The Deadly Sport of Comparison
“Is there more life in an elephant than in a flea? More beauty in a rose than in a sequoia?” Ernest Holmes, Living the Science of Mind
This world needs more artists, more people who live in their own truth and beauty, who are able to express their own gifts, their own vision, and their own potential. So many people, myself included, set off on a new a career or life path with high intentions for a life that matches and reflects who they are. In high confidence, they step down that path and then… something happens. Their friend has a new baby, a neighbor gets a new car, a relative buys a new house, and boom, there go all their good intentions.
In comparing themselves to others we suddenly fall from a state of vision and high potential to withering lumps of pure despair. “Where is my life going? Why am I struggling so hard?” we rail. But life is often not linear or rational. We each have different arcs in time. Like differing gestation periods among animal species, our time is not yet ripe. Things are still stirring inside of us. If we are to bring our gifts into being, we cannot give up. We must focus on our unique vision and refused to be swayed or thrown off our path by the early, worldly successes of others. All in its own good time.
“We tell ourselves stories in order to live,” says the writer, Joan Didion. What story are we telling when we compare ourselves to others? It is vital to the success of our unique process to feed ourselves with thoughts of our own vision, to feel it, to know it, to imagine it. This is the power of thought that will help us change our lives. When we say that our friends are succeeding while we have nothing, we negate our vision and fall from the grace. We must carry on in faith while the evidence comes in.
Focus on the vision. While your dreams are yet in formation, believe in yourself. Comparing yourself to others is as deadly as a high-wire artist suddenly focusing on the cold, hard ground.