Comparison Is Not The Thief Of Joy
A 60 second mindset practice you need for bringing more joy into your week as you size up your life and progress
If your joy is reduced, negatively altered, or non existent after an observation of someone else’s success or life, comparison isn’t the thief that has stolen your joy. Your action quality may be the real bandit.
Compare is an everyday word for one of the most significant steps we find inside the best recipe for learning. Comparison is a way we all manifest observational learning, and, it is in how we use social modeling for our personal benefit. Comparing is a natural, instinctual behavior. Albert Bandura developed a social modeling theory that says people learn by watching and then doing. Along the stages of development, children learn by watching. We find it again in social skills training, athletic training, strategizing for business or war, and shopping. The problem is not when you compare. Your joy is gone because you watched, you remained sidelined and you benched yourself.
When Theodore Roosevelt first said “comparison is the thief of joy” it was well intentioned to warn against envy and discontentment. But we should take it a step further and try the mindset practice of becoming an observer. In this scenario, ask yourself a key question and objectively evaluate:
“What is it about that thing (I am comparing) that has caught my attention?”
Don’t evaluate how the other person obtained or maintains that thing. Spend your brainpower trying to identify what it is you liked about what you saw. Then…take action for yourself.