This article is about our propensity to always compare ourselves with others. In general, I am arguing that we must stop this comparison, and instead be focusing more on our own abilities and happiness.
KEYWORDS: comparing ourselves to others, emotions, feelings, focusing, law of attraction, philosophy, psychology, success.
In today’s blog post I am going to talk about our common practice of comparing ourselves with others.
This is especially important when other people’s “features” or “powers” seemingly are better than ours, and when we then may envy them, or otherwise see ourselves as “less powerful” or “less worth” than them.
The General Idea
So the general idea that I am suggesting in this blog post is that we must stop comparing ourselves to others. For it may be tempting to look at the lives of others and then think that our own situation is not as “perfect” as theirs are.
In fact, this topic might even be thought of as a part of the whole “mind your own business” recommendation.
But we note here that, just as in the “mind your own business” idea, we may override that “rule” if the details of other people are pleasing to us, in an honest sense.
By that, I am not referring to situations where we are happy about other people’s pain, suffering or misfortune (for some people may rejoice when other people fail).
Rather, I am referring to situations when we are “honestly” happy about other people’s happiness, success, and great life.
So the general “rule” or “recommendation” is that we refrain from looking at other people’s “results” or their situation, if those do not honestly encourage us, or inspire us, and, overall, produce in us a pleasant, positive emotional state that is non-envious in nature.
Observable and Unobservable
So why is it, exactly, that we should not compare ourselves to others?
One, perhaps obvious reason, is that it is, in principle, impossible to compare two people with each other. And the reason for this impossibility is that everyone is different, in so many ways.
But then, of course, someone might object and say that there be simply no point in comparing two things with each other if they were identical; so it’s because they are different that we are interested in comparing them.
And such an objection certainly is right on a “basic” level. But there’s more to the story than this.
For the issue is not just about differences in general. It’s about observable differences and about unobservable differences.
Furthermore, it is also about causality, or the “science” of causes and effects. The question is: What causes what?
So my point here is that in order to really get anywhere in terms of correctly evaluating what is happening to us, and to others, we would need to know all the variables in the chain of events.
The Law of Attraction
Also, accepting the law of attraction as a correct causal explanation of the dynamics of the universe, immediately points to fundamental difficulty. For, say, positive results happen because of positive thoughts, beliefs, and emotions.
So the difficulty here in assessing the situation correctly is that it is in principle impossible for any person to correctly evaluate other persons’ thoughts, beliefs, and emotions.
None of these are readily accessible to any other person than the person who subjectively experiences those thoughts, beliefs, and emotions.
And although friends and relatives sometimes may “honestly” reveal things to each other, those revelations only really reveal their thoughts and emotions at a very specific time, in a specific situation.
And not only that. We also have to put into our evaluation the possibility that those revelations are not “doctored” or “edited”, in order to portray their emotions and thoughts in the best light possible, perhaps in a move to secure some empathy or sympathy from the other.
So the thing to really stress here is that important parameters in terms of producing the visible effects (the money, the relationships, the houses, the cars) are not directly observable by others.
In particular, it’s not the “everyday struggle” that we observe that is the result of any one person’s fortunes.
Rather, it’s his or her internal emotional state, and his or her thoughts and beliefs, that together produce the actual effect. In other words, it’s all in the mental and emotional dimension, as opposed to in the physical “hard-working” dimension.
Not very many autobiographies are written about unsuccessful people. For that is not what people intuitively are interested in.
And that is perfectly natural. For we shouldn’t be very interested in unsuccessful people, in general. There is no benefit of diving into details of “ill fate” or “bad luck” or various other misfortunes.
And this is of course especially the case if their story also doesn’t turn around at some point in time. For if it only has a non-happy ending, we should really not listen to it.
We must accept, according to the principles of Law of Attraction, that although singular “misfortunes” may happen also to dedicated, positive people, repeated misfortunes only come to those who themselves are inviting it with their negative thoughts, beliefs, and emotions.
Therefore, it seems perfectly logical to not associate with such people. For association inevitable rubs off. And it is also important to note that “association” also applies to stories.
This means that stories about unsuccessful people and their worries and misfortunes are also attracting unfavorable momentum for us.
One temptation, however, at this point may be to still be interested in associating with unsuccessful people, whether in real life or in stories. For when we learn about their failures, our own life might, by contrast, seem rather good.
My suggestion, though, is to resist this temptation. For it may require substantial time and emotional energy to get the whole story of just how unsuccessful the person is. So that expenditure of valuable time and energy will inevitably lower your own positive vibration.
Although some people like to concentrate on other people’s unsuccessful lives, there’s also another comparison that people do. And that is to compare themselves to successful people.
And that is all right, if the comparison is constructed positively, where the successful person is seen as a “hero” or a “role model”, and where any negative traits or behavior is not considered in a negative light.
So when we are looking at successful people, we should do so in a positive manner. And not only that, we should feel happy for them that they have managed to accomplish what they wanted to accomplish.
The temptation, however, may be to look at these “heroes” or “role models” not just in a positive way, but also be having negative emotions about them, such as envy, jealousy, or anger, etc.
So thoughts such as “there is no fairness in the world”, “why am I not as good as he or she?”, “why do some people have it all, while others do not?”, etc.
Here then we have seen examples of the idea that comparison might result in negative feelings, and in an evaluation that there is “fault” or “error” somewhere. And that there is some (major) injustice at play.
For are we not equal? Do we not have equal rights?
Comparison with others seldom works for people who are on the negative side of the NP spectrum (i.e. for N1, N2, and N3 individuals).
For the tendency is to find fault in others, and to try to explain away one’s own (less enviable) state of affairs.
So the best thing to do, in my opinion, is to stay away from any comparison with others. As in most cases, it is better to only focus on ourselves.