I don’t know about you. I think it’s almost a national pass time to focus on looking up and comparing ourselves to someone who has a bigger house, more luxurious car, or more skills etc… This is especially true for us over-achievers who are trained to look for where we are still lacking – what is it that we are still not good at?
We are therefore trained to be unhappy as we will never be good enough compared with someone who seems to have more (insert all the ways we can measure). America, being one of the richest country in the world, is only ranked #13 in happiness. New York city is the #1 most unhappy city in the US. Can you believe it?
I can. Why? the more we achieve, the more we see where we lack and therefore feel like we are still not there. Newsflash, with this line of thinking, we will never get THERE, wherever there is. There is always going to be someone who make more, who look thinner, who is younger and seems more accomplished.
Happiness is about stopping all comparisons that don’t serve us. It’s instead about
- Being grateful – appreciate and be thankful for the things we already have (skills, health, friendship, family, education, etc.)
- Look down vs up – there are so many ways we can be worse off than where we are right now. There is how this quote serves as a simple reminder – “Your situation is someone else’s dream.”
This can be true no matter what your situation is. For example
- You didn’t get promoted – How can this be someone’s dream? At least you had a chance for promotion. You are probably learning new skills. Those who are unemployed today only wish they can be in a job, let alone be promoted.
- You got laid off – how can this be someone’s dream? Well, 26% of the world’s adult population is illiterate. The fact you had a job means you are probably educated and skilled. If you can find one job, then you can find another. Over 260MM children cannot go to school around the world. You probably have a college degree.
- You got diagnosed with Cancer – my dear friend is in this situation today – How can this be someone’s dream? Well, we have access to the best health care in the world. She has the best chance to recover to full health. This year, 36MM people are projected to die of hunger. Every 5 second, a child under 5 is dying of hunger. It is insane the world we live in.
I can go on and on, but I think you get the point. We often have narrow perspectives of our situations. We often forget truly how blessed and lucky we are. The fact you are reading this, means you have internet. As of Dec 31, 2017, 3.6 Billion people in the world still don’t have access to Internet.
It’s natural not wanting to be in any of the above situations I described, but it’s also important to remember there are worse things in life than some of the bumps we may go through right now. Happiness and what action we take next depends completely on our perspective. Whatever is happening to you right now is happening regardless. It is up to you to decide how you want to interpret it. Why not choose to motivate yourself with a positive perspective on your situation. Ask yourself
- What’s great about the situation I am in?
- What could have been worse than where I am now?
- How can my situation be someone’s dream?
- How can I best move on from here?
- What did I learn?
You cannot change anything that has already happened. What you do have control over is your action and your attitude toward it.
- Choose to be gentle with yourself
- Choose to be compassionate with yourself
- Choose to inspire yourself
- Choose to contribute to this world.
At the end of day, success is not measured by the size of your bank account but by the positive impact you make to this world. When you remember to be grateful, you will also remember to give back to the world. That is ultimately what will help you be happy.
Your comment: What situation are you right now? Can you change your perspective on it and empower yourself in the process? I look forward to your comments
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