Nothing will change If you don’t change; Your methodology must change; And your methodology Will change If your thinking changes; Old methods, old results; New methods, new results; You cannot stick To old ways And expect different results; Change follows change; Status quo will give birth To its kind; Change to change. New wine, New wine skin. Never forget; Nothing will change If you don’t change. Think of climate change; To save our planet Change your ways Towards the environment; Short and simple.
We live in a world of abundance, Wealth overflows; Yet, billions live in destitute; What really is the matter? Why can’t all have enough? What stops me or you Having our fair share? The world’s abundance Is for all; A few cannot be allowed To exploit and dominate The majority. Things must change. The wealth of the world Must flow to all.
You cannot change
What you cannot change;
You can change
Only what you can change;
Do not force
To change things
That you cannot change;
If you cannot change it,
If you can change it,
If it needs change,
Make sure you change
What needs to be changed
If you can change it.
In my previous blog “Understand Your Worth – How You Value Yourself,” I talked about the topic of how much the society places value on outward appearances when defining one’s success, whereas little consideration is given to the inner values of a person, and that certain outward appearances of success can trigger a need within you to compare yourself to others.
This outward type of social comparison is often painful and rarely triggers any real change in our lives, because it makes us feel defeated right from the start – mainly due to fear and insecurity. It’s of no surprise that we live with different paradoxes, with the most common one is failing to see our own value, while simultaneously thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought.
Though social comparisons are often seen as unhealthy, yet comparing ourselves to others can be a powerful life tool in itself. The difference lies in your motive: Are you comparing out of fear and insecurity, or out of the desire to improve?
The Harmful Type Of Social Comparison
This is when you compare out of fear and insecurity, in other words, you want what belongs to others.
There are plenty of examples, such as getting mad when someone gets the promotion instead of you, has a nicer suit and car, or it can even be a talent that you wish you had. These strong feelings that you deserve more can lead you to feel that you will never be good enough, and push you in making false assumptions that you deserve as much or more then what the other person has. This fear will only lead to great discontentment, which in turn will mature into bitterness.
Bitterness may cause you to seek faults with this person and look for reasons why they don’t deserve whatever it is that they have. Then, your thoughts start to lean towards an idea that you are never good enough so you might as well give up. You feel that you can never be enough so you do the bare minimum to keep yourself afloat. When bitterness becomes the core of one’s existence, there can be no happiness.
The Healthy Type Of Social Comparison
When was the last time you felt inspired by watching someone giving a great presentation? Or an interviewee handling him- or herself well in a tricky question and you found yourself saying, “Wow, I’ll try it that way next time.”
Watching others is one way of how we learn. If I hadn’t seen great presenters, like Simon Sinek, I’d probably still be using PowerPoint with boring bullet-point slides. Whether it’s watching how people handle themselves at work, or observing another parent managing a playground tantrum, comparing their methods to yours opens your mind to new possibilities.
From my personal experience, I look in the mirror each morning knowing that I am falling short of my potential. This may keep me humble, but the vision of people accomplishing great things is changing that image in the mirror for the better. While I’m not fearing or fretting, I am also not content to stay the way I am. I hope that’s the same for you.
How To Make Healthy Social Comparisons
Firstly, be conscious of who you compare yourself with. Don’t choose just one person, instead, choose multiple people that inspire you to become better which match with or surpass your character and judgement. Ask yourself how they would look at certain situations and solve them. This way, you can look at more options and be able to make the best decision possible.
Secondly, watch and listen to the world and understand what is going on around you. We simply write off people that we don’t agree with, whether it be politicians or religions. What a mistake this is! Take time to learn from all sources. Listen to others. You may never agree with them but something in what they are doing is a teachable moment. You learn what you might do, but you also learn what you would never do. Either way, you win because you have learned from it.
Finally, make a habit of reading. Sometimes, I walk through the aisles of book stores, not to buy anything, but to read the titles of the books to get inspiration from them. Also, reading blog posts, book summaries, watching videos, and taking courses are all means that gives us a healthy visual to compare ourselves and inspire us to do more. It’s time to stop making unhealthy comparisons with others and choose the path for yourself.
“Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?” – Danielle LaPorte
If the way you are doing it Does not give the success You desire, Look for a new way; Do not stick To what does not deliver, And is likely not to deliver. It is a waste of time; And waste of energy; Try ways that you know Are likelyto succeed, Not ways you know will fail. And as I said If a method is not delivering, Try another. Think outside the box.
Little consideration is given to the inner values of a person when defining one’s success, such as integrity, kindness, love, forgiveness, emotional intelligence and inner balance.
In contrast, an excessive value is placed on the outward appearances of success by society, such as money, material possessions, physical appearance, marital status or career. This creates a definition of success based on outward appearances, which results in a warped sense of self-worth.
