Updated: Apr 7, 2020
Raise your hand if you get caught in the trap of comparing yourself to others! I will be one of the first to shoot up mine sky high in the air. I have spent nearly my entire life going in and out of phases of jealousy for what others have. Wanting MORE is normal but not always best.
But what isn't healthy is basing your happiness on this endless pursuit of having the best car, biggest house and fattest paycheck. While these aren't horrible things, they shouldn't be our complete focus.. all the time. In fact, a reliable car, stable job, and comfortable home can all be blessings and something to be enjoyed. But when they rob your of happiness, you must ask yourself who is in the driver's seat of your life?
Far too often we look at other people's lives from a very narrow perspective. Maybe we see them posting pics on Facebook of them in front of a gorgeous fireplace and we get jealous. Why can't my house have a fireplace? I want a fireplace, too.
Or we could see them dropping off their kids at school in a brand new minivan (yes, I am a mom so a new minivan would be awesome). Their shiny car actually has doors that open and close on their own This makes your 2004 Toyota Sienna seem like a curse. I want a new car.
Or you think they must be pulling in the big bucks at their management job. And they have a two-family income so they can go on all those fantastic trips and eat out all the time. Why aren't we rolling in the dough? I want to stop just getting by.
The above scenarios are all REAL thoughts I have had. Comparisons I have made, some fair and some just hurtful to myself.
Here's the thing though. It doesn't matter if they have a great car or a mansion or a huge paycheck. And it really doesn't matter if they are happy in their job or not; financing their car or own it, or if they make a lot of money or not. Whether they are living a truly great life or not doesn't matter to YOU!
What should matter to you is that you are happy with YOUR OWN life. And you can start changing a poor attitude around by changing your perspective.
Try using these phrases instead:
My house serves a purpose. It fits what we can afford. We make memories and enjoy our family in this home.
My car is running. It gets me from Point A to Point B. Even if it leaks oil a little, it still was a great deal (not that I know from experience).
Our paycheck allows us to live a pretty great life. We choose where we spend our money. Woohoo... we actually have money to buy groceries, gas and pay our mortgage.
So today I challenge you to change your perspective. We all will end up in the same size grave eventually. Do you want to spend the rest of your days unhappy because you are never content with the joys you have been blessed with? I know I sure don't.
I choose happiness today. I choose to see a life of plenty. I choose a perspective of joy and gratitude.