When you compare yourself to others, regardless of the decision you make as to whether you are “better” than they are or “worse” than they are or have more or less than what they have, you have already made a terrible mistake regarding your psychological and emotional well being. You are assuming somehow that happiness or contentment can be found by looking at others and seeing how you “stack up” against them. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. The more you compare yourself to others the unhappier you become because you are not seeking joy or even fulfillment in your own life. You are believing that fulfillment can be had by having something that others have or don’t have.
so, the first thing to do is to stop thinking about what other people have. Start doing this by not assuming that because people might have some things that you don’t have means that they are happier than you. The reality is, no one knows how truly happy someone is or isn’t. The guy who drives the big car or lives in the big house may be miserable. The guy living in the tiny shack may be full of joy and gratitude. We cannot assume that people are happy based of the things that they have.
Along with this, we must be thankful for what we have. It has been researched that people who have their basic needs met (food, clothing, shelter) and can pay their bills from month to month are no less happy than people who are extremely wealthy. So, be grateful for what you have. This “attitude of gratitude” blocks out the feelings of unhappiness and insecurity that come along with comparing your situation to others or feeling a lack of self-worth because you perceive yourself as somehow lacking something.
Conducting a self-inventory is very important. Without comparing yourself to others, believe that you have something that no one else can offer to the world. Assume that you have a unique gift. Years of conditioning by school, family and society can make this very difficult to do. Growing up we often have parents and family members telling us what we “should” do. In school, certain talents like being good at sports or math are recognized and rewarded as being more valuable than other talents and skills. However, there are all kinds of talents and gifts that you can discover within yourself that have the potential to make a difference in the world. Recognize this and do not neglect it. Knowing and using your talents that are uniquely your own brings great joy and satisfaction.
When we live our lives with joy and gratitude for the things we have and seek to utilize our own unique gifts, happiness becomes a byproduct. Comparing ourselves to others always leads us to believe that we are lacking something or something is wrong with us. But, each one of us is whole as we are. We just have to believe it.