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5 Great Ways To Experience More Joy and Feel Happy About Life

I think the majority of us in this world want to be happy, whether we know it or not. With all that life brings us, however, it can be easier said than done at times, and we can forget how to just be simply happy. They say the goal behind every goal is happiness, and I would tend to agree with that. When we choose to be happy, our life just flows, and that happiness can have a positive effect on everybody that we meet. When we are not happy, however, that affects everybody too.

Esther Hicks, in her book Ask and It Is Given, offers some wonderful insight into happiness:

The greatest gift that you could ever give to another is your own happiness, for when you are in a state of joy, happiness, or appreciation, you are fully connected to the Stream of pure, positive Source Energy that is truly who you are. And when you are in that state of connection, anything or anyone that you are holding as your object of attention benefits from your attention.

Here are some methods I have found useful for helping me to achieve happiness in my life.

1. Stop Comparing

Many of us can compare ourselves, our lives, our possessions, our jobs, our money, etc. to other people around us. We can compare ourselves to what is being portrayed on the media as the perfect life and feel that we are not good enough as a result. We may even compare where our lives are now to where we were at another time.

When somebody has a so-called better house, car, or job, it doesn’t mean that they are happier than you, or happier than they were before they had these things. Some of the happiest people I have met are people who have very little. Happiness doesn’t come from the external things, as we are brainwashed to believe. It is an inside job.

When we compare ourselves to something or somebody outside ourselves, we are essentially not loving or accepting ourselves. We can never know what another person’s journey is. The first step is to start to love and accept yourself exactly as you are and where you are.

2. Be Present

If we are living our lives in the past or in the future, it is practically impossible to be in the here and now, where all happiness exists. When we choose to be present, we allow ourselves to be happy. We all have things that we regret and that we would like to change about the past. Similarly, there are certain things or ways that we would like our future life to be, but the only moment we ever have is now.

We can live our lives attached to the story of our past, or we can choose to be happy now and let go of the past. It’s important to plan for the future but still be present in what you are engaging with right now, knowing that it is moving you in the direction of where you want to be.

The key to being present, in my experience, is to become aware of when I am not present. Engaging in activities that I enjoy has also helped me to become more present.

the-present-moment-thich-rs

3. Let Go Of Expectations

If we have expectations of people, jobs, places, etc. to be a certain way for us to be happy then we are allowing our happiness to be dependent on something outside of ourselves. We are attached to something for our happiness.

I can see in my own life that at times I allowed my happiness to be determined by how successful I was in my job or if I had a great relationship with somebody I love. Sometimes when I was not successful in these areas, I experienced unhappiness.

What I have found helpful is to go for what I want, do the best I can, and let go of the expectation for the result to be a certain way. I was in India a couple of years ago and before I went I decided to let go of any expectations of India to be a certain way. I have found this approach very useful in having a happier experience, in any situation.

4. Be True To Yourself

A quote I heard awhile ago is:

“To be yourself in a world that is trying night and day to make you like everybody else, is probably the greatest battle there is to fight.”

At times it can be difficult for us to be ourselves, and we need great courage and strength to be true to ourselves.

I have noticed that when I’m not true to myself, I experience unhappiness. In my last job, for example, I felt that I wasn’t being true to myself and that I was compromising my happiness for the sake of a wage check at the end of the week.

As I mentioned earlier, I went to India some time ago. It had been a longtime dream of mine to travel India and embrace the culture there, and I really did feel that I was being true to myself while I was traveling India.

Be true to yourself and live life based on your own approval and acceptance. Learn to listen to and trust your heart and just go for what you want. Ask yourself, “What makes my heart sing?”

5. Be Grateful

When we are in the mode of blaming and complaining we are not in a place of gratitude. We are essentially focusing on the negative and usually creating more of that in our lives.

When I was in India, I saw people who could have a real reason to complain. Many people were actually sleeping on the streets there, sometimes whole families. Other times I saw people who had lost limbs or suffered through terrible illnesses. India taught me that I have so much to be grateful for.

