Monday, November 29, 2010

Need to Compare?

It's almost December! Around this time, I start getting worried because the year is almost over and it seems like I haven't done half of all the things I set out to achieve in January. I would hope that every month so far has been productive. Maybe some more than others. Then you think- how am I going to really make this year count before 31st of December? But ultimately, I'm thankful to God for keeping me alive, giving me a purpose, and allowing me to grow older and wiser everyday.

Have you ever felt that compared with "everyone else" around you, your own circumstances are the worst? Do you have thoughts like "all my mates have achieved this, done that, have this or have that"? I'm now exploring this phenomenum of measuring myself with another person's yard stick. Where does it come from? Is it parents, peer pressure, the society as a whole or just my own unrealistic expectations?

It's probably a mixture of all four. On one hand, it drives me to want to achieve more and more (sort of like healthy competition) to ensure that I can boast too, but on the other hand, it makes me think "What's the point? That person just had better opportunities than I have". Like when you hear of your classmate in uni who is now a millionaire, or your friend from high school now running her own fashion empire. You are happy for them of course, but you also compare yourself and you end up feeling very small.

I think it starts when we still are young. You are put in a classroom with 15 or so other 3-year olds. There you are expected to all be at the same level, grow at the same speed and learn at the same pace. If for any reason you don't keep up with the rest of the class, then there's a problem with you. This pattern continues throughout life. You want the latest toys because "everybody has one". You want to wear a certain item of clothing because "that's what all the other kids are wearing". You want to feel like you are similar to everyone. You find yourself constantly looking around and checking to see if you are ahead or behind of your peers. Then you grow up and suddenly you realise that some things are outside your control. Your career is progressing very slowly meanwhile your mates have soared far ahead. Or your mates are getting engaged, married, and launching babies while you are still single. Or your friend has just bought a new flat, while you are still renting or living at home. It all adds up to a perfect recipe for frustration.

But why do we compare? Are we all given the same opportunities? Did God give us the same talents? Do we have the same circumstances? Do we all have the same goals? Do we have the same experiences or backgrounds? No, no, no and no. We don't even have the same genes!

So I've decided, from now on, I'm not going to compare myself with anyone else. I am me. I am unique. We all have our time and purpose to fulfil on earth. My time and purpose is not dependent on other people. Only God is in full control. And only God will I give the ability to push me forward.

Have a good week and a blessed month of December!

PS: It's my sister's birthday today! Happy birthday darling! xxx


Image credit: plmtwine.com

19 comments:

  1. Nice post TP... a lot of people shd read this ur post and maybe it will ease their minds a lil' bit.

    We have a lot of ppl looking at their mates and trying to compare themselves to their mates and neighbours.

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  2. I love this post.. i think it's great to be content in what you have and value your own accomplishments rather than looking to others cos you might be invariably dissapointed or overly smug which is never quite the way to go..

    thanks for giving us some food for thought

    keep on rocking the free world

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  3. LondonBuki6:16 AM

    Nice post... I am gonna add a link to it in my next post if you don't mind :-)

    I used to be like that... but now I have grown up and I don't compare myself to anyone... I have my own goals and timescales to achieve them. We came into this world alone so we should do our own thing.

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  4. @ All: You are welcome, thanks for the comments. You know it's actually liberating to realise that I am not competing with anybody and I can move at my own pace. Maybe as Londonbuki said, it's a maturity thing.

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  5. TP, lovely post!
    I dont know why we inherently feel we have to 'meet up' to expectations. I really couldnt be bothered about unnecessary comparism. When others progress, I am wholeheartedly happy with them.
    Envy & Jealously are 2 of the most unlikely traits I will ever develop.
    Ride on girl & stay focused!!

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  6. I'm glad you've decided to stop comparing yourself to others ... it's ironic because I bet those people are comparing themselves and their accomplishments to you!

