When do we ever feel content with the life we’re living? If you look to the lives of others, you’ll always find yourself lacking.
I am one person whose life has never been in tandem with my peers. I always found myself falling behind. All my friends got jobs and three years down the line, I had none. All my friends got married and 5 years down the line, I didn’t even have a partner. I was so tempted to fall into the trap of comparing myself with my peers but I am glad to say, with age comes perspective and wisdom. If I had fallen into the trap of comparing myself with others, I would have been admitted to a mental hospital.
Unfortunately, most people go through this. The pressure of keeping up with their peers. Social media doesn’t make it any easier again. As it keeps reminding us of the milestones that our peers have achieved. It seems like everybody is doing amazing things and we feel left behind, we feel like failures.
3 Lessons I learned
1. You are not a replica of anyone
The more you get to understand that, the more you will live your life without comparison. Life gives each of us different experiences so our achievements will never be the same. Simply put, they can’t be compared!
2. We have different needs in life
Even identical twins have different thoughts, personalities, and perspectives. Our needs are different.
3. Nobody has it all
Someone will have something better than the others, and that’s just for everyone. Others will have better health, others better cars, others better houses, others better marriages. Nobody has it all so appreciate what you have in your life. There will always be someone who has what you wish for and you will also have something someone wishes for. Be happy for yourself and also celebrate what others have achieved.
How to Finally Start Living on Your Own Terms
1. Define what success and happiness mean to you
“Be everything to everybody and you’ll be nothing for yourself.” – John Rushton. No two human beings are the same. So why should we have one standard of success or happiness? Seeking society’s standard of success or happiness is an endless rat-race. There will always be someone more successful or happier than you. You’ll never have everything. Instead, recognize that every decision has an opportunity cost. When you choose one thing, you simultaneously give up on others. And that’s okay. Actually, it’s beautiful, because we get to choose our ultimate ideal.
We must define success, and happiness in our own terms because if we don’t, society will do it for us and we will always fall short. We’ll always be left wanting. We’ll always be stuck comparing ourselves and competing with other people. Our lives will be an endless race and we will never experience contentment.
2. Compare yourself to no one
Defining your worth from outside sources is a subconscious way of comparing yourself to specific standards set by others. Comparison is a way of ignoring the awesome things you have done or can do. When you compare yourself to others, you’re measuring your worth by their terms. Every person has walked a different path to get where they are today. Do not allow social media to destroy your happiness. The more you see the achievements of your peers, the less satisfied you are with their own life.
Instead of measuring your worth based on another person’s scale, concentrate on what is meaningful to you. Make your own standards and live according to them.
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