Waiting for the results, checking the website again and again to see if it is published. It was 2 years ago, when our SSLC results were to be announced. And then in the afternoon, when the results were finally out, I screamed,shouted,jumped and I can’t exactly describe how I felt that day. I had got 97.12% and I was happy as hell. Maybe there’s no other feeling in the world than achieving something we worked hard for. I was so happy that I didn’t care about my fellow mates’ scores. I thought I might have topped the school. Well, it didn’t matter even if I had not. Or so I thought. Later in the evening, I learnt that 3 of my friends had scored more than me and eventually I had not topped the school. Afterwards, for whatever reason, my happiness began to wear off. Why did that happen? I was like the happiest guy in the world just a few hours back! Is the feeling of achievement inversely proportional to time? It didn’t take too long to discover that the blues I was experiencing inspite of such a fantastic score was due to the fact that 3 of them had scored higher. Why did that matter more to me?? Why couldn’t I have just focused on my own grass…??
Its because we all have a tendency to compare. Our feelings of contentment are strongly influenced by it. This tendency seems to support H.L.Mencken’s definition of a wealthy man.
A wealthy man is the one whose income is $100 a year higher than his wife’s sister’s husband.
So, no matter how much we ever achieve our goals, if we have this tendency to compare, we will never have ever lasting happiness. So, what’s the cure for this disease? Sadly, there is none.
We all have it and its inevitable BUT we can use this tendency in a positive way to increase our overall level of satisfaction in life.
Dalai Lama in his extraordinary book ” The Art of Happiness ” says…
Constant comparison with those who are smarter, more beautiful, or more successful than ourselves tends to breed envy, frustration, and unhappiness. But we can use this same principle in a positive way; we can increase our feeling of life satisfaction by comparing ourselves to those who are less fortunate than us and by reflecting on all the things we have.
I might wanna share this quote at last..
I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man with no feet.
The grass is obviously greener on the other side, but you know what? That shouldn’t bother you at all. 🙂
With lots of love, with you on this journey, Madhusudhanr.