Phew! Glad they were gone! Seemed a flurry of spunky joggers had me on my toes. Not wanting to let them see my tiring, I put on my game face. Even my posture was straighter and I mustered a chirpy hello as they passed. That is until they were out of sight. Finally, my tired almost-at-the-end-of-my-jog face reappeared. Slowing down, I took a needed breather.
Why do we pay so much attention to what others are doing? We will never be equal to anyone. There will always be differences. Richer. Poorer. Prettier. Younger. Older. More successful. Skinnier. Plumper. Happier. Why would my jog be affected by other joggers? Compari-sin. That ugly beast.
Back in my traveling seminar days, one of my popular topics was Positive Stress. People attended in droves just to hear how to turn a negative – stress, into a positive. It was about how to compete productively without comparing destructively. Competition-good. Comparison-bad. Once your motives become about others, you lose.
Compari-SIN. It’s the Do Not Covet part of the Ten Commandments. Instead of just doing my thing, why is my tendency to compare how my thing compares to their thing? Houses, cars, jobs, accomplishments, money, kids, spouses. Even faith! You name it, we compare it. Thus, we are always trying to measure up and feeling worthless when we don’t.
Competition is necessary. We have to work hard to get ahead. But we must know where we are going, why we are going there, and have a plan reach that destination. Your means of measurement are your achievements, for the things you hope to accomplish. That alone is appropriate pressure. Add to that the subconscious awareness of others and we are sunk into a pit of panic, constantly comparing ourselves to others.
Stress can be good, embrace it. Evaluate your actions to determine if they are competitive or comparative. Simply being mindful of your motivations while being honest with yourself will help you become more intentional.
Competition is part of life. Comparison is a form of death. It kills our confidence of Godly purpose, personal value, and keeps us focused on others accomplishments instead of our own.
What motivates you? Do you compete or compare? It’s a great question. Today’s pick of the day.