Dear Younger Me,
If there is one thing I’d advise you to avoid in life, it is comparing yourself to other people.
As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy,” and yet it’s such an easy trap to fall into. It’s easy to look at other people and try to gauge how you measure up, whether that’s in terms of beauty, intelligence, talent or popularity. It’s easy to base your sense of worth on how you feel you are doing compared to other people, but this is not the path to happiness.
You’ve seen for yourself that it’s not a stable foundation to build on. Over the last few years you’ve put a huge amount of effort into your music, but even when you have succeeded the joy has never lasted, because it’s been a constant battle to stay on top. If you continue like this, it will take away your joy.
The truth is, we are not meant to be like anyone else.
Paul writes, “We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10 NLT)
A masterpiece is a unique, one-of-a-kind creation. We were never meant to be carbon copies of each other.
Concentrate on being who God has made you to be, and cheer others on in who God has made them to be. You’ll be much better for it.
God has plans for you and they are not the same plans he has for someone else. Focus on him, rather than on others, and find the right path for you.
I’m not saying any of this is going to be easy. There will be times when you see things in others’ lives that you deeply desire for yourself, and you’ll wonder why God’s plan for you is different. You won’t always get to understand, so you’ll have to learn to trust.
One thing that will help you with this is cultivating gratitude. When you stop and think about it you have a lot to be thankful for. I’m sure there are plenty of people in the world who would want what you have, so learn to be grateful.
Find a notebook, and take time each evening to jot down two or three things you are grateful for. They can be big or small, and they can be ordinary or extraordinary. Just learn to be thankful for all you have, and avoid comparison at all costs. It will lead to a much happier life.
This post is part of “Dear Younger Me…” – a series for Write 31 Days in October 2019. Each day I am basing my writing on the one-word prompt provided. Today the prompt is “avoid.” You can find an introduction to the series and an index of all the posts here, and you can find out more about the challenge and check out other people’s series here.