Being grateful for where we are right now is definitely a key to happiness. We have so much to be grateful for, such as our health, our job, our house, our family, our friends, etc. Being grateful is not just about saying it but about really feeling and believing it.

Micheál O’mathúna      February 14, 2016

MICHEÁL O’MATHÚNA
Micheál O’Mathúna is the Producer and Presenter of the popular Radio Show called http://www.thehealthzoneshow. Previous guests on his show have included John Gray, Marianne Williamson, Robert Kiyosaki, Byron Katie and Julia Cameron. He is also a Media Journalist, Filmmaker and Media Relations Consultant. You can listen to some of his past radio shows on http://www.thehealthzoneshow.com or you can check out his website on http://www.omcommunications.ie

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Why (Some) Substitutes Don’t Satisfy Us

The more similar they are, the greater disappointment they evoke.

Have you ever craved a full-fat chocolate milkshake but opted for a diet frozen yogurt because you wanted to “be good”? But chances are that scarfing down the yogurt wasn’t just less pleasurable; it may actually have increased your craving, amplified your dissatisfaction, and set you up for a binge.

According to a new study led by Rochester University’s Melissa Sturge-Apple, this happens because the substitute food you chose too closely resembled what you actually wanted. As a result, you spent every bite registering just how far it fell short from what you truly craved.

Sturge-Apple’s team whetted hundreds of adults’ and undergraduates’ appetites for a particular brand of gourmet chocolate by having them taste test tiny pieces of it. Over the course of several experiments, the team repeatedly split participants into two groups—those who were invited to snack on similar but inferior quality substitutes for the high-end chocolate (i.e., knock-off versions of the chocolate or chocolate-covered peanuts) and those who were invited to snack on categorically different snacks (i.e., honey granola bars). The goal was to test which substitute food item did a better job of satisfying participants’ lab-induced hankering.

What the researchers found was that the similar but not quite up-to-snuff swaps left participants dissatisfied and still wanting the gourmet treat just as much (if not more), while the dissimilar option successfully quashed their pre-primed cravings.

In a follow-up study, participants who’d snacked on subpar substitutes or dissimilar swaps were surprised with a bowl full of the gourmet chocolate they’d initially been induced to crave. Upon being told to “eat as much as you like,” those who’d recently settled for similar but not quite as awesome alternatives ate far more of the chocolate than those who’d been sated with a non-chocolate distraction.

Sturge-Apple’s team believes that the reason too-similar substitutes fail to curb most peoples’ cravings—and eventually even make us eat way more than we otherwise would have—is because we can’t help comparing the replacement to the original. Because a knock-off chocolate brand (or, in other cases, a “diet” or “low-cal” treat) resembles what we actually want, we expect it to sate us just as well. But that substitute’s unlikeness in flavor dashes our expectations and compels us to seek the satisfaction we really yearn for elsewhere—if not through quality, then through quantity. (Cue the binge.)

acceptance

Despite our assumptions that we’ll be content with an item similar to the item we truly desire, Sturge-Apple et al.’s findings suggest we’re much better off seeking a novel treat if we can’t—or won’t allow ourselves to—secure what we really want.

“Contrary to participants’ belief that within-category substitutes are more satisfying,” Sturge-Apple and her team reported in the journal Psychological Science, “a cross-category substitute more effectively reduced cravings for a desired stimulus than did a within-category substitute…Indeed, consuming the cross-category substitute was as effective at reducing cravings for the desired stimulus as consuming the desired stimulus itself.”

She reasons that the lack of satisfaction received from so-called “cross-category substitutes” originates from their lower likelihood of “evoking a negative comparison to the desired stimulus.” (Dissimilar foods, in other words, aren’t likely to increase our hopes of feeling satisfied. Rather, a novel item may inspire a new hankering, so that all we have to do to feel satisfied is eat what’s newly in front of us.)

Sturge-Apple’s team believes that the effects of reaching for similarity or novelty in our ongoing hunt for satisfaction extend well beyond the realm of food. They point toward “consequential domains, such as jobs, benefits, and consumer goods” as offering equal fluctuations of satisfaction, depending on how we strategize when we can’t get precisely what we want. For example, if you repeatedly can’t land the dream position in the company you work for, you may be better off—happier—applying to work at a different company altogether. Or if you can’t seem to find joy in new romantic relationships because you’re comparing each partner to your idealized ex, then maybe it’s time to seek out a different “type.”

