Your school mate does better than you in Science in Primary school.
Your friend does better than you in Math, someone else does better than you in English.
Someone runs faster than you, etc etc. The list goes on.
Then you proceed to secondary school, and the cycle is the same. Someone is better in Physics, Chemistry, Literature, etc.
Then comes Junior College or Polytechnic, then University.
It's so easy for parents to say, so and so did this, and you did not. How come he's better than you?
Or so and so got this for his Physics, why didn't you get better?
So I wonder... IF parents never compared their children with other kids, would kids grow up comparing with each other when they become adults? I think the answer is still yes. Cos to be jealous is to be human.
So what system are we stuck in? Well, it's simple. A quantitative comparison system.
People compare what is easy to compare.
Grades are easy to compare when in school. It's either a A, B, C or 98 marks vs 80 marks.
Speed and score are easy to compare when it comes to sports.
And when you grow up, the next easiest thing to compare is?
MONEY. What's left to compare? The only thing comparable at adult years is how successful you are.
The only problem is success is hard to compare and hard to define. So people take the easy way out and just associate money with success.
So it becomes a straight out comparison.
He stays in a bigger house than me, but drives a smaller car.
My wife carries a Dior bag, his wife only carries LV.
It's easier when it's quantitative. Cos it can be counted.
He has 2 cars. I have 1.
They have 2 Toyotas, I have 1 BMW.
So what's the point?
Ok so you got a bigger house. Congratulations. Are you happier? The answer is YES.
I have a smaller car. Am I feeling less happy? The answer is YES, for most people.
It's the same as the situation when:
1) You earn SGD100,000 per year and your neighbour earns SGD50,000 per year
2) You earn SGD100,000 per year and your neighbour earns SGD500,000 per year
For most people, they would feel unhappy, dissatisfied, unsuccessful if they are in situation 2.
When the absolute amount they have is the same. It's sad, that people aren't able to find happiness with themselves but instead have to look towards others to derive success and satisfaction.
But that's the point right? Cos no one knows what success really is. There is no definition of success. So everything becomes relative. As long as most things you are better than someone else, you are supposed to be more successful than the other party.
Then how do we compare relationships?
Maybe I don't quarrel with my wife. And the other guy sleeps in separate rooms from his wife. No one knows what happens behind closed doors.
What is that person has 2 heart bypass surgeries and I am healthy?
How do we compare that? Do we have enough information to compare that?
It becomes sad when I realize that people get happiness out of someone else's loss/lack of success.
There is someone better, there is always someone worse off. Most of the time, the guy on top is happier cos he is on top. But hey, if there isn't a guy at the bottom, then the guy on top won't be happy. Meaning, he's happy that the guy is at the bottom. This mentality sucks.
I know people who get incentivized to buy stuff when the people around them buy stuff.
Like their colleague changed a new car. And they go. Oh my I think I wanna change car too. And another colleague changes car again, and they are heavily pressured to see new cars.
Similarly, there are ladies who compare their latest branded buys after bonus season. Someone brings in an LV, Gucci, Prada, and they look at each other with disapproval when someone brings in a Coach.
So where do we go from here.
Well, it's easier said than done. Cos to compare or be jealous is human nature.
Simply put. We have to think about ourselves and be contented with what we have.
I am happy that I have a home to stay and food to eat.
I can even go out and eat good food on weekends.
I have a car.
I have a wife.
I am healthy.
Once I put statements of things which I have and not compare against others. It is very apparent that my life is ok. I don't think, could things be better. Yes. If I had more money, I'm sure I'd be happier. But I don't compare it with others. Cos when you compare, there's no end to it. When you get 1 million dollars, you will see someone else with 2 million dollars. When you buy a Mercedes, you will see someone with a Bentley.
So what is the moral of today's post. Well, stop comparing. You'll be happier. Look at the stuff around you and be grateful of what you have. You don't have to settle and get comfortable. You can keep earning more money. But don't compare it. Like yay, I have SGD100,000 and next year, yay, I now have SGD200,000. Be happy that you have whatever amount.
So, stop comparing. I've found that it improved my life and I hope it will improve your life too.