• Madhura

Comparison is Thief of Joy


Welcome my morning people to Goal No 5, “Comparison is thief of joy”. Together let’s begin our journey of positivity, mindfulness with one step at a time.



Happy Moment of The Week

It has been three weeks since I started this Podcast. It was always my dream to do something like this. Something where I can share my thoughts, pour my heart. I know it has only been three weeks but these are some of the best days of life. Every morning when I take my laptop out to plan a new episode, it makes me feel fulfilled. I started this journey without any expectations, any expectations about the number of followers, number of downloads, I just wanted to have fun and explore my love for writing and speaking. So thank you guys for making it possible, giving me motivation to continue with all your lovely comments. I feel now we have got a nice rhythm. At some level, I feel the connection with you all. I love how you share your journey to follow the action items, your happy moments of the week. It gives me immense pleasure to give you the tools to make your life journey beautiful.

That brings me to my happy moment of the week. I am not a runner. I love doing all kinds of exercise. I also did a couple of 5K runs because my friend insisted on. But I am not sure if I enjoyed it. But from the last few days, I don’t know why I wanted to start running. I was too nervous to start. Then one Saturday morning, my son came to me and said “I will come with you, we can just run around our community” Reluctantly, I said yes. We went for a run. After the first few minutes, we both were a little bit tired but he started cheering for me and we kept going. We both wanted to stop at some point but we kept each other going. We ran only 1 mile and we did take around 12 minutes. Those who are runners amongst listeners will surely think that is not a great timing. But you know what, it was the very first time that I actually enjoyed running partly because of my sweet company. But nonetheless we ran for a mile without stopping. What’s more interesting is we have been running since everyday, still only 1 mile, still taking 11-12 minutes. But I love our time together. I love the cool morning breeze. I love the way it makes me feel. I am still not a great runner. But I don’t want to compare. It brings me so much joy that everyday I look forward to my daily dose of mile run with my son.  This was my highlight of the week.  Now, it’s your turn my friends? Reading all your lovely comments and your joyful moments bring so much joy to me. So keep them coming as usual. 


So let’s take a moment and think about the one thing that brought you happiness, a cheer on your face. It can be the smallest thing but if it made you feel good about you, about your life then just close your eyes and live through it again just for a moment.


I am extremely grateful that you take time from your busy schedule to think and write about your joyful moment. 


I think today's topic is extremely important and it has been too long that we all at some point in our life have fallen for this negative quality and it is time to end it once and for all. 


Today’s topic is “ Comparison is the thief of joy”. When you are born, you are truly free from all these comparison games.  Have you ever seen a baby compare itself with another baby? They are happy and content. My little girl loves to look into the mirror. She loves herself unconditionally. In her eyes, she is the most beautiful girl in the whole world. Every time I catch her looking into the mirror with those bright and wide eyes, I always hope that she has this self love, this confidence and unwithered contentment for her entire life. Let the spark in her eyes be there forever. I really want her to love herself the way she is without comparing herself to anyone else. 

We were also like that, but do you even remember? When did we start comparing ourselves with someone else in every aspect of our life? Comparison robs us of precious time. I want you all to stop this and be content with yourself. I want you to help you all to appreciate yourself the way you are. Friends, let’s start our journey towards a more content way of living.


Step 1: Be aware that you are comparing.

They say, know your enemy. Be aware of your surroundings. You have to notice the triggers that make you feel inferior. Is there a particular situation that always makes you feel so bad about yourself that you start comparing? Do you start comparing yourself when you hear about someone’s achievement? Notice your triggers first.  Write down who and what you frequently compare yourself to. Be honest with yourself. This is for you. I am not asking you to show it to anybody. This is just you being extremely honest about your own thoughts. Once you write it down on paper, it becomes extremely real. I am very sure that once you write it on paper you will notice how it affects you negatively. You will feel how it is really not worth it. 


Step 2 : Practice your self worth.

How many of you watch Grey’s anatomy? I binged watched it multiple times in the past. Though Derek and Cristina remain my most favorite characters in the show. I am in love with the simple and powerful maneuver of Amelia Shepherd. She surprised me with her life wisdom. She stands in a superhero pose before the complex surgery. She explains her action with a sense of confidence in her voice. “I’m being a superhero. There’s a scientific study that shows that if you stand like this in superhero pose for just five minutes before a job interview or a big presentation or a really hard task, you will not only feel more confident, you will perform immeasurably better.”

I was too intrigued by her action and speech. I decided to read about it. It turns out there is an actual study done in Harvard that backs her theory. It says that if you stand in superhero pose for five minutes before a hard task you will perform better. I thought maybe I can try it. I started trying this pose everyday in the morning. It boosted my confidence to tackle the day. It made me feel good about myself. I started focusing on the good in me. All that outside chaos turned into a calm and confident thought in me. 

