The contentment thief

I almost always suffer a bout of the Monday blues. But it often results in a good thing, like me writing a deep blog post as I ponder upon life.

The person writing this has for the most part of her life, hated all things motivational and inspirational. Motivational quotes, pictures or stories; I hated them. They were for wusses, I didn’t need them. And here I am writing a blog post to motivate myself, and anyone that reads.

Today I’m thinking about comparison. It robs you of contentment; and replaces that with covetousness. I think it is (for the most part) unhealthy. When I compare myself to others, I find that I end up wanting what they have, without knowing why. When I compare myself to others, all the wonderful things that I have been privileged to have, are suddenly worth nothing, because somebody else has, or is ‘better’. Discontentment. I had made a video for this, but it was extremely strange for me to talk into a camera and then let the world see and hear. It was also more ramble than anything, and longer (bigger) than I had hoped. Bandwidth is expensive in South Africa! So we wrote.


I often find myself miserable when I compare myself to other people. There is always a girl with a hotter body, always someone with nicer clothes, always someone who does better on tests, always someone who has it together and knows what they want from their career, always someone with better skin and hair, always someone who has had the most amazing experiences, maybe travelled widely; always someone ‘better’ than me. Ironically, some people may look at me and think that I am ‘better’ than them.  We are always comparing ourselves to the people in the next lane. How fast are they going? Who can I overtake? Always looking in the rear view mirror to see who I am ahead of. And who’s coming in close behind me? Life becomes this constant competition. More often than not, it is a secret competition. The participants don’t even know that I am competing with them! And beautiful moments pass us by.


I am not saying that I shouldn’t be challenged by other people’s successes. By all means, I should. I should draw inspiration from other people’s experiences. And it is perfectly fine for me to have admiration for someone.  But when I start to obsess over what other people are doing rather than focus inwardly on myself (who I am, what I do,  why I do what I do), then we have a problem. So many times I get stuck in this world where I am constantly stressing over who beat me on a test. And wonder why I don’t have a business of my own already like Friend X. Or why I don’t have Friend Y’s washboard abs and narrow hips. We all do. It’s totally human. Every so often I snap out of it and remind myself to stick in my lane and not look left or right.


Some things are meant to be compared; like clothing prices, restaurant service, and university assignments. Not abilities and circumstances. I think the best I can do is to put on my tunnel vision glasses and be the best that I can be. We have different circumstances. Different stories. Different situations. So I will try to keep reminding myself to give that little monster called comparison the finger. You should too. Contentment is cooler than covetousness anyway.

6 thoughts on “The contentment thief

  1. Neema says:

    Some of the best advice I have received thus far – comparisons are meaningless because no one is exempt from the vicissitudes of life. And also, when you learn to trust in your own journey, you are bound to be ever so grateful. Keep your head up.

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