“Of course, cross-category substitutes have to meet the same needs or serve the same function as the desired stimulus,” Sturge-Apple et al point out, lest you veer too far from what you’re looking for and just end up getting lost. “For example,” the researchers offer, “we assume that people who want a 60-inch television will be more satisfied if they choose a 42-inch television as its substitute rather than an expensive coffeemaker.”

Ditto for jobs and dating: It’s probably not a helpful solution to take a new gig doing something you’re not even sure you like as a response to not getting promoted doing what you love. It will be equally unsatisfying to go on a rampage of one-night stands if you’re truly looking for a meaningful romantic connection. (Though some studies suggest that rebounds can help us get over breakups.)

Whether it’s food, love, work, or any other existential arena that forces you to accept that you can’t always get exactly what you want, Sturge-Apple’s findings suggest that the key to keeping your level of contentment high—and possibly avoiding binges, bad romances, and dead-end jobs—is to seek alternate ways to fulfill your needs and desires, even if you might not immediately consider these to be perfect solutions.

However, the larger takeaway is that comparisons breed disappointment: Whether you’re measuring a substitute food against an idealized but unattainable one, a new partner against a romanticized ex, or the reality of a career against the imagined trajectory you thought it would take.

But in cases when obtaining a novel means of satisfaction isn’t possible, you might benefit even more from the radical act of acceptance. If what (or who) you end up with falls short of your expectations, you’re better poised to experience that thing or person’s joys, qualities, and potentials for satisfaction. Crosby Stills and Nash may have said it best: “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.” Or just eat what’s in front of you and get over the impulse to compare it to something else.

Katherine Schreiber and Heather Hausenblas Ph.D.    Posted Jun 14, 2016


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8 Mind Shifts That Can Trigger Success & Happiness

MARK DENICOLA     MARCH 17, 2016

As much as our lives may be impacted by our circumstance, I’m a firm believer that they are far more influenced by our attitude. While we may collectively look down upon certain things, you can almost always find an opposing, positive stance to pretty well everything.

Take a rainstorm, for example. Most would find it annoying, gloomy, and/or unfortunate, but others (such as a farmer) would consider it something to be happy, relieved, and/or excited about.

With so much of our experience being within our control, why do so many of us continually choose to take such pessimistic and negative views towards things? Here is a list of 8 mind shifts that I personally feel could be the keys to finding the always sought-after success and happiness:

(NOTE: Of course there are certain experiences that will be far more difficult to apply these mind shifts to, but this list is more of a friendly reminder to be applied wherever possible.)

1. Comparison vs Support

There are over 7 billion of us on this planet. That’s an awful lot of people to potentially compare yourself to, and thanks to social media, doing so has never been easier. Rather than continually measuring yourself up against others (and secretly hoping that they fail), why not make the mental shift to wish success upon them instead? They are human just like you, with their own set of challenges and hardships, and likely would love to succeed at particular things as much as you would. What’s more, they probably find something equally enviable in you, so why not share your knowledge between you and help each other reach your goals?

2. Past vs Present

As traumatic or wonderful as our past may be, it likely has little to no impact on the present moment. So rather than continually dwelling on what was, live in what is, and work to make it better and/or even more memorable.

3. Know-It-All vs Perpetual Student

In my opinion there is no greater roadblock to success than being stubborn in a particular view. It’s great to feel passionately about your beliefs, but it’s another to hold to them so strongly that you refuse to even listen to the other side. The world is filled with lessons and knowledge to learn, and what better way to benefit from this than to accept that you will forever be a student to life? You can always learn, grow, and evolve, provided you stay open to the possibility.

optimism

4. Blame vs Take Responsibility

Whether it be another person, unforeseen variable, or circumstance, there is almost always something we can at least partially attribute or blame for everything that happens. But I believe that a key to my own happiness has been a willingness to take responsibility for things rather than continually look for ways to get myself off the hook. Just as we are so readily willing to take responsibility for anything awesome, why not take the same responsibility for our shortfalls? How good the honesty feels might surprise you.

