I was watching a Ted talk about the longest study, 75 years+, on happiness. It concluded to healthy relationships as the key reason for happiness. This echoed with some of my life lessons that relationships are the mirror of personal growth. But the bigger question is how to nurture our art of relating, deleting the toxic patterns, and more importantly, identify well in time the ways we crash with others, which normally we know but skip to believe them as very important
Competition, comparison, jealousy, judgment, and non-forgiveness are some common mistakes that hamper our relations, which means failing to have so many joys, learning, and love that could come from that window called other person.
All our life, we struggle to channel our love to a set of persons who satisfy our criteria of being good, worthy and our own people, and disliking another section who are otherwise. But we got to know this fact that the same heart which holds jealousy and hate cannot nurture of love. Or even while loving someone, it is always at the risk of being disturbed by reactions and inner turmoil. We cannot teach heart to change colors quickly and as a result, we develop so many emotional and physical illnesses. All these are rooted in our wrong way of thinking and perceiving others.
Healthier and long-term solution is to settle negative accounts for good. Then only feelings of joy, happiness, love, cooperation, team-spirit can be protected forever from toxic behaviors. The first step for any such things is awareness and that itself needs one’s commitment to reclaim attention from outside and bring it on self. Today’s discussions are around few such patterns.
Important thing is to start the self-learning journey with any one issue then the enthusiasm that builds up in the way can tackle many such issues. Once we have dealt with one issue to satisfaction then we learn a lot in the process, realize many benefits too. Moreover, from a philosophical angle, one noble idea has many divine seeds in it and similarly, one bad habit nourishes many other bad patterns. Dealing with even one is no less.
Competition Comparison Jealousy
Many ads these days capitalize on human weaknesses of comparison and association of ego to brands, making it a status symbol and charging exorbitant prices. We forget the value of the right use of money and how much help it could have brought to needy individuals, and instead, we spend for reinforcement of false arrogance. Moreover, unnecessary things get in demand and supply, while essential demands for health and basics are ignored by big players for not seeing the hefty margins. The unjust demand of few dominates the market and just demands of a large section take a backseat. All this is creating social mayhem and unbalance.
We should realize that at the root of many social problems there are these human weaknesses – competition, comparison, and desire of having what others have or more than them without realizing whether we need it or not. The whole pursuit appears to defend false self-status or make it insanely higher, till it reaches the grave. Self-worth is dragged very low and made dependent on fragile ego structures.
We have no idea where we are, where we’re supposed to head and what we are supposed to do with our lives – we miss our lane, responsibilities, needs, and purpose in this race to have more and look better than others.
At the root of comparison lies the non-acceptance of the uniqueness of our individuality. No two persons are same in any respect designed by nature. Huge is the diversity and functional expertizes we all are designed with. there is absolutely no point in comparing or competing with others. It doesn’t matter how fast you go but you are going to crash if your focus remains on people in other lanes. If we accept this truth deeply and safeguard in our bosom then it is easy to dodge jealousy and comparison.
Adverse effects of comparison & competition on us and society
- Higher stress levels and health loss for short-term gains, if any.
- May mislead in your key choices making you repent later.
- Creates low self-worth or false arrogance.
- It detracts the focus from your lane, real needs, your priorities, working on your improvement areas to enlighten yourself.
- Normally people start with competition, soon get into comparison and end up harboring jealousy, a serious blocker in self-development.
- You miss feeling grateful for what you are and what you have.
- Comes in the way of celebrating small successes
- Prevents us from being a true friend, participating genuinely in other’s success.
- It gives rise to consumerism and overall chaos that comes with having too much – waste of time, resource and energy, and cluttering our space.
- It helps in increasing prices beyond what they should be. When we are in comparison mode we don’t analyze what we should buy or what we shouldn’t. All this adds to improper demand and prices goes up unnecessarily making it difficult for many others to sustain and survive.
If we compare with others then there is never enough, and even our heaven appears as hell. When we focus only on what we have and what we need then even our hellish situations appears as stepping stones to success.
This world is like a giant wheel, no need to compare with who is up or down, soon we may exchange positions. Just trust that everything here is for everyone’s fun and goodness, and everything is in control by something higher, you may call it nature, God, Existence or whatever name you like.
Finding Faults in Others
This I have covered in detail with adverse effects on self and others, and how we can use it for good, in an earlier post on the judgment. Here is a short summary.
We incorrectly and foolishly spend our attention and energy in fault-finding, nitpicking while those people are not in our control. We know that, but keep doing out of deep-seated habit or for relative ego gratification or shielding our own faults. Hiding or missing on our own faults is the most dangerous thing to happen to us as human. We lose our discerning capability to catch what we should not do or should not have done. That locks the capability to be a real human – to be good and do good.
Irrespective of whether others have any issues or not but we have no right to judge anyone as bad, negative, immoral or at fault. Most important thing is that we do not fuel our negativity by wearing a non-judgmental cap. It is the safest stance in all our people interactions.
