As humans, we innately have the drive/want for more. It’s completely natural, but it is often the case where we constantly want something better than what we have at the time. This is comparison. We are comparing what we have, to what we don’t have. We may be comparing personalities, iPhones, cars, or even physical characteristics, as humans we naturally want what we don’t have.
Now, this is not to say that comparison cannot be useful. If you know you want the next best thing, but you don’t have enough money to buy it, comparison can then encourage you into finding better ways to save money, pick up more shifts at work, or maybe even start earning money through some side hustle. In this case, where comparison is your drive, I don’t see an issue with it.
HOWEVER, when we start comparing ourselves, that is when I believe it becomes a danger zone. When we compare ourselves, our situations or our lives, to that of someone else’s life or situation, we are effectively saying to our self that what we have is not enough, causing us to feel lesser, when really, you’d be completely content with what you have if you weren’t comparing to the better situation.
We can link this to the current COVID-19 lockdown situation too. Firstly I must mention, I feel deeply for those who are significantly disadvantaged as a result of the crisis, some losing their livelihoods, some losing loved ones, and some losing both. However if you are reading this article, you are most likely in a more fortunate position, and can relate to the coming example.
When in lockdown, it has proven to be undeniably easy to complain and whinge about the times when we had more freedom to see friends, family, and do the things we love such as going to the footy, going out for breaky, or even partying on a Saturday night.
However I want you to think of this, if your whole life to date was the same as you’ve known it whilst in lockdown, would you really be still whinging? Probably not. You don’t know what you don’t know, and if we stopped comparing our lives currently, to what they were, we’d be a lot more content with our circumstances of living.
Essentially, we are living in a similar way to the times before social media was introduced, in relation to the limited means of catching up with friends/family. I’ve seen more people curing their boredom by drawing on footpaths with chalk, people redecorating/cleaning their rooms, even some of my mates have decided to give a puzzle a go!
You see, whilst it is easy to compare your lives to pre-isolation times, it is important to try focus on what you have in the current situation, not what you wish you had or think you are entitled to have. Stop comparing the ‘iso life’ to the ‘pre-COVID’ life. Start sharpening your attention to the things you still have, such as a roof over your head, a device to be reading this article off, or your good health. You may find that you feel less resistance, and more contentment, with the current situation.