5. Talk vs Do

It’s easy to sound important, but it’s far more difficult to actually be important. One key factor of success is embodying the courage that actually acts upon ideas rather than simply speaking about them.

6. Wait vs Attack

The world will most certainly always throw you curveballs, but that isn’t reason enough to simply sit back and let life happen to you. If you want something, hungrily go after it! Even if it doesn’t pan out, at least you found out firsthand, and if it does, you’re probably that much closer to the success and happiness you seek.

7. Resent vs Forgive

We’ve all had terrible things happen to us, and begrudging whoever it involves, even years later, may seem natural. But what’s the point? Do you really care so much that you will happily allow it to ruminate in the back of your mind, day after day, weighing you down? Why not accept it for what it was, mentally forgive whoever it involves, and focus on what you have in front of you right now?

8. Follow vs Lead

We may not all desire to lead others, but at the very least we should desire to take leadership over our own lives. Choose to always be in the driver seat of your life; go after what you would like to accomplish yourself rather than waiting for someone to do all of the hard work and then leading you by the hand.


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6 Ways to Open Your Heart and Love Again

No matter how many times you have been hurt in the past, you probably still wonder when your next boyfriend or girlfriend will walk into your life. Why? Well, humans were born to love. We were born to connect with others and share a deep emotional and physical bond. Love can hurt, but it also is crucial for our well-being.

Studies have proven that love releases feel-good hormones, eases depression symptoms, increases your lifespan, reduces anxiety and stress, and much more.

After a few failed relationships, though, you might feel like throwing in the towel on love. Don’t worry; many people feel this way after just leaving a serious relationship, but if you’re looking to leave the past behind and give love another try, these tips can help.

Here are 6 ways to open your heart to love again:

1. Let go of past heartache.

As they say, you can’t get to the future if you remain fixated on the past, so release any feelings of resentment or pain and realize that you had to go through those experiences to evolve and learn. Simply ask the universe for help in moving on from the relationships that have caused you grief, and accept the past for what it is: necessary stepping stones on your path to enlightenment and self-development.

Also, remember that only you can decide how you feel; others have power over your emotions only if you let them. Of course, everyone needs time to emotionally recuperate after a serious relationship, but just allow those feelings to move through you without judgment, and move on. Just try to enjoy living in the moment instead of ruminating on the past; after all, this moment is all we truly have.

2. Forgive others who have hurt you.

“When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.” – Katherine Ponder

Remember that holding a grudge is like injecting yourself with poison over and over again and expecting the other person to suffer. Resentment only affects the person who feels it, and it will hold a dark cloud over your head until you resolve those feelings.

Part of letting go of the past is forgiving those who have caused you pain, so either in person, in writing, or just in your head, offer your forgiveness to those people. Thank them for what you learned during your relationship, and wish them the best in their future. Then, you can finally free yourself from those emotional chains and truly open your heart to love again.

love

3. Don’t have any expectations going in to future relationships.

Life hardly ever goes as expected, so having any anticipations about how it will unfold can lead to huge disappointments later on. No relationship will ever offer perfection, so don’t go in to relationships with preconceived ideas about how your partner will react to a certain situation or how long the relationship will last. You can never entirely predict anything, from people to the weather to what your life will be like even 5 minutes from now.

Just enjoy the ride and take life as it comes rather than wishing or demanding certain situations from life; remember, the universe will always give you what you need, even if that differs from what you want at the time.

4. Focus on loving yourself first, and you will attract others of the same vibration.

The actual first step to attracting someone who will love you is to cultivate that feeling within yourself. How can you expect others to love you if you don’t even feel that way toward yourself? We all give off a certain vibration, and others either become attracted or repelled to that energy based on their own frequency.

So, to attract those with a higher, more loving vibration, you must give off that energy yourself. You attract what you are, so keep this in mind when you feel ready to open yourself to love once again.

