Why do we bother comparing ourselves to other people?
I'm sure you've gotten onto Facebook and looked up some of those people you went to high school or college with. You've checked out their photos, their relationship statuses, their general information. And what have you gained from it?
In some cases, you've probably looked at your old friends and acquaintances and thought, "At least I'm better off than them."
I know, you don't want to admit that you've thought that, but believe it or not, you have. Don't feel too guilty about it. No one likes to admit that they've thought of other people in terms of making themselves feel better. Because then you're no better than the bullies that pushed you around on the playground during recess.
But I'd be willing to bet that there are a lot of times when you look at those profiles and think, "Man, I could've done so much more with my life."
Maybe you don't. Maybe you're one of those people who is completely content with where you find yourself now. Maybe I'm in the minority of people who had different plans while they were working on that college education. Nothing against the banking industry, but I sure didn't see myself as a full-time teller with no aspirations for advancement within the company that employs me.
But we do it all the time. Careers and relationships aside, we're constantly looking at others and comparing ourselves to their position in life. And really, that comparison is just a polite word for judgment. We're either doing it by looking down on others, simply to feel better about ourselves, or we're looking at another's success, chipping away at our own self-worth.
Am I off base here? Look, I'm not saying that I'm unhappy with my place in life. But I won't say I'm happy with it either. Really, I go into work every day, to a job that I don't really enjoy. I don't see myself working at the bank in five years. At least, I don't want to see myself working at the bank in five years.
Maybe what it comes down to is how others may see me. When others look at my life, what are they comparing it to? Homecoming is coming up next month at the old college and I'm really excited about driving up there. Will the people that I haven't seen in years look at me and think I've done all right for myself? Will they look at me and see wasted potential? Or will they just look and see a guy who sometimes lacks self-confidence and then writes about it on his blog?