Why do we compare, when comparison is the thief of joy? Watch this X
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In life, if we don’t know what we’re missing out on, we’ll be perfectly happy.
We can be drinking a bowl of soup, and be really happy and content, grateful that the soup’s warm and that it fills our belly.
But the moment someone sits next to us, happily drinking a bigger bowl of soup… suddenly our soup seems less appealing. It even tastes less delicious.
We’re less happy, less content, but our bowl of soup is still exactly the same as it was a moment ago - the only thing that’s different is that now, we have additional knowledge - soups come in many sizes! And with this knowledge, we are able to do a very human thing - we’re able to compare.
Knowledge is always a wonderful thing, but at the same time, we can never miss something we don’t know exists. It’s not what we have or don’t have in life that makes us unhappy - it’s the thought of what we could have. If we see our colleague getting a higher salary, our own salary seems unfair.
If we ourselves have experienced something better, then it’s harder to be satisfied with anything less than that.
It’s only because we’ve had the privilege of eating a very good chicken dish that we know that chicken can taste that good - so we’d measure every other chicken dish against that, either consciously or subconsciously.
If we can experience the most wonderful things in life whilst still having simple tastes - it’ll be so much easier to be happy. Just because we’ve had gourmet ice cream does not mean simple vanilla from the grocery store can’t be just as enjoyable an experience. If we’ve only ever tasted plain ice-cream, we would have zero complaints and think it’s the best thing in the world.
Comparison is the source of much of our misery in life. So if we can stop comparing, and just enjoy any experience that we have, then we’ll be happy, always.