5. Don’t compare everyone you meet to your exes.

When you do meet a potential partner, you might feel inclined to figuratively put them beside your ex and compare every aspect of them to one another. However, this will only lead you to either harbor bitterness about your past relationship, or believe that no one can ever offer you what your ex did. Both of these ways of thinking will only lead to despair, so save yourself from the unnecessary heartache by avoiding comparison altogether.

Every person offers something unique and valuable to the world, so just accept people as they are without needing to size them up and critique every part of them. Your ex will probably have traits you desire in a future partner, but instead of fixating on that, just focus on the possibilities that the future holds. Based on your vibration, you will eventually find your way to someone who deserves you.

6. Choose to see the positive aspects of people instead of putting all your attention on the negative.

One surefire way to close yourself off to love is to believe that everyone has bad intentions with you; remember, hate and negativity contract, while love and positivity expand. After a rough breakup, you will probably go through a phase of anger toward the person, which could lead you to see the worst in everyone you know and meet. However, try to remember that other people carry their own vibration and have a personality completely different to your ex’s.

Just because you had one bad relationship, doesn’t mean that this will repeat infinitely into the future.

Smile and focus on the beauty present in all human beings, and you will attract more people set on seeing the best in their fellow man and woman, as well.


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15 Things You Should Stop Putting Yourself Through

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

A lot of people put themselves through unnecessary pain because of the many unhealthy thoughts, beliefs and behaviors they have. They are so unconscious of their unconsciousness that they blame outside forces for how unhappy they are… They want the world to stop hurting them, when in fact they themselves are hurting themselves.

We are the center of our own personal universe. The thoughts we think, the words we speak, the beliefs we hold and the things we do, they all set the tone for how people, and life in general will treat us… If we want the world to stop treating us unkindly, we have to make sure that we ourselves stop doing the things that cause us pain and suffering. We have to make sure that we ourselves stop hurting ourselves.

Here are 15 things you should stop doing to yourself, things that will help clear out your mind, your heart, your body and your life of everything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy, allowing only good things to come your way.

1. Stop postponing your happiness for the future

Happiness is a journey, not a destination. And if you can’t be happy in this moment, right here, right now, chances are that you will never be happy. Always remember that “There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have. And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special. And remember that time waits for no one. So stop waiting until you finish school, until you go back to school, until you lose ten pounds, until you gain ten pounds, until you have kids, until your kids leave the house, until you start work, until you retire, until you get married, until you get divorced, until Friday night, until Saturday morning, until you get a new car or home, until your car or home is paid off, until spring, until summer, until fall, until winter, until you are off welfare, until the first or fifteenth, until your song comes on, until you’ve had a drink, until you’ve sobered up, until you die, until you are born again, to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy.” ~ Unknown

2. Stop polluting yourself with negative thoughts

The quality of your life is in direct proportion with the quality of your thoughts.If you want your life to get better, to look better,  and to feel better, you have to stop intoxicating yourself with all kind of negative, self-defeating and toxic thoughts.

3. Stop arguing for your limitations

There are no limits to what we can be, do and have in life, expect the ones we choose to impose on ourselves. And those who continue to argue for their limitations, they will continue to create their life from a place of limitations. Because just like Richard Bach said it,

“when you argue for your limitations, sure enough they’re yours.”

4. Stop telling yourself that you’re not ENOUGH

Have you heard the saying, “Be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening”?

Well, guess what. If you continue to tell yourself the same old sad stories about you not being good enough, smart enough, young enough, valuable enough, rich enough, and so on, you will continue to act upon these toxic beliefs and you will continue to attract people and experiences in your life that will prove to you that you are right. Because guess what? Life always gives you the experiences that you yourself think, and feel, worthy of receiving. Because that’s how much life loves you.

5. Stop hanging out with the wrong crowd

Jim Rohn once said that you are the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with, and from personal experience I can tell you that that’s true. If you surround yourself with all kind of negative and toxic people, people who loooove to complain about everything and everyone, and who expect the whole world to change so that they can finally be happy, then you will start to mirror their behavior. And without you even knowing it, you will start to believe the same things that they believe, and behave in the same way that they behave.

