Here’s a challenge for you:
Go outside and find the best possible stick.
Why aren’t you going? Perhaps because the request is ridiculous. What do I mean by “the best possible stick”? For doing what? Digging? Toasting marshmallows? Poking a weasel? A stick that’s ideal for one purpose might be useless for another. And that is why the “comparing mind” is:
If your energy and time is spent just being a little bit better than the next person, you miss out on getting to be better for you. Being better than someone else keeps the bar low and keeps you from exploring the depths of what you can be:
YOU’LL NEVER KNOW HOW AMAZING YOU CAN BE!
Last week we talked about fruit salad and not comparing the sweet vs. the tart, the colourful vs. the bland: just enjoy how every different juicy morsel brings a new surprise in every single bite, and contributes something special to the overall tasty satisfaction. Life can be sweet or tart; you may be colourful or bland: together, your inherent nature and the nurture of your thoughts will drive your future – with a few choice choices from you.
Martha Beck has a few choice words for you; and I like what blogger Tera Warner has to say:
Who cares what they say about the things you should do or say and how you should live your life?! Be inspired by the lives of others, but do not follow their path and pretend it’s your own. The most valuable thing you have is not your health, it’s not your time, it’s not your purse, your car, your fancy pants designer jeans or even your friends.
It is your self-determinism – your ability to choose the path you take in life, make your own decisions and stand for the things that you believe in. In a world where we’ve been fed a deep-fried, glitter-coated version of what Life should be, how it should work, and told to whom we should defer our power, creativity and authentic expression, it takes some serious [insert male/female sex organs here] to think for yourself! Question what you hear and stand in your truth, no matter how lonely it feels to do so sometimes!
Are You an Apple, Orange or… Bananas?
If you can’t stop comparing yourself to others, you’ve got a case of what Asian philosophers call “monkey mind”, and, honey, it will only drive you bananas.
adapted from article by Martha Beck
Our ability to rank-order things is invaluable in making choices and setting priorities. But problems arise when comparing mind is the only mode of perception we access. Every gathering, conversation, or friendship becomes a stressful contest: Will I “win” in this situation, or will someone else turn out to be prettier, smarter, richer, thinner…in a word, better?
This way of thinking is absurd, because outside the realm of human perception, the concept of better is MEANINGLESS! This makes comparing mind a setup for failure. Even if you can be the world’s best at one thing, you’ll be the world’s worst at something else, case in point:
Supermodels make pathetic sumo wrestlers.
A brilliant orator who speaks only one language
sounds like a babbling fool in another.
If you spent your life mastering all languages, you might still suck at engineering, croquet, watercolor, etc. Since comparing mind hates being less than best at anything, you lose. Always.
It seems that no matter where you are on the planet, the competitive madness was bred into your cells and reinforced in countless social interactions. But you can learn to watch for comparing mind or “monkey mind” to appear, and to notice when it starts tainting your life. Like a virus, it generally sneaks up on you unseen; what you’ll observe are its symptoms. Here are some telltale diagnostics:
Next: Is Your Mind Going Ape? (page 2)
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