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Not comparing oneself to others

Hello guys,

it's a topic that don't get to often talked about but that is crucial I believe. In a recent post I asked for some feed-back on my career. This made me realize that what is very difficult when making choices is:

  1. Not comparing oneself to other people
  2. Not caring about (what we think) people think

The first one is a challenge as we are wired to compare ourselves to our peers. It can be a source of motivation as well when we emulate someone. It can also make us choices to raise our status instead of going for our happiness (prioritzing being special/above vs being happy). Of course raising our status is helpful in most cases. However, like anything in life it can be a trap. Being miserable at a higher power job is not worth it I believe. So it's good to be able to realize when we compare ourselves to others and make a choice: do I want to follow/compete or not?

The second one is tricky. As we learn here, a lot of our social success depends on what other people think of us: a promotion, a date, etc. So we learn here to take it into account. I think it's very important as the self-development industry would like to have us not to care at all what other people think (social freedom). However, as noted here on TPM, it is counterproductive. It is a balance. It is about making choices that empower us and please people around us. However, when prioritizing I think we should prioritize what WE think. This goes back to enlightened self-interest.

I don't have a definite answer as this is too complex and fluid to be summarized. Some principles I'm thinking about:

  1. Make our values clear
  2. Prioritize our own values (Career advancement or family?)
  3. Prioritize our own opinion over other people's

It might sound simple. However our egos get triggered when we see people we don't like succeed more than we do or when we want to prove someone wrong.

The wise man or woman is able to detach him/herself from those thoughts and make an enlightened choice.

So I guess this is all about our own self-conditioning. Our own trappings. We cannot have everything so we must prioritize. Will we have the courage to prioritize and act on what matters the most to US?

I think it could be a challenge.

 

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Lucio Buffalmano
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