As Theodore Roosevelt famously once said, ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’. It is a phrase that has lost none of its wisdom and is certainly just as applicable to our lifestyles now as when first uttered.
Too often a situation that was perfectly acceptable, desirable even, moments earlier is marred by the seeming bounty enjoyed by another.
However it is easy to recognise when this is happening, and with a little training you can bring your mind back to yourself – how your needs are adequately (probably even abundantly) met, and with gratitude regain contentment.
One surprising thing which I have noticed is that it is not just comparison with others that is most likely to rob my peace of mind, but comparison with, and often fictional misapprehension of, what I should have or be.
One minute I can be getting on with life, celebrating victories where I find them and then suddenly the thought creeps in ‘you should already have done this'; or ‘you should be able to do this'; or ‘if you had done this a long time ago you would be much further along.’ Each observation is as unhelpful as it is unwelcome and serves the purpose of interrupting peace of mind and flow of gratitude.
As with many things – being aware that this is happening is the first step to addressing the problem. A mindful approach is excellent for centring you back in the present moment (the now that is your experience right now and the only thing truly relevant to your life).
So next time you seek to self-sabotage your happiness, ignore the ego always seeking to tarnish joy and simply enjoy the moment!