Monday, November 29, 2010
Need to Compare?
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