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Never Compare And You'll Always Be Happy

By Bill Lee-Emery

"Never compare and you'll always be happy suggests the old adage. While there is some truth in this statement, we're not likely to take much notice. We're always comparing. No big deal, but how often do we do it in a useful way? Women's magazines are constantly encouraging comparison (with a view to you purchasing something) - usually to an "elite group of models. We often look at the world's "best (and someone who has dedicated their life for a single purpose) and then we compare ourselves less favorably and harshly. Perhaps we have other things to do in our lives too!

What chance does the average person have against such odds? It seems the advertising world has human nature on its side. However there is a way that you can use the art of comparison to your benefit and make life easier.

Consider these scenarios

  1. You're going for a walk and all of a sudden you get caught in a shower without a umbrella.

  2. You lose your wallet with $100 in it.

  3. You were looking forward to a quiet day to yourself and some rowdy friends drop in for the afternoon.

In all those circumstances, you have to deal with it. You're still going to get wet, lose $100 and have your quiet day trampled over by a bunch of rowdies. However the way you "frame it up or package it in your head makes all the difference.

Here's how you can use what is termed "reframing to help you. Since you may not be able to change what is happening, you can at least change your perception, your view or attitude.

Here are some possible reframes.

While you may be caught in a shower, at least when you get home you can dry off and change into something warm. While you are walking, albeit wet, on your way home, you could ponder how it would feel if you were caught in a cyclone instead of just a shower! Boy, you got wet, that's all"you didn't get transported to the neighbouring town! That would have been heaps worse.

So you lost $100 - just as well you haven't gone to the auto teller for another $200 before the theft!

Hey - at least you have friends! Imagine no one ever calling to see you at ALL. That would be lonely!

Am I suggesting you stop feeling your natural reactions? Not at all, just keep in mind where those "natural reactions came from, your perception on "reality". It's all in your head after all!

PS I could be describing the world of the optimist here but guess what a pessimist does? When it's fine weather, they know it will eventually change and become too cold, wet, hot, windy, damp, whatever. They don't get to enjoy the weather even when it's great. How sad is that!?

When they lose the $100 they list all the things they could have bought just 10 minutes before. Now they have even more reason to be miserable.

And as for rowdy friends visiting them, this at least they get spared, after all would you visit this person?

About The Author
Bill Lee-Emery is an Executive and Life Coach. He has been a corporate trainer and facilitator for over 20 years. Bill is author of 'Stop Procrastinating' and 'How to get out of your own way and play better golf!'

You can get his newsletter, 'On Track' by visiting his web site

You are welcome to reprint this article as long it remains unaltered and contains full attribution as follows:

© by Bill Lee-Emery 2004


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