantly, it’ll move us closer to getting whatever it is that we want. And then, BOOM! No more reason to compare ourselves to anyone else.
And no, I’m not trying to make this feel like a sermon. I’m not preaching. I am someone who used to have a big problem with comparing myself to others. I still remember being in 6th grade, comparing myself to girls I felt that everyone (especially the boys) liked more. I remember having this voice in my head that would tell me I wasn’t as pretty as the other girls, or as cool, or as fill-in-the-blank. And I’d like to think that over time, I’ve done a near-180 in terms of that mindset. Near is the operative word, though, because sometimes I still find myself doing it. What can I say? Old habits die hard sometimes.
So, I can tell you from experience that comparing yourself to others will not help you. When I was younger, wishing for the lives of girls I thought were more popular than me did not help me feel cooler; quite honestly, it made me feel lamer by the minute. What did help me was actually putting myself out there and talking to those kids I thought were so much cooler. It turned out they were *gasp* normal kids like me, and that some of them weren’t people I wanted to chill with anyway.
When my friends and I go to parties, and I notice that one of my friends seems to be getting a bit more attention for the moment, sitting there and wishing that the attention was on me doesn’t make the party more fun. But cutting the comparison crap and immersing myself in the moment does. And in my experience, the nights I have the most fun are the nights I meet the most people.
It’s normal to want things. In fact, it’s good to want things because it can push us to work toward being better. But, if all we are focused on is other people and how much better off they are compared to us, then we’ll have no energy to focus on what we need to focus on: ourselves and our goals. Other people’s lives and accomplishments are their business, and theirs alone. Our lives and accomplishments are our business, and ours alone. So, with much love, I’m challenging you all to mind your own business. :)