The title of this post is a quote that caught my attention; it is either attributed to Joe Vitale or Joe Vitale reading Robert Anthony’s material.
I’ve talked a little bit about Robert Anthony’s The Ultimate Secrets of Total Self-Confidence before (and apparently it’s the most popular post on this site), and I think it is a great book, but the more definitive guide, as I’ve been finding out, is Beyond Positive Thinking: A No-Nonsense Formula for Getting the Results You Want. I have been listening to the audiobook version in which Joe Vitale narrates as of late.
In any case, I think the idea that all unhappiness is caused by comparison is worth pondering further.
What if there was nobody else to compare yourself to?
If there was no one else living on this planet and you had no one else to compare yourself to, how would you feel?
You might feel lonely. You might feel sad.
But there would be no reason to feel a lack of self-confidence. After all, you would be unique! There would be no one else like you.
But hold on a minute. There isn’t anyone else like you already. Just consider this quote from Deepak Chopra:
Each of us is a unique strand in the intricate web of life and here to make a contribution.
So why do we compare?
Comparison is linked to some form of insecurity or fear. It’s the idea that someone is better than you and someone is worse than you. After all, the only way to compare is to lift some and diminish others.
If someone is better than you, then there is certainly someone that’s worse than you.
Does that mean we are all equal?
How do we avoid comparison?
In truth, everybody has different skills, different abilities, different talents, and different capacities. We all look a little different, even though we might notice some similarities in physical appearances at times. Fundamentally, we are all a little different.
From my perspective, I believe that we were all made in God’s image, and God doesn’t make junk. I believe that making us a little different from one another is part of His plan.
I realize that answer may not be entirely satisfactory to those who don’t believe in God. However, if comparison truly is the root of all unhappiness, we have to find a way of navigating through it.
The problem with comparison
The main problem with comparison is that it weeds out gratitude in your heart. A lack of gratitude diminishes love. A lack of love leads to a miserable life.
The reason comparison gets in the way of gratitude is because it is a way of avoiding acknowledging and being thankful for who you are and the gifts you have been blessed with. Everybody has gifts that are waiting to be developed, but not everyone chooses to work on them.
Gratitude unlocks love, but it also unlocks joy and a whole host of other blessings. If comparison is the cause of unhappiness, gratitude is the cause of happiness.
Instead of criticizing others, we should learn to ignore or praise. Whatever you focus on expands in your mind, so the more criticism you give out, the more it will grow in your consciousness. If someone is genuinely good at what they do, give them praise. If you can’t bring yourself to like them, then don’t dwell on it. Ignore them instead.
The solution really begins with yourself. Develop a healthy self-image. Be confident in who you are. Enjoy your gifting and abilities.
Then, take your focus off of yourself. Go out and serve others instead.
Author: David Andrew Wiebe
David Andrew Wiebe has built an extensive career in songwriting, live performance, recording, session playing, production work, investing, and music instruction. In addition to helping musicians unlock their full potential, he also continues to maintain a touring schedule with multiple bands.