What a heavy question for the beginning of a new year.
There are those bubbly individuals who are always happy; forever optimistic and taking every experience (good; better or best as they never have any bad experiences) as an opportunity to develop. There are those passionate individuals who have already figured out their reason for living and who strive to live to their full potential. Most of the time I ask myself, how? Other times I just try and absorb their energy as they seem to blissfully add so much value to their own lives.
The more observant I become the more I try to avoid individuals who literally make me dislike life – we all know someone like this. After we’ve had a conversation with this person we feel like we have aged from pessimism. It is almost like you read the news for twenty four hours and only absorbed all the wars and diseases; not paying any attention to the good. I am not a twenty four hour optimist. I am striving to be though – looking at the up side in everything and I will happily admit that this is quite a challenge. Especially as it seems so many other people are successfully adding value to their own lives…wait a second.
What does other people’s success have to do with my own value?
I recently read a quote on someone’s facebook profile stating that “Comparison is the thief of joy.” How true. Imagine how much more we would enjoy our own lives if we stopped comparing ourselves to others? I remember when I was much much much younger listening to a conversation between my father and one of his friends. My father was asking him how his competitor (who worked across the street) was doing compared to him and my father’s friend (a successful businessman) laughed and said, “I have no idea. I don’t even know what he looks like. He could walk into my store and I would not know. How he is doing makes no difference to me.” For some reason this conversation has always stuck with me. I always thought that if I ever ran my own business this is the attitude I would want to adopt. At the time I missed the value that this attitude could have in my personal life and hopefully I can start now.
So how can we better our lives without comparing? I think it’s easier in this day and age than previously. We have so many options and opportunities hitting us on a daily basis that if we focused our energies on those we probably would not have any time to compare our lives to others. Facebook and instagram make the want to not compare even more challenging. While you may be happy for people living glamorous lives a part of you compares it to your own life and somehow, even though you may have just had a spectacular holiday or won the lottery, your life just doesn’t seem as special. So how do we fix this? Stop going on facebook or instagram? (This is where Simba in the Lion King pops in my head as he laughs boldly, and says “I laugh in the face of danger…hahaha)” – especially considering I use these apps to market my blog posts. Not the brightest idea. Maybe it’s about catching ourselves every time we feel that lack of worth creep up behind us. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s about restricting just about everyone from your timeline so all you see are news articles and fascinating videos.
If there is anything to take out of this, it’s that many of us are living a life we could be thankful for and unless you are being self-destructive, are adding value to your own life.
So for now I am sticking that quote on my door until it’s embedded in my brain and I live the life I enjoy. Oh, and I realise the value I add in my own life.