Comparison is the thief of joy.
A quote attributed to Theodore Roosevelt that is still relevant today if not at its peak of relevancy. We are no longer merely competing and comparing ourselves against our colleagues and our next-door neighbour with their impeccable lawn: we are now comparing ourselves against just about everybody. For the good part of the day, we stare at walls of social media feeds full of people all showcasing the best versions of themselves.
It’s hard to feel anything other than miserable when you’re down to your last tenner while Emily is posting about her new BMW, the jammy bastard. You no longer associate with Emily, and would avoid her in Tesco, but you’re still intimidated and left feeling run down by her personal achievement. But it’s as exhausting as it is relentless and never-ending. You can’t browse Instagram on your lunchbreak at the entry-level job you seem to be stuck in, without someone celebrating a promotion or checking in at the airport as they embark on yet another holiday. You can’t remember the last time you went on holiday. What you would kill to be taking a smug hot-dog-leg photo in a hot country. Frustrated and back to work, you know you should sign out and focus something else, like your job, but instead you post filtered sunsets and inspirational quotes in pretty fonts. You make a point of broadcasting that you go to the gym or do yoga, leaving out that it took longer to take a downward-dog-selfie than it did to complete the Youtube tutorial. You tell the world that you’re hashtag blessed when you’re hashtag depressed.
The world is online and everyone is our neighbour. Our funerals will be live-streamed, and our final wish will be for HD brows and a flower crown for the open casket. Its a ridiculous image, but what’s more ridiculous is that no one will care. We don’t scrutinise each other, but ourselves. We’re all far too busy being wrapped up in our own shortcomings and insecurities. Even Emily with her BMW is comparing herself to someone with something better.
It’s time to take control of our joy. We can let comparisons consume us and embrace misery, or we can start to accept who we are, find inner peace and try to be happy with what we have. Besides, finding inner peace is totally viral-post worthy.