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Comparison is the thief of joy

I realize that many things in my life has changed. It’s 5 a.m. and I am writing this during Christmas.

If you’d told me that I would get up this early, during a holiday, to write, just a few years ago, I wouldn’t have believed you.

The darkness is surrounding me. I have turned on a few lights in the kitchen. I am writing about a topic close to my heart, and something I’ve struggled with most of my life.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” —Theodore Roosevelt

It might be human to keep comparing. That’s what I have told myself many times. It’s been the reason why it has still been ok to compare, even though I have realized years ago that I really shouldn’t.

I’ve compared myself to people in school, in sports, at work, and in most areas in life. 

There are many reasons why comparison is the thief of joy. But, the two reasons that keep coming back to me, are:

– comparisons are always unfair
– every good thing can’t be measured

I realized that every time I was comparing myself to others, I was saying negative things about myself. I was putting myself down. I was comparing the worst of me, and I was presuming the best of other people. 

I’m looking at myself in the mirror.  It’s not hard to find something… at the same time, I’m thinking about a man I’ve just met.

A man so passionate about helping other people. He is doing it, because he don’t want nobody else in the world to have a life similar to his. It’s a miracle that he is still alive. Think about the worst things that can happen to a human being, yes, the absolute worst things, and he has experienced every single thing you’ll come up with.

After I met him and after I had listened to the story of his life, I kept thinking about my wonderful (ordinary) life. How unfair it was to compare. And that all the amazing things he is currently doing… He is saving people from dying. He is saving people from a life in prison.  It’s still unfair.

It was like, every time I was comparing, something, I was often doing it because I wanted to feel something. I wanted to feel good about myself. And, sometimes, I wanted to feel sorry for myself.

As I let go it was a lot easier to be just me. It’s easier to focus, and to have a tangible path and just keep walking.

Comparison is the thief of joy. On the other hand, comparison is what makes you thrive.

That’s how you get ahead in sports and in business. And, it might be an important part of my new job. It’s hard to develop a city without comparing your city (and your work) to other cities. And, even though I won’t, other people will.

It might be human to keep comparing. That’s what I have told myself many times. It’s been the reason why it has still been ok to compare, even though I have realized years ago that I really shouldn’t.



6 responses to “Comparison is the thief of joy”

  1. Mahendra B Jain says:

    Comparison it not thief of joy. It’s a eye opener for knowing where you currently standing in this world. It’s a inspiration to make further progress.

  2. Kai H says:

    Never, ever stop comparing the quality of Pizza. Everything else can be eliminated, terminated, non comparinado.

    • Mahendra B Jain says:

      THE PIZZA QUALITY IS GONE ONCE YOU HAVE IT BUT OUR STANDING IN SOCIETY REMAINS TILL WE ARE DEAD YOU HAVE TO ANSWER OUR KIDS WHY HE IS NOT ABLE TO GET WHAT HE DESIRES FOR WE HAVE TO COME OUT AND FIGHT THE BATTLE OF POVERTY TILL WE ATTAIN A SATISFYING LIFE ENJOYABLE FOR ALL THE WORLD HAS TO OFFER

      • I believe that instead of comparing ourselves to others, we should be focusing solely on ourselves. That’ll keep us moving forward and be developing without thinking about what other people are saying and doing.

  3. Danny Brown says:

    Hi there mate,

    Late to the party as I took a break over Christmas, and just getting fully back into the swing of things now.

    I like this phrase – comparison is the thief of of joy – a lot. Makes perfect sense, and succinctly describes what we all feel at some stage or another. I used to beat myself up a lot – I mean, A LOT – when comparing myself to others in my field.

    Either as a marketer, blogger, writer, partner, whatever. And then I realized they’re probably doing the same, with comparisons to others that they want to emulate. And it’s a vicious circle that never ends.

    We just need to understand that comparison when done right, and for the right reasons, is when we can honestly compare. Until then, keep on keeping on. 🙂

    A belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, mate.

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