6. Stop waiting for life to begin

This moment is your life. And if you waste this moment by waiting for life to begin, then you will waste your whole life waiting. Failing to realize that while were waiting for life to begin, your life was already unfolding.

“Waiting is a state of mind. Basically, it means that you want the future; you don’t want the present. You don’t want what you’ve got, and you want what you haven’t got. With every kind of waiting, you unconsciously create inner conflict between your here and now, where you don’t want to be, and the projected future, where you want to be. This greatly reduces the quality of your life by making you lose the present.” ~ The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

stop complaining

7. Stop complaining

If you don’t like something, change it. And if you can’t change it, change the way you look at it. Change your attitude, change your perception, but stop complaining. Because trust me, complaining won’t make things better, on the contrary, it will make them worse.

8. Stop comparing yourself to other people

Your job here on this Earth isn’t to be better than other people, but better than you used to be. Better today than you were yesterday. Your job is to be better than yourself, not better than other people.

Instead of looking to your left and to your right to see what other people are preoccupied with, and instead of wasting your precious time and energy to compare yourself, and your life, to everyone else, you might want to save that energy and channel it into something that will make you happy, and bring you peace of mind.

9. Stop dwelling on the past

Each day offers you a new chance to start all over. To leave the past behind you and start a new life. So learn to treasure this beautiful gift that life is offering you. Leave the dead bury their own dead, and move on with your life.

10. Stop seeking for love in all the wrong places

Why are you looking for love in all the wrong places when there is so much love hidden deep within you, eagerly waiting to be discovered? Find the love that lies within you. Become one with it, and then the whole world will shower you with love. Just like you always wanted.

11. Stop worrying

Leave your worries behind you, they serve you no good. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds.” ~ Philippians 4:6-7

12. Stop being ungrateful

Those who are ungrateful for what they have, they will lose the gifts that were bestowed on them by life. And when those gifts will be taken away from them, then they will realize how much they had to be grateful for. There is so much to be grateful for in this world, so much to appreciate. And the more you get into the habit of expressing your gratitude for the life you are living, and for the many wonderful things that are present in your life, the more life will give you to be thankful for.

13. Stop trying so hard to make everyone like you

If you want people to like you, stop trying so hard. Yes, you heard me. Stop trying so hard. If you want the world to rave about you, and if you want people to like you, instead of chasing and begging for their love and approval, get busy living your life in a way that will make people curious about you and your life. Get busy with creating things that you are passionate about, things that make your heart sing with joy, and if you do this, not only will people love you, but you yourself will love yourself. And that my friend, will make you very happy 🙂

14. Stop doubting yourself

Have faith in who are. Know that there is a force in you that is more powerful than anything you have ever known. Stop doubting yourself, and learn to trust this force. Learn to trust yourself, your inner wisdom, your inner power, but also the wisdom of life. Know that none of us is here by accident, none of us is flawed. We all have unique gifts and talents that are needed in this world. Who we are matters. Who you are matters.

“Be humble for you are made of earth. Be noble for you are made of stars.” ~ Serbian Proverb

15. Stop taking your sense of worth from outside of you

“Why are you so enchanted by this world, when a mine of gold lies within you?” ~ Rumi

There are things in life that we do, and things that we are. That which we are, is eternal, and that which we have, is temporary. Never look outside of you for things, people and experiences to confirm your sense of value and your worth. Never get your sense of worth from outside of you, for that will only enslave you, putting at the mercy of things, people and experiences you have little or no control over.

by Luminita D. Saviuc


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A Helpful Guide to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
—Theodore Roosevelt

I’ve struggled with it most of my life. Typically, I blame it on having a twin brother who is five inches taller with much broader shoulders. But if I was being truly honest, more likely, it is simply a character flaw hidden somewhere deep in my heart.

I’ve lived most of my life comparing myself to others. At first, it was school and sports. But as I got older, I began comparing other metrics: job title, income level, house size, and worldly successes.

