“Do not compare yourself with others or you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.” says the poem prayer Desiderata. But we do it all the time. Comparing ourselves to others gives us a little internal status check whenever we do it, but the results can leave us feeling, well, vain or bitter.
I suspect that, since becoming adults, we don’t get the “atta girl”s or “atta boy”s like we used to as children when we accomplished something, so we do it ourselves. But it works both ways; our internal critic stands right beside our internal cheerleader and can quickly add to our thoughts areas in which we are deficient. There will always be greater and lesser persons. We are not on the same journey, although we may be taking the same path.
Financially speaking, you have so many areas in which to compare yourself. That is probably why status symbols sell; we want the world to know that we have something that cost a lot of money and we got it because we are __________(fill in the blank: smart, beautiful, handsome, wealthy, lucky, hard working). I tell you – not that you need telling, though – there is someone more smart, more beautiful, more wealthy, more lucky, more hard working. It’s never ending. And it works in the other way; sometimes people may believe that the wealthy got their wealth in easy or unethical ways because it helps the person make peace with their (illusion of) deficiency. (“He has money because he’s lucky.” or “They have money because they’re greedy.”).
Make peace with yourself, love yourself, forgive yourself, accept yourself for the amazing person you are. Use your financial resources to live your authentic life; one that gives joy and comfort to you and those in your life. And stop comparing yourself with others!
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