In today’s day and age we have the luxury of everything at our fingertips.
The simple click of a button can deliver us information, news, entertainment, food, clothes, sex and all of life’s other material pleasures pretty much instantly. And most of it with no questions asked.
There’s never been a time where there’s more things to see, more things to do and more things to get our hands on than now.
We have so many endless options sometimes we don’t even know where to start. You would think more choice means we’re all better off too.
Not necessarily so. It’s caused a paradox.
Studies have shown having too many options causes more stress, more anxiety and more desire. All of which leads to less happiness and contentment.
It also leads to less loyalty. But that’s a conversation for another time.
From the beautiful house. Flashy car. The high paying job. Fancy clothes. Perfect body. Perfect smile. The latest gadgets. The perfect relationship. Social status. The list goes on. We want it all.
Western culture drives these desires in us turning them into obsessions.
On the flip side, Buddhist’s state that our constant cravings of pleasure and the desire to have material goods are the root cause of all suffering.
According to them, they are wants that will never completely satisfy or bring fulfilment.
This leads to a never-ending cycle of chasing and inevitably an overwhelming sense of lack and suffering.
Technology, although it has its positives, feeds this conundrum.
Social media is the perfect example of it. It creates the illusion that others are happier than you, better off than you and more fulfilled than you.
Intended or not, it’s created a culture of jealously and separateness, hate and fear.
We are constantly bombarded by advertisements, images and a culture that preys on our insecurities and highlights anything and everything we don’t have.
It’s main relentless objective is to sell the idea and convince us that everything that’s bigger, faster and better will fulfil us.
Businesses promise there’s always a solution to the problems we’re facing. And if we don’t comply and jump on board with ‘their’ ideas we’ll fall behind.
They feed off our never-ending wanting and craving of things regardless of whether we actually need them or not.
They encourage consumers to have this or have that or be like this person because he or she is a model of what it looks like to have the ‘perfect life’.
With all of this going on, it’s easy to get caught up in the vicious cycle of comparing ourselves and our lives to others.
Compare and despair syndrome is so rife and it’s built on the back of our addictive desires for things we are told are important.
Mix this in with technology and shove it in our faces every day and it’s a potent mix. We then feel the need to fit in, be accepted and be loved to ultimately survive.
In an ideal scenario, sure, if you see something or someone that inspires you to go out and get what you’re after, use it to your advantage. This can be seen as a positive.
But just make sure you aren’t falling for the illusion that having it all is the answer.
And whatever you do, don’t underestimate the discontent of others. You’ll often find, it’s the people that flaunt and showcase all the things they have, are often the ones lacking the most fulfilment.
So how do we change this? How do we break free of feeling envious of what others have that we don’t?
It’s important to recognise it first.
If you feel like you’re falling into this trap of envy, once you realise it, it’s the first step. From then it’s actually quite easy to let go of.
Remember that one persons happiness or what they define as happiness is different to the next person. Just because it ‘looks’ like something is making them happy, doesn’t mean it will for you.
We all have our own unique ways and versions of what makes us happy, what brings us contentment and what we want to accomplish. Just another reason to not compare yourself to others as it’s not relative to you and never will be.
Your solution should focus more internally. The only person you ever need to compare yourself to is… yourself.
Compare yourself to the person you were 2, 5, or 10 years ago.
What have you learnt? How have you grown? Are you more content? More wiser? More stable? More peaceful?
Recognise your own achievements and focus solely on this. Learn from what’s worked and what hasn’t. This opens up future possibilities and creates room for more improvement.
A change in your perspective is what’s needed. What’s good and what’s not drives the way you feel. In a funny sort of way, nothing is ever really good or bad unless you say it is.
Simply put – just be better than yesterday.
And don’t worry about anyone else.
They’re most likely full of shit anyway.
‘’If you have a body, we can help you’’
Infinite Fitness Peninsula