Ask any average person what you want from life and they will say they want a big car, a luxurious bungalow and big shopping list. Ask a truly mature person who is happy with his/her life and they will answer, “I want to be happy”. The difference between these two is that the former will be more interested in material things whereas the latter do wish for more but are happy and fulfilled with their lives. And the main reason for the former category so much interested in things is also the reason for most of the people on the planet who are not happy with their lives and that is – COMPARISON.
Comparison with others is the single most important factor we are so eager to acquire material things. Lets imagine two scenarios to understand this idea better.
Suppose you are living on an island. You have all the basic necessities fulfilled but no luxuries. How would you react? Would you ever think of buying a great furniture or that great piece of painting unless it’s your passion? You would never because even if there people around you, all of them would be living with the minimum requirements. And moreover, you’ll be happy.
Now, imagine you come to live from an that island into a big city. You’ll see people buying branded clothes, using latest gadgets, driving latest cars. Slowly, you’ll think of an expensive alternative to what you are using. You don’t need it yet but you think that it’s cool to have that thing as everyone around is using.
But feeling the need of comparison for expensive things is not as bad as the comparison of non-material things. As for instance, people may compare their children to other children in the neighborhood, a father of a girl may start worrying about her daughter’s marriage if every girl around them gets married at her age, a young employee might compare himself to his co-workers who are earning more than them.
Even though everyone does it, it is not necessary that we should do the same if it makes us unhappy.
In short, it has become the routine of our society to ask, “Everyone’s doing it, so why aren’t we?” But it happens only in case of things that don’t play a bigger role in determining the happiness of your lives. No one asks such questions when they are unhappy with their lives that why are we doing it? Even though everyone does it, it is not necessary that we should do the same if it makes us unhappy.
Life is not a race. Everyone is thinking about themselves. So why are you thinking about them? Live your own life. Make your rules. If people think you are crazy, let them think. Nothing big is ever achieved by being normal.
So whenever you feel dissatisfied with your lives, feel grateful for what you have and ask yourself. “Am I comparing myself with anyone?”