    For some reason, I've never had that thing to live up to someone else's standards, I guess it's because I'm my own toughest critic/competition/cheerleader. That's not to say it won't happen in future and I hope people like you are around to remind me that it's not important.

    Great post!

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  7. "My time and purpose is not dependent on other people. Only God is in full control. And only God will I give the ability to push me forward"...

    Beautifully said! I've decided a while ago to run my own race and not focus on others...we were all create differently to impact the World in different ways...

    I'm loving you new attitude!

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  8. Word!

    Have you seen Keeping up with the Joneses starring Demi Moore? It's unbelievable what happens behind closed doors in the lives of the people we think have it all.

    The movie is a must watch.

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  9. Word!

    Have you seen Keeping up with the Joneses starring Demi Moore? It's unbelievable what happens behind closed doors in the lives of the people we think have it all.

    The movie is a must watch.

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  10. Very well said.I think it's a simple trick of life some people never learn.Maintaining the status quo,keeping up with the Jones....You are unique in your own way.Better than 7billion others in your own measure.

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  11. love this post and the picture summaries it all. how do u compare an orange to an apple? they are different!

    like u said part of it stems from when we are young and we hear things like "why can't you be smart like your brother" or "why can't you be like so and so's daughter"

    I am joining u and will stop comparing myself because I am me and you are you.

    Thanks for sharing

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  12. Your new resolve is simple the best course of action.

    Trying to play catch up with everone else is pointless because by the time you get to where they are, they have moved on to something bigger and better.
    So we should all resolve to be happy with where we are and what we have.
    As much as we should have aspirations, we should learn to do things at our own pace and wait for God's timing for our own specific lives.
    Hope you're well. My blog's at http://gospelgirly.blogspot.com/

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  13. On point post. Yes, this time of the year, brings that out of most of us, the need to work our way down the list we made in January and then compare this same list to everyone. The only outcome to that is panic! lol

    However, we must remember we all have INDIVIDUAL races that we are running, by God's grace. If we all had to run the same race (do the same things) at the same time, then some of us should be irrelevant.

    We must keep our eyes, and feet moving in line with God's will for us as individuals. It does not matter if we achieve half a point of the list or not, it is still a great achievement in God's plan for us at that time.

    Great post.. me like :-)
    Much love, Remi
    www.adayingodswill.com

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  14. So timely FG... It's difficult to not compare ourselves with others, and a great thing if you succeed at it! congrats to you!

    The bad thing about comparisons (well for me)is that it either leaves me depressed and jealous or proud. Nothing good comes out of it.

    I am inspired.

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  15. this is very nice. and yes everyone is unique in their own way. love your blog, will like to follow you. i am also a writer although i haven't been published and i am a blogger. my blog is www.secretlilies.blogspot.com. please read it and give me your genuine comment. thank you.

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  16. It's taken me quite some time although I know I still indulge in it sometimes.. Comparing myself to others I mean, been a constant battle until I saw I was pushing myself beyond limit. There's nothing wrong in being a bit competitive but too much of it is bad..
    lOVE YOUR POST! Happy Birthday to your Sis!

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  17. It's taken me quite some time although I know I still indulge in it sometimes.. Comparing myself to others I mean, been a constant battle until I saw I was pushing myself beyond limit. There's nothing wrong in being a bit competitive but too much of it is bad..
    lOVE YOUR POST! Happy Birthday to your Sis!

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  18. True talk FG. The need to compare starts very early on and it can be really hard to break off. Methinks that comparisons can be great sometimes because it helps us push further. It is when it results in jealousy or self-criticism that it becomes a disadvantage. Personally, my own yardstick of self measurement is with Christ...and when I see people with those Christ-like virtues, I truly want to be like them and I work hard to achieve it. Yet we are all unique as you rightly mentioned, and everyone has their own unique role to fulfill in life. All in all, awesome insight as always FG.

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  19. Thanks for stopping by my blog :) wishing you a very merry christmas and happy new year.

    ReplyDelete

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