Whether it’s money, possessions, body type, career, status, fame or fortune, most of us find ourselves doing it almost everyday – comparing ourselves to others.
We see someone else with more or better X, or Y than us, and we feel less of a person because compared to them, we don’t stack up.
It’s something that we don’t usually think of as a ‘toxic habit’, but it fits all the definitions. It’s something that you do continuously, usually without thinking, and is bad for you.
Why? Because while we’re busy looking at how much better someone else has done, we’re not seeing our own accomplishments. We forget to be content with what we already have. It’s one of the most poisonous things you can do to yourself.
Living a minimalist lifestyle isn’t just about decluttering your house, or how to roll your clothes up efficiently so that you can backpack around the world, it’s about so much more than that.
It’s a way of living a life where you are happy with what you have. A big part of this minimalist philosophy is to try to not compare yourself to other people’s measure of success, and find a way to live that means you are happy.
I emphasise try because nobody is perfect. Sometimes we just can’t help ourselves, and sometimes comparing ourselves to people who we admire might help us become better people.
Seeing good traits in others and aspiring to be more like them, such as being more honest, or more adventurous, or having a healthier lifestyle is fine. It’s comparing material possessions that is the most toxic, because this is the universal truth:
There will always be someone with more than you.
Even the richest person on Earth lacks something you have. Always reaching out for more stuff that is ultimately meaningless will only lead to constant dissatisfaction. You will never have enough. So stop comparing your life to other people’s, and start living your own.
- Digital House Burning – A Lesson in Letting Go
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