Chances are that certain outward appearances of success can trigger a need within you to compare yourself to others. Only when you question your reasons, you realise that you have unconsciously placed value on these outward appearances and used them to determine your own self-worth. Otherwise speaking, how much money you own, what kind of car you drive, how attractive you are, or your occupation, have become the meaning of your self-worth.
Such comparisons will leave you feeling either better or worse about yourself, depending on where you rank yourself on society’s scale of success.
The Problems With Outward Appearances
Take a moment for yourself and write down all the outward appearances that you have unconsciously made as a measurement for your inner self-worth. Realise how they all require you to compare yourself to others or to seek outside approval in order to determine your value.
In addition to that, outward appearances are quick to change, and therefore, are not absolute. The problem is, that if you use such measurements to define your self-worth, then you aim at a constant moving target because there will always be someone richer, more attractive, more materially successful than you.
A study in the Journal of Social Issues found that college students who based their self-worth on outward appearances, such as academic performance, and approval of society were more likely to be stressed and frustrated. Also, these students had more relationship and academic issues, as well as higher use of drugs and alcohol. Furthermore, the same study found that students who placed their self-worth on inner aspects, such as staying true to their morals, were generally happier and healthier.
Sadly, the value that society places on outward appearances are fuelled by the ignorance that everything people experience in the outside world has its place in the inner world. Clinging to the appearances and using them to judge your own worth by comparing to others are all products of the mind. It’s your thoughts that create your circumstances and hence your thoughts that can change them.
Comparing yourself to others keep your thoughts focussed on the very circumstances that you most likely want to change and, by the Law of Attraction, you actually create more of the same.
The Paradox Of Valuing Outward Appearances
Notice how you value yourself is an actual reflection of how you value others. So, if you have placed value on money as a symbol of success, then in your assessment, people with more money are to be admired more than those with less. The same applies to physical appearance, material possessions, marital status, and career.
Ironically, the very people who you admire most are also the people you envy most when their outward appearances outdo yours. Therein lies the paradox – whatever you admire most, you must also envy.
Find Out What You Really Value
It should be clear by now that it is pointless to base your self-worth on outward appearances. The next question is, what should you base it on instead?
Start by making a list of all those human qualities that you value. Here are some examples: personal integrity, kindness, self-confidence, honesty, self-conviction, self-love, the ability to show love, being true to oneself, a sense of humour, affection, gratitude and so on. Also, the ability to use and display any one emotion appropriately, at the right time and in an appropriate manner.
Now, compare this list of values to your original list of outward appearances that you have been using up until now as your measurement for self-worth. Which list holds your true values?
Here’s a spoiler, it’s the one that makes you feel an inner sense of calm and power that cannot be disturbed by outward forces or opinions. It’s the list of human values. The more you associate yourself with the real you that is your inner self, the more such human values will define you.
Rewrite The Definition Of Succes?
Write down your own definition of success, including all those qualities you admire, and use it as your new measurement for success. Do make sure that your definition of success is about you, not about others, or how you compare to them or what they may think of you. Then, print it out and place it somewhere where you can see it every day. Read it every day and attempt to make it your way of life.
There is rarely a career promotion for the kindest person in the office or for the person with the greatest integrity. You will find that people do not compete in inward appearances, because these qualities belong to the higher self, which stands above society’s stereotypical definitions of success. Your higher self knows that it’s pointless to compete in self-worth.
If you think things Should always go Your own way, I think you are in for A serious disappointment; As I see it, It is hard for things To always go your own way; A lot of times, in fact, They will go their own way; Not your own way; But you must accept them As they come; If you cannot change a thing, As we say, accept it; If you can change it, What else can be better? No time to waste.
Our lives have become so packed, so busy, so noisy, and so full of conflict. At the end of the day, we feel drained, cranky and overly judgemental. Some of us numbly pace through our days not knowing how out of balance we are, finding nothing to smile about. We might sleep in on Sunday but still wake up feeling tired. Why is that?
Saundra Dalton-Smith, M.D. and author of ‘Sacred Rest’, identified seven types of rest we need in order to feel happy, productive and fulfilled. Dalton-Smith spoke at TEDxAtlanta about how to correct rest deficit from diagnosing patients for common ailments.
What it all comes down to is that sleep is not the same as rest. Sleep is the result of how well we rest, and rest is associated with interrupting activities resulting in a relaxed state. So, if we lack rest, we won’t sleep well.
Here are the seven types of rest and ways to recharge:
1. Physical Rest
The most familiar and obvious type of rest. Your body needs time to recover whether from a workout or sitting behind your laptop. So, take some time to stretch your body and breathe deeply to expand your lungs. As we age, our body will inevitably wear down. Eventually, our need for rest becomes more noticeable.
