It’s All Relative
There are many, many people in this world and each one of us lives our own unique experience. It’s impossible to truly compare two people to each other because their circumstances, experiences, and history are so different. Logically we know this to be true, yet we often find ourselves measuring ourselves against others for validation.
It all happens unconsciously. Hardwired into our brain is a survival instinct that is constantly placing us relative to others, which helped early humans find their safe place in the tribe. This is the role of the ego but in today’s society a lot of the ego’s tendencies are out of place.
Your ego is constantly on the lookout to see how you stack up against others, evaluating if you’re better / worse and more / less than those you encounter. That’s what relativity is - taking what you believe to be true about yourself and comparing it to what you believe to be true about others. However this is an incomplete, superficial evaluation that can create a sense of inner conflict because only a fraction of the relevant information is being considered.
But here’s the game-changer. Relativity is a comparison you can choose. When you’re drawing conclusions about things, you can decide what is being compared. For example, let’s say you run a 7 minute mile. That can lead to you being ecstatic because you hit the goal you’ve been training for, or you could feel dejected because you worked so hard to reach a certain level that compared to your friend, isn’t impressive at all.
Not only can you see the ego at play here, but you can see how the same result observed through two different lenses lead to two very different perceptions.
So when you feel yourself start to spiral into a negative thought pattern and feel bad for yourself for some reason, reframe your line of thinking. How can you place yourself in a better light and on a more empowering field of competition where you feel better about yourself? Relativity requires reference points and the more you control the references, the better you control the perception. No matter what conclusion you choose to draw it’s all relative anyway, so might as well choose one that inspires you.
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