No Comparison

By Shani Petroff

I know someone who joined Weight Watchers and reached goal within months.

Several people I’ve met have books on The New York Times best-seller list, while others had their stories turned into movies and TV shows.

Most of my friends are married with children.

Old classmates are living in giant houses with big backyards.

It is so easy to compare our lives and achievements to those of others—to see what they have and wish we had it, too.

I’ve done it, and sometimes (even though I don’t mean to), I still do. That list up top has all the things I’d love. But here’s what I found. Comparing my life to others doesn’t do me any good. It doesn’t make me happy or magically grant my wishes.

Dreams and goals are great, but jealousy, comparisons, and envy just stand in the way.

No two journeys are identical. It’s like that quote “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” We all have our own paths. We all have our own successes, hurdles, and goals.

Even those people who seem like they have it all, have their own issues. You never truly know what’s going on in someone else’s life.

So instead of comparing, I’m celebrating. Celebrating the success of others and wishing them only the best. I’m a huge believer in putting out into the world what you want to receive back, and when it comes to kindness and well wishes, the more the better. I’m also celebrating all that I’ve achieved and all that I have to look forward to.

I might not have hit goal yet, but I haven’t given up. I’m taking it one week, one day, one snack at a time. I’ve learned new skills, I’ve become healthier, and I know I’m going to get there. And instead of comparing myself to others, I’m using those pictures and stories of people who reached goal as inspiration to help me do it, too. In fact, those posts are a great boost on days I’m feeling down.

My books may not have reached the best-seller list yet, but my dream of getting published came true. I’m doing something I love, and I’m keeping at it.

I’m not married with kids, but I’ve had great experiences, avoided some bad ones, am dating a wonderful guy, and am looking forward to the possibilities and adventures life will take me on.

And, sure, I don’t have a house or a backyard, but I live in Manhattan, one of the greatest cities in the world. The park is my yard, with the city right at my fingertips.

There are endless experiences to be had. Not everything is in our control, but some of it is—including our attitudes and the choices we make. So, as we move further into the new year, I’m focusing on being the best me I can be.

What are some of your favorite achievements? You can find me on Connect @shani!

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