Today we ask that you stop comparing yourself to other people.
This is a very destructive habit.
You look at someone else’s life, and you feel a pang of envy, or competitiveness. Why isn’t your life more like theirs.
This is really an insane thing to do.
For you have no idea what that person’s life is truly like, even if you know them very well. You cannot know what it is to inhabit another person’s skin. You do not know the challenges they face.
And while you are fixating about this imaginary other life, you are neglecting your own.
Even worse, you are abusing yourself. You are telling yourself that you are not good enough. You are ungrateful for all that is yours, for the life that is yours. You are rejecting your own life.
It is a very unhealthy habit.
You can only be you. There is no one else you can be. If you try to imitate someone else, you only set yourself up to suffer.
Look at the animals. Every animal is unique. A cat does not wish he were a dog. A dog does not wish he were a rabbit. Beyond that, one dog does not wish he were another dog. They do not think in such terms. Animals may feel envy and competitiveness, but they do not think: “Well, if I were more like the other dog, my human would love me more.” Such thoughts do not occur to animals.
Only humans torment themselves in such ways, and they are conditioned to do so. Early on, children are taught that they should strive to imitate models of perfection. One learns about “Good Boys” and “Good Girls,” model students, star athletes, and popular kids. The process of comparison begins early, and it never ends. Such children go on to become adults who continually compare themselves to other, “more successful” adults, according to their particular models of perfection.
This is a terrible waste of energy, and a recipe for constant misery.
Cats are cats, dogs are dogs, and you are you. You can only be you. You cannot be anyone else, and no one else can be you. And that is how life is supposed to be. There is no mistake.
Your intrinsic You-ness existed before you were born into your physical body, and it will continue after your body dies.
That is how much of an individual you are. Even physical death cannot extinguish your individuality.
Nothing can extinguish your individuality, though you may try your damnedest to do so.
You may imitate people in magazines and on TV and in self-help books until the cows come home. You can try and try to perfect yourself according to some other person’s standard of perfection. You can try and try to be the Perfect Husband, the Perfect Father, the Perfect Wife, the Perfect Mother, the Perfect Executive, the Perfect Christian, the Perfect Athlete, the Perfect Artist, the Perfect Spiritualist. You can even try to be the Perfect Nonconformist. Many people do.
This is hopeless behavior. Whenever you try to be “The Perfect Anything,” you will fail. This is a law of the universe.
That is because these models are perfection are projections. Figments of the imagination. They do not exist!
It is a wonderful thing to be inspired by other people. It is a wonderful thing to learn from inspiring people.
But if anyone, including the voice in your head, ever tells you that you should be like someone else and have their life and do things their way, this is a great lie. Do not believe this.
The truly fulfilled human is just himself. All he does is just be himself. He’s not trying to play a role. He’s not trying to be like anyone else. He really does not think that way. He just does his own thing, and enjoys it. That is what the fulfilled human does.