Generally, I try not to compare myself to others.

It’s easy to get envious of others who seem to be doing better than you. But often it’s an unfair comparison because you don’t get to see the whole picture.

For example, seeing your friends’ Instagram pictures of their exotic trips, or delicious food they’ve eaten could make you feel envious, and even miserable. I personally tend to be immune to these kinds of things, probably because I don’t care about materialistic things as much, but I can understand why someone would feel this way.

Going back to my original point, this kind of comparison doesn’t make much sense because it’s likely inaccurate. Essentially, what you’re doing is comparing your entire life, which is something you know, to just the highlights of someone else’s life, ignoring many things you don’t know about. Also, even if everything was known, our lives are too unique to be compared justly.

I also avoid comparing myself to someone who’s doing worse than me. I do notice when other people suffer, and when that happens, I try my best to help them. When I can’t help, I find comfort in the saying: It’s the thought that counts.

Becoming aware of someone’s misfortune could make it tempting to compare downwards and try to boost your self-esteem by focusing on your superiority. I avoid doing this, since such attempt would unquestionably backfire, making me feel horrible about myself and my values.

Life is not a zero-sum game. If I can bring a smile on someone’s face, we both end up feeling happier, even if it’s only for a moment. For me, the meaning lies in helping others, not comparing to them.

Last but not least, I don’t compare myself to others when it comes to skill (except when playing sports 😊). My bar is set by my own past performance. I’m simply trying to be a better person than I was yesterday - more skilled, more mindful and more generous, helping others do the same.