We all have a bad habit: we compare ourselves with others. Here we will see what happens when we do this, why nowadays it’s worse than ever to do this, and what we can do to overcome this habit.
Watch my video on this topic here.
Renowned psychologist Jordan Peterson explains that when we compare ourselves with others, two things can happen.
If we find that the other is “worse,” then the brain releases serotonin, the chemical of happiness. We are happy to see that we are superior.
Better yet, a good flow of serotonin in the blood leaves you with feelings of confidence and control over your life.
But if we find that the other is “better”, the opposite happens! The brain restricts the flow of serotonin, and you feel insecure and without control over your life. You experience uncertainty and think that everything is getting chaotic.
The problem is exacerbated by the digital world we live in. You are guaranteed to see people who seem superior to you, in anything. Thanks to the Internet, it’s impossible for you not to see someone with more talent, money, beauty, presence, strength, intelligence, etc. Thus, you’re constantly seeing “superior” people! And with this we live with a sense of insecurity and lack of control over our destiny.
All of this is very primal. And, of course, very crazy. No one is better than anyone. We are all eternal souls in transcendental equality. But all this happens very quickly, animal-like and unconsciously.
This is one of those mental processes that is hidden from our attention. But we can, by the use of our intelligence, bring it to our attention and “hack it”. We can access the options menu on this app and change it to make it work for us.
After all, comparison is helpful as it helps us seek improvement. When there is comparison we can see where we can improve. So how can we avoid the above mentioned painful result of comparison, and at the same time not lose the gain that comes with it?
The key is to compare yourself to who you were yesterday. See how you’ve improved over the previous day. This is an essential part of “self-observation,” the process of “looking inside,” which is the first step towards a better life. You begin to track your performance to pursue self-improvement and self-realization.
In short, success takes place on 3 levels: 1) being in mindfulness 2) being true to yourself (living your dharma) and 3) being devoted (in bhakti). We can, every day, be a little better in these 3 areas, and with that experience enormous well-being.
In the book, “The 3T Path” (http://3tpath.com/books/), you’ll learn how you can be the best version of yourself, unleashing your full mental, emotional and spiritual potential and everyday working on being just a little better.
Look what they’re saying about The 3T Path book: “Giridhari Das’ The 3T Path expertly bridges ancient yoga traditions and contemporary Western society. Giridhari makes philosophical ideas accessible to both curious beginners and experienced practitioners and gives us clear, practical directions on how we can apply yoga practices and principles to our everyday lives.” – Dr. Carl Herzig, Professor of English, St. Ambrose University