“When I let go what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go what I have, I receive what I need.”
– Tao Te Ching
Ideally, there are three stages of any human learning,
- As kids, we see and learn.
- Next stage, we try and learn
- Finally, we do things based on our experience, and we still learn
However, we do not come out of the first stage in most cases, and we keep imitating other people even as adults, instead of leading our life based on personal experience. There is a reason for the same, and it’s mostly because of the parenting style we were raised in and the social pressure we face or allow on us.
Yes, it’s true! How many times have you bought a dress because your favourite actor wore it or because your friend or someone was wearing it and it looked good on them? Got caught?!
From our childhood, we compare ourselves with others and measure our success and strengths, based on others’ achievement. Don’t you think we do this in every step of our life, even after we become adults? Most of our parents wanted us to study engineering because either our childhood friend opted for it or their friends’ kid is doing well after opting to do it etc. At times, as I had mentioned in my earlier article, this could also be based on our parents’ experience.
We grow-up comparing ourselves with others in every step of our life, building it as a habit. How we lead our lives and what is good for us, in most cases, is decided by others. Our spending pattern, in many cases, is determined by what others around us are doing. If we see a photo on FB, of a friend and his/her family, in a luxury resort, we try to match our next trip just for a return photo on FB! We do this even if it burns a hole in our pockets, just to show that we are even. This happens in most aspects of life. One thing each one of us should understand is, FB is not the true reflection of anyone’s life.
So, first things first, beginning today, STOP comparing yourself with others! Lead a life you always wanted to lead. Do what you like, do not worry about what others think about you or your family or what you do. Great people became great because they never compare themselves to others. They did what they were good at and what they liked. Ate the food they liked! Wore the clothes they wanted, and it didn’t matter to them what others felt about it. Try this out for yourself, and you will be pleasantly surprised to see that people will actually appreciate it.
All that matters is, you are comfortable in what you are doing, and you are happy and confident that what you are doing is right and good for you. If you still want to compare, compare yourself with “yourself”, compare and improve yourself from what you were the last month, last year or any time in the past.
As the saying goes “It is better to live in your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.” – The Bhagavad Gita. Lead life for yourself and not for others. Does this mean you do not need to care about others or society? NO – We are social animals; we need to live a social life. The purpose of our life, other than reproduction, is to lead a social life and to live for each other. This doesn’t mean you need to imitate anyone. Let others lead their lifestyle, and you lead yours. It should be a healthy competitive lifestyle for collective and constructive growth instead of competition to pull the other person down.
Wishing you all a healthy and prosperous 2021. Stay safe! Stay healthy!