This is one strategy to focus on your strength instead of others. You are too unique to compare fairly. You have your own strengths, your own plus points. Notice them. Explore them. No two people are like each other. If you are comparing yourself to someone who is an amazing cook. Really look within you and think, do I really enjoy cooking that much? Will it bring me joy everyday if I keep on comparing? There is a difference between inspiration and comparison. If you are inspired by someone’s cooking skill, by all means try and learn. But it is just for the sake of comparison, don’t do it. 


Step 3 : Do one thing everyday that makes you feel great about yourself. 

We compare because we feel there is no good in me. There is someone out there, living a perfect life according to you. They might have their own struggles and you might not even be aware of it. But from your perspective, they have the perfect life and you want it for you. But why can’t we count our blessings? We all have something good in us. We just have to look for it, find it. Gratitude is the biggest change that you have to bring in you to move away from this comparison feeling. Be grateful for what you have. Be grateful everyday that you are alive. I have read somewhere that gratitude awakens wisdom and compassion. We have been given so much by life. We should be grateful for every breath that we take. Try looking at your gifts with gratitude and you will not even think about comparing yourself with someone else. Feel great every day. Find one thing that makes you feel absolutely amazing about yourself and do it regularly. If working out makes you feel great, do it every day, no matter what. 

If you feel good inside, it will reflect in all your choices. The good in you won’t let you make a choice that brings you down with the game of comparison.


Step 4 : Appreciate instead of Compare. 

As I said before, inspiration and comparison tell totally different stories. If your friend is really good at organizing her home, keeping it neat and tidy all the time  and you find yourself comparing with her most of the time. If it makes you feel less worthy because you can not keep the house as neat as her. Instead of constant comparison, take inspiration from her, try to learn that skill. But what is even more important is to tell her without any hesitation that you think she is an amazing homemaker. Appreciate her, let her know how you admire  her qualities. Once you start appreciating someone, it is very hard to indulge in negative emotions about the same person. Don’t knock others down. We all can grow together. Life is too beautiful and precious to waste on these petty fights. We all have seen the tiny bright lilies flourishing near the bright and big sunflowers in the same meadow. Do they compare with each other? Do we compare the beauty of sunrise and sunset?  They both are beautiful in their own unique way. Take a moment, pause for a second from your busy life, have a look around. You will find an amazing sense of harmony in everything in nature. We just have to appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of each small thing. You are also unique in your own way. There is no other person just like you so appreciate it.  Friends, it is very easy to get tied up in negative emotions like comparison but it will never bring you joy. Today, let’s do one thing, call the one person you appreciate and tell them how good they are. It is very easy , don’t overthink , don’t hesitate. You will make a lifetime friendship and get rid of negativity once and for all. 


Step 5: Be okay with imperfection. 

Do you see a flower with each and every petal exactly the same size? Have you seen a tree with branches perfectly grown in perfect shape without any bend? Have you seen waves making the exact same noise coming towards the beach at the exact same frequency? No right, then do we expect us to be exactly the same as one another? Why do we expect us to be perfect all the time? All babies grow at their own speed. Why do we still ask a new mom if her baby started sitting since it is 6 month old now? Why do we ask an already worried mom why can’t her baby talk even if he is 1? All babies eventually get a set of all teeth. All of them walk, talk and still we see comparing those babies in our head. Don’t you think we should just enjoy each moment with those tiny ones?  Is it that necessary? 

When you look into that mirror, can you say I just love myself the way I am ? Or do you always think that I would have loved me more if I was a few pounds lighter, a few inches taller? Why is there always a sense of inferiority? Why do we look at our imperfections first? If you don’t love yourself the way you are right now, no matter how thin,tall you get you will always find some imperfection that will keep you from loving yourself. Please it is time to embrace our imperfections. These imperfections make you, you, your unique you. There is dialog in one of the famous bollywood movies “Main apani favourite hun” which means I am my most favorite person. I love this dialog so much. Love yourself so much that you won’t feel the need to compare yourself with someone else.  Every minute you waste wishing you had someone else’s life is the minute you are wasting yours. So my friend, promise me something today. You will become your best friend and appreciate your friends so much that there is no place for envy and comparison.


Recap

On this note, let’s quickly recap what we discussed today. We are going to take a journey of self love and compassion to end the comparison trap and be happy. The steps that we are going to follow are

Step 1: Be aware that you are comparing.

Step 2 : Practice your self worth.

Step 3 : Do one thing everyday that makes you feel great about yourself. 

Step 4 : Appreciate instead of Compare. 

Step 5: Be okay with imperfection.


This week our action plan is finding one thing that brings you joy and do it every morning immediately after waking up. Try the super hero pose and tell me if you find any difference in your mindset. You are also going to notice and figure out your triggers for the comparison. And lastly call a friend and tell them how much you appreciate their certain quality. I am counting on you, my friends. You are such lovely people with an amazing heart. You all are so worth it.

Always remember, a flower never compares itself  to the one next to it. Don’t compare your life to others. There is no comparison between the sun and the moon.



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