I have discovered there is an infinite number of categories upon which we can compare ourselves and an almost infinite number of people to compare ourselves to. Once we begin down that road, we never find an end.

The tendency to compare ourselves to others is as human as any other emotion. Certainly I’m not alone in my experience. But it is a decision that only steals joy from our lives. And it is a habit with numerous shortcomings:

  1. Comparisons are always unfair. We typically compare the worst we know of ourselves to the best we presume about others.
  2. Comparisons, by definition, require metrics. But only a fool believes every good thing can be counted (or measured).
  3. Comparisons rob us of precious time. We each get 86,400 seconds each day. And using even one to compare yourself or your accomplishments to another is one second too many.
  4. You are too unique to compare fairly. Your gifts and talents and successes and contributions and value are entirely unique to you and your purpose in this world. They can never be properly compared to anyone else.
  5. You have nothing to gain, but much to lose. For example: your pride, your dignity, your drive, and your passion.
  6. There is no end to the possible number of comparisons. The habit can never be overcome by attaining success. There will also be something—or someone—else to focus on.
  7. Comparison puts focus on the wrong person. You can control one life—yours. But when we constantly compare ourselves to others, we waste precious energy focusing on other peoples’ lives rather than our own.
  8. Comparisons often result in resentment. Resentment towards others and towards ourselves.
  9. Comparisons deprive us of joy. They add no value, meaning, or fulfillment to our lives. They only distract from it.

Indeed, the negative effects of comparisons are wide and far-reaching. Likely, you have experienced (or are experiencing) many of them first-hand in your life as well.

How then, might we break free from this habit of comparison? Consider, embrace, and proceed forward with the following steps.

A Practical Guide to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Take note of the foolish (and harmful) nature of comparison.

Take a good look at the list above. Take notice of comparison’s harmful effects in your life. And find priority to intentionally remove it from the inside-out.

greener

Become intimately aware of your own successes.

Whether you are a writer, musician, doctor, landscaper, mother, or student, you have a unique perspective backed by unique experiences and unique gifts. You have the capacity to love, serve, and contribute. You have everything you need to accomplish good in your little section of the world. With that opportunity squarely in front of you, become intimately aware of your past successes. And find motivation in them to pursue more.

Pursue the greater things in life.

Some of the greatest treasures in this world are hidden from sight: love, humility, empathy, selflessness, generosity. Among these higher pursuits, there is no measurement. Desire them above everything else and remove yourself entirely from society’s definition of success.

Compete less. Appreciate more.

There may be times when competition is appropriate, but life is not one of them. We have all been thrown together at this exact moment on this exact planet. And the sooner we stop competing against others to “win,” the faster we can start working together to figure it out. The first and most important step in overcoming the habit of competition is to routinely appreciate and compliment the contribution of others.

Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude.

Gratitude always forces us to recognize the good things we already have in our world.

Remind yourself nobody is perfect.

While focusing on the negatives is rarely as helpful as focusing on the positives, there is important space to be found remembering that nobody is perfect and nobody is living a painless life. Triumph requires an obstacle to be overcome. And everybody is suffering through their own, whether you are close enough to know it or not.

Take a walk.

Next time you find yourself comparing yourself to others, get up and change your surroundings. Go for a walk—even if only to the other side of the room. Allow the change in your surroundings to prompt change in your thinking.

Find inspiration without comparison.

Comparing our lives with others is foolish. But finding inspiration and learning from others is entirely wise. Work hard to learn the difference.

Humbly ask questions of the people you admire or read biographies as inspiration. But if comparison is a consistent tendency in your life, notice which attitudes prompt positive change and which result in negative influence.

If you need to compare, compare with yourself.

We ought to strive to be the best possible versions of ourselves—not only for our own selves, but for the benefit and contribution we can offer to others. Work hard to take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Commit to growing a little bit each day. And learn to celebrate the little advancements you are making without comparing them to others.

With so many negative effects inherent in comparison, it is a shame we ever take part in it. But the struggle is real for most of us. Fortunately, it does not need to be. And the freedom found in comparing less is entirely worth the effort.

WRITTEN by JOSHUA BECKER