How To Not Compare To Others

We are constantly comparing to others, mostly with people we know or around us. 

It’s human nature. It’s in our genes, something developed 200,000+ years ago but we are still carrying today. 

We are social creatures, knowing what others are doing is good for our survival when we were hunter-gatherers. 

But in this modern world we are living in, comparing has become impossible and more importantly, useless. 

It’s beyond comparison. 

Infinite opportunities today created gaps so big that’s just beyond comparison. 

Back in ancient times, we lived in small tribes with no more than say, 200 people (all the people one knows for the whole life), had only a handful of “jobs”, and everyone is basically living the same life. 

Not today. 

To see this clearly, let’s put all people today onto this Living Condition Spectrum


The minimal starting point is just being alive, all the way to infinite wealth or power.


Suppose you were born at the left orange dot, and get to the right orange dot when you die, this is your whole life, it’s significant progress. 

But there are still millions of people that are richer and more famous TODAY than you at your end of life. Everywhere you go, there are people like this nearby.

So, what’s the point of even comparing? 

You are comparing to the wrong person.

You’ll say, I don’t really care about people far better or worse than me, but only people I know or people who fall into the same range as me. 

Well, no matter how well you think you know a person, you don’t. The majority of your lives are actually very different. 

What you can see of others’ life is just the tip of the iceberg, it’s these three things that you can’t see that determines people’s living condition: 

Gene. Upbringing. Luck.

Gene is born with, you don’t know how your friends’ parents really raised him, and you don’t know what good or bad luck will happen to both of you. 

So no matter how similar it seems, no one is actually in “your range”, you are comparing to the wrong person. 

Just because you are accidentally born into the same place, or went to the same place, doesn’t mean you are going to end up in the same place. 

No need to compare.

More importantly, if the goal of life is to be happy, then from a happiness perspective, no one is happier than another, no matter how rich or powerful he is. This is the biggest fairness in life: Happiness Fairness.

Is Elon Musk necessarily happier than your neighbor? 

Also, have you ever even thought about why you are comparing yourself with that person? What benefit are you trying to get from this comparison? 

Forget about others. What do you want from YOUR life? What’s YOUR goal? 

So what to do?

Learn from others, praise their achievements, but don’t compare with them. 

Set your own goal, make your own progress, and compare with your own self. 

This will lead you to your own happiness.

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