Unhappiness Comes From Comparison

“Unhappiness comes from comparison”.  This is a statement a long time friend uttered many years ago – and one that has stuck with me ever since. 

Think about it. We do this all the time. We compare houses, incomes, jobs, sports prowess, bench press, kids, spouses, cars, jewelry, clothing, churches, and on and on.  And probably more often than anything else, we compare situations, perceived circumstances and conditions of others.  I would like to say I’m not that petty, but I know subconsciously, if not consciously on occasion, I find myself comparing some of those things – particularly situations.  Some comparison can be helpful, if managed in a competitive and productive way, but that’s not what I’m speaking about here.

I remember a well known preacher saying that sometimes we see a preacher in the “zone”, connecting beautifully with passion, purpose and charisma.  What we see at that moment is them at the top of their game.  Once they step away from that pulpit it’s usually downhill, perhaps not in a bad way, but it’s just not as good – no one stays in that zone, consistently.  But in the world of comparison we tend to take that person’s best and attribute it to everything they do – as if they are in the zone in all things, and at all times. And then we compare. With that, we don’t have a chance. 

I remember hearing another person say that the devil loves to get us comparing some else’s best to our worst – a pretty unfair fight. But then again, that kind fits that guy’s plan.

If it’s true that all or much unhappiness comes from comparison, then maybe the real lesson lies in applying the opposite perspective.  Happiness comes from within. No outside comparison, just plain old internal perspective.  It may still be inspired by outside conditions, but ultimately it’s an inside decision. Many times I see people with seemingly similar circumstances, yet completely different perspectives – an inside decision.

Wow, I’m learning as I write this. Maybe that’s why I’m writing it.  Hope it’s helpful to you – as happy people are statistically more productive in all things – careers, health, relationships – all that matters.  So I guess it’s our choice, happiness.  What do you choose?