Physical rest, such as releasing tension and calming your body, repairs and rebuilds the body and mind. When we exert ourselves physically or mentally, we long for the restoration of our energy. Researchers have shown that both the physical stress of manual labour and even the emotional stress of a desk job require subsequent rest for the body and mind to recuperate.
2. Mental Rest
We can all relate to this: when your mind is tired, you get bad-tempered and unfocused, making it easier to make mistakes and experience memory lapses. The more you let your mind wander in past events thinking what you would like to change, self-critiques, and judging others, the quicker you wear out your brain. The same is true with what-ifs about future events.
What you could do is, throughout the day and evening, schedule activities that take little thought. If you can, ground yourself to the present by walking through grass with your bare feet, so you can feel the earth. Also, truly listen to your surroundings, take it all in and let things be.
If you can’t go outside, try to meditate three times a day for five minutes. In the evening, it’s okay to watch some mindless YouTube videos to let your brain process what occurred during the day. You might laugh a little before you go to sleep.
3. Social Rest
This is not about some alone time, it’s rather the opposite. The sad part is, even when you’re around a lot of people, it’s possible to still feel lonely. We are group animals and we all need to be seen, loved, and appreciated by others from time to time. Hopefully, you get this from real people you can relax with who won’t judge or offend you and vice versa.
So, make new friends if you need to. Find like-minded people, whether to hike together, read and talk about books, enjoy the same hobby, or play the same game as you. Face-to-face time is important. Besides live meetings, even acknowledgement from people you know on social media can help.
4. Creative Rest
As we age, we often lose our sense of creativity. You might find ways to express your creative talents in art you enjoy, such as music, dance, and comedy to renew your appreciation for beauty and originality. Creative rest is a creative act in itself. Sometimes, we need to waste time. The poet John Ashbery said it so well: “I waste a lot of time. That’s part of the creative process. The problem is you can’t really use this wasted time. You have to have it wasted.” Of course, “wasted” is a contradiction in this case.
What we learn is by having wasted time we give it a certain value. Our desperate need to create is often opposing to creativity itself. You might want to give it a rest by being a beginner again to reawaken your sense of curiosity in creativity.
Sometimes the best way to give our creative minds a rest is to give our bodies a workout. A study by Stanford found that walking outside produced twice as many creative ideas as sitting in a room. Even participants who walked on a treadmill while staring at a blank wall were able to produce, on average, 60 per cent more ideas that were both novel and appropriate, also known as creative.
5. Emotional Rest
It’s good to cry once in a while because the release can lead to relief and maybe even joy and laughter. Also, the constant pressure to perform and pretend to be someone else can lead to emotional overload. Find people you trust who won’t judge or bombard you with advice to talk about the pressures you feel. Say no when your plate is too full.
When you feel insulted, ignored, unappreciated, or misunderstood, tell them that you feel this way and ask for what you need to move the conversation or relationship forward. When you notice you are hesitating to reach out to someone or start a new task, ask yourself what you are afraid will happen. Talking about your fears out loud often decreases the power they have over your actions.
Be sure you have people in your life whose positive perspective influence your own. Hang out with or at least listen to people who make you laugh when you need an emotional lift.
6. Spiritual Rest
This is not necessarily about religion; it’s about your sense of connection to something bigger than yourself, a purpose.
If you don’t have a life purpose, you can cultivate a sense of purpose. Let music or uplifting videos reunite your body and mind spirit. Allow yourself to feel the warmth of a beautiful sunset, the bloom of a flower, plants soaking up drops of water from rain, or a child’s touch. Journal about these moments to preserve them when you feel disconnected.
7. Sensory Rest
Most of us are overloaded with noise in our environments, interruptions from our computers and phones, artificial light, stressful driving, and other distractions at work and home. You need to take breaks from your electronics to rest your mind and vision.
Our bodies are always processing sensory input. Even when we’re laying still, we can feel the air on our skin and the pressure of gravity pressing our bodies into our beds. Our minds stay active, assessing our environment, observing potential threats or concerns and thinking about the next step.
Relax your senses by immersing yourself in music you love, get whiffs of fresh air, use aromatherapy or cooking to take in good smells, and rub your hands in things you love to touch to awaken your senses individually.
Also, Slow Down
For about a week, I have been feeling tired and worn out. So, I had no choice but to turn in. I could have pushed another few hours of work in the evening or done something more productive, but right now the most productive thing I can do is rest.
When you race from one thing to another, you end up leading a busy but insignificant life. Every time you’re too busy to enjoy a meal, meet up with your friend, or visit a family member, remind yourself to slow down and be in the present. It’s about making the person in front of me feel important and appreciated, because they are. It’s about focussing on the present moment, or everything else you do will suffer.
If you’re rushing through life when you should have been resting, then I challenge you to do the following: Instead of trying to increase the illusional quantity of time, focus on the quality you have with the time you have right now.