Listening and believing the negative news by media and other people
This point is aimed at self-protection from negative and judgemental people or random hurricanes of media’s negative news and perceptions or any backbiting done by relatives and friends. Don’t suffer out of hesitation of not being able to say NO to the other person, as that will clutter your inner space and perceptions. Avoid succumbing to the negativity in others.
We don’t have to trust media for every negative news that is flung. People have hidden agenda, matters cooked, and it is really sad if we trust easily the rumors spread about any celebrity or a normal person, it could be just for TRPs. This way we register negative impressions of others and support worst inputs for our brains.
Keep your inner space clear and filled with positivity and peace, time is precious and time-loss is irreversible. Trust in the goodness of people more than any negative rumors. Avoid watching the news for more than 10-15 mins, if you value peace in life. Even better, don’t watch at all. You will save time and give less food for your negative side of the mind.
Summary – don’t buy into judgments of others. It is our right to see everyone with our own eyes.
Non-forgiveness: Holding on to past hurts
Not being able to forgive others also creates scars on our minds. These scars get easily omitted when we learn a hidden lesson, forgive and let go the hard feelings. Holding on to it blocks the healing process and may create fresh Karmas, only to settle later.
It’s not an easy task to convince a wounded heart. Wounded hearts resort to remaining angry as a way to punish the other and thus, intend to take revenge by non-forgiveness. But in reality, we are punishing ourselves by delaying the healing and maintaining the wounds. Don’t expect anything from weak persons, who made you suffer earlier for selfish reasons or out of negativity, just forgive them and move on. Don’t complicate your life by thinking again and again about them, which we can get rid off only once we learn the lessons and forgive the person involved.
Lastly, we should forgive others because as a human we also have some weaknesses, and we expect others to forgive us for our past mistakes.
Key points again:
- Stay in your lane. Speeds don’t matter but accidents spoil life. Keep your focus on yourself. Just follow your vision and dreams and keep adding to it persistently like an ant – each step counts.
- Take inspiration and avoid impression. Each one of us is unique – in design and role.
- Give and receive help but avoid negative interest, judgment, comparison, jealousy of any kind. It’s misleading and negative, those are not safe places to live.
- Don’t buy things you don’t need. Don’t hoard out of proportions. Furthermore, benevolently share whatever extra you have, you will gain love, the only real treasure.
- Feel free to safeguard yourself from other’s negativity by saying a clear and assertive NO to their junk.
- Be non-judgemental and stay away from toxic and judgemental people. They have a negative viewpoint about everything. They soak our positivity and ripple their negativity, unconsciously.
- Learn from past events and let go the rest. Nurture this rule in life – forgive others for their mistakes and do justice to your mistakes. You don’t have any control over others but can be your own Guru, leader, and controller. So do justice to yourself when you find faults within, that will become our greatest weapon to become a better person.
One important tip to decelerate inner mental noise
Assertive non-cooperation with obsolete and toxic thoughts will help you get over them. Non-cooperation means don’t do what it says, nor judge it as something bad, just ignore it as totally insignificant to you. It will die its own death automatically. Don’t react to it positively or negatively, nor take it seriously. Sooner or later it will lose all its influence and existence.
Finally, what should we aim at – to be happy all our life
We should not have happiness, relationships, focus, productivity as our aim of life. Happiness – some call it as your choice, some call it your basic nature. But to know your basic nature and gain the conviction of it or to make happiness as a firm choice and say no to all excuses and cribbings, takes hell lot of willpower and iron resolve. And if you have not worked on your mind to purify it then it is almost impossible.
Building focus is a skill and it may give you some worldly advantage but not happiness and peace. Moreover, if you target to purify your mind then it is very easy to focus a mind which is pure. By purity, I mean it has less and lesser of attachment strings, aversion and clinging patterns to anything whatsoever, decreasing trend of desires and selfishness. Envy, competition, comparison, anger, lust and all such are eliminated or at least we are moving in that direction with an aim to purify our mind from these unnatural vices.
Mind purification is a key pursuit of life which automatically ensures mental health and wellness, thus, ensuring happiness, relationships, easy focus and gaining high productivity.
When the mind is pure it doesn’t expect much from outside world to make it happy or doesn’t wobble much because the factors that make it flicker all the time are, aversion and clinging, and the mistaken patterns like the comparison, jealousy, anger etc.
One key aim of my writing is to share my mistakes and lessons in such a way that brings the purification of mind, my own and help you to build the aim of purifying yours. Because once the purpose is set then Nature helps us from all angles. It is all intelligent and capable to help but the desire to purify is the seed and that has to sprout from within us.
Do expect a lot of repetitions, hammering of same issues which are troubling all of us. I don’t have much to say except repeating the accounts of same mistake patterns which we are strengthening time and again. My aim is to make myself and others repeatedly reminded of the same issues, the same mistakes to build the high importance of elimination of all impurities, and also become fully aware and convinced that everything that we really need and expected to do, is in our hands only.
All the best,