How do you feel each day when you go out and about and look to the right or left of you? What do you see? Do you see someone who is taller than you, drives a nicer car, has a bigger house, etc? Or, do you see the person who's not as successful as you are or as smart or as attractive as you think you are? How do you compare?
We don't all line up, and we see ourselves in comparison to others as either better or worse. We even go so far as to alienate those we find better than we are. Other reactions are that those people make us want to be better and do more. I often feel motivated by people I see doing more than me in areas of my life where I want to excel. That unsettling feeling you get can drive you to do a little extra work at the office or the gym to advance yourself.
These comparisons often do the opposite of motivating us to achieve our goals through discipline and hard work. Many times we can react to a poor self-comparison by stretching our limits and often our wallets too far in an effort to measure up.
Are you discontented or just motivated? Discontented has negative connotations, while motivated is viewed as a positive, good thing. A lack of contentment can lead to motivation, but too much of a deficit in contentment can result in a life of misery. Don't you want to just enjoy your life sometimes? Where is the balance? Is there a point where you stop and accept where you are? Is it giving up?
Many years ago, I sang opera. I was a decent singer, but not the best. I worked as hard as I could and gave up many social evenings to study and practice. One day, I realized I would never be as good as others who simply had more talent than I. It was a sad reality to accept, but in the end I was released by this truth I could not change no matter how hard I tried. Accepting that helped me find a place of peace to carry on with life and use my talent in the best way I could.
I'm not going to be able to stop comparing myself completely to others right away. I think it's just human nature. I also think it is a great opportunity to reevaluate those areas of frustration in life to see if it's really worth the energy to compare. I'll make an effort to seek contentment and release negative comparisons and hope you will too. You can!