Comparison Is The Thief Of Joy

Comparison is the thief of joy.

― Theodore Roosevelt

It’s a sprightly bright morning; the birds are chirping, the air is fresh, you have a spring on your step, a song in your heart, and you are all set to take the world in your stride. Suddenly you see your neighbor speeding past this wholistic bounty on his BMW while you are pushing pedals to reach the office on time.

He has a flashy car, and all you have is a cycle. He has a trophy wife, and you are still sorting a pile of Dear John letters. He is in awesome shape while you are still 50 pounds away from your ideal weight, and so on and so forth. And there it starts, the toxic game of comparison that leads to self-destructive consequences like:

  • Self-doubt.
  • Suppressed sense of unfairness.
  • Inflation of personal inadequacies with overthinking.
  • Developing an unhealthy definition of success.
  • Subscribing to absurd means to attain irrational goals.
  • Latent anger, substance abuse, and depression.

In a macroscopic perspective,the path to attain comparative joy subsequently results in the depletion of true happiness.’ To put this very bluntly, comparison not only steals your inner peace and contentment but murders it eventually. 

Can you really overcome the invasion of comparison in your everyday life?

comparison is the thief of joy

A growing number of young individuals, especially those aged between 16 to 45, are under the spell of digital lives and filtered social media perfection. The grass is always greener on the other side is the general perception. 

The academic system across the world is based on comparisons. It’s a constant assessment and evaluation of students getting better grades versus students with lower grades. 

In personal life, judgingwhat I possess versus what they possessis an everyday affair. This, unfortunately, has become a yardstick to measure personal and professional success.

At the end of the day, practically every aspect of your life is under the constant scanner. Therefore, not being influenced by comparison is nearly impossible. You will find yourself questioning your achievements because there are others doing comparatively better than you. 

Breaking free from the comparison trap

comparison is the thief of joy

Let’s get back to the first paragraph of this article.

It’s a sprightly bright morning; the birds are chirping, the air is fresh, you have a spring on your step, a song in your heart, and you are all set to take the world in your stride. Suddenly you see your neighbor speeding past this wholistic bounty on his BMW while you are pushing pedals to reach the office on time.

Your heart was full of joy till your neighbor’s BMW sped past you. 

So, what changed was actually your perception of happiness, when you shifted your focus from the ‘presence of nature’s bounty’ to ‘absence of unnecessary material possessions.’ 

Comparison has penetrated deep into the behavioral patterns of humans today, and setting yourself free from this trap can be a challenge. So, before you compare your life with others, always remember the following things:

  • At any given time, there will always be better people than you and those that hardly have a tenth of what you possess at the moment. So, if you are comparing, make sure you compare at both levels.
  • The real comparison should be between you and you. Compare how you have lived today vs how you lived before. More often than not, you will end up counting your blessings.
  • Never judge yourself based on what you see on social media. This is a platform where reality is often hidden behind thick curtains of filters. 

The Bottom Line

Don’t let the silly comparisons steal your joy. The remedy is to take slow and steady steps towards understanding your priorities, setting achievable goals, focusing on ‘what you have’ over ‘what you don’t,’ and making tangible efforts towards actual personal development.

Also read: 5 Habits That Are Ruining Your Happiness

Leave a comment