Meaning-Making #29 — On How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others & Listing Your Virtues

written by JIBRAN EL BAZI |

Hey friends, how are you doing? I hope you're doing well!

As you may have noticed, I was kinda off the radar for a few weeks. (A little too much going on in my personal/family life. I'm sure you won't hold it against me 😚.)

To make it up, I have:

  • a new article for you on how to stop comparing your life to that of others,
  • a video on choosing virtues in life,
  • and a new section at the end of this email!

(Intro) How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others (i.e., Play Your Own Game)

What you say in your mind: "Holy Shitballs! Andrew just doubled his list of subscribers in two months!... I'd bet he used some stupid, unethical tactic."

What you actually feel: "I want more subscribers too! Why can't I get more subscribers? What is he doing that I'm not? How can I find out his trick?... But I don't want to learn from him, because it means he's "above" me. Argh! I should be better than him!"

Maybe the number of newsletter subscribers is not something you measure; perhaps it's the car you have vs. your neighbors'. Or a colleague is outperforming you.

In any case, you're comparing yourself, which will regularly result in frustration or feeling better than someone else (and a possible feeling of guilt because of feeling better than your peers).

It's a human thing, so don't feel guilty about it. Ok?

But it's god-awfully annoying though, isn't it? It keeps you from enjoying the personal "wins" that you do have. And suppose you're really "successful" (however you define that). In that case, you'll still be comparing yourself, but you'll just find "the next level" of peers to compare yourself to. I mean, we can't all be Elon Musk…

There are lots of Elon wannabe's 😉

I'm super guilty of this "comparing," by the way. I've made many choices in my life as a consequence of comparing myself to others. Even worse: I made decisions based on what I thought others would think was a good choice to make.

I'm still working through some of these regrets.

So how do you stop comparing yourself to others then? Well, you can look up the top 10 (other) articles in a search engine about this, and they'll all give you a list of this kind:

"9 proven ways to stop comparing yourself to others."

They're all the same, really. The methods they put forth may work for a bit. But not long-term.

Why will you fall back to comparing yourself to others?

Because the methods don't discuss the root cause of why you're comparing yourself to others.

In this article, I'll tell you both why you compare yourself to others and the best way you can stop doing so.

*This was the intro, read the full article here...

Listing Your Virtues

I also made a handful of video's over the last few weeks. One of which is about what virtues to live my life by.

I think we all want to life a "good" life. Sometimes life's going well, other times, not so much. I think having clear virtues in mind can help break out of the unvirtuous moments quicker and easier.

But what are the virtues I want to live by anyway? "I might as well talk out loud about this." is what I thought... So I did.

For now, I think kindness, curiosity, and bravery are good basic virtues to pursue. In the video I go into why I think their important.

kindess = wanting to do the good thing.
curiosity = finding the good thing to do.
bravery = doing that good thing (despite opposition/fear).

Oh and here's a good video by Jordan Peterson (amazing speaker) on the necessity of virtue.

What I'm consuming (new section)

I'm very much interested in what other like-minded people across the web are consuming. (Be it podcasts, books, lectures, articles, whatever. Anything goes.)

Thus if you want to share someting with me that really made you think, I'd be grateful!

At the same time I'll share what I'm consuming now:

Two books

"The Undiscovered Self: The Dilemma of the Individual in Modern Society" - By Carl Jung. I really should've read this thin book earlier. What a timeless piece (from 1957) this is! Here's a quote: "The State in particular is turned into a quasi-animate personality from whom everything is expected. In reality it is only a camouflage for those individuals who know how to manipulate it."

"12 Rules for Life" - By Jordan Peterson. He makes the strongest and most clear arguments I've seen yet for why you need to take responsibility of your own life.

Halfway through re-watching a movie (parenting life is busy, haha!)

"V for Vendetta." (The original story is by Alan Moore who also wrote the Watchmen comics and some Batman stories.) V for Vendetta is a mix between recent superhero movies, Orwell's 1984, and modern society. Two great actors btw, Natalie Portman (Star Wars) and Hugo Weaving (The Matrix)

A podcast episode I really enjoyed listening to that was recommended to me by a friend

Steven C. Hayes is the "Godfather" of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which is one of the best trauma/anxiety resolving methods I've come across. Next to him being a very humble man, he's also very positive (despite a life that could've certainly made him very bitter).

Thinking of picking up

"The Way of Integrity" - By Martha Beck. She's a great writer that writes about how to life a meaningful and fulfilling life.

Ok boys & girls, that's it for this issue! If you have any feedback, ideas, or questions, please let me know!



Thanks for reading. You can get more actionable ideas in my newsletter.
Every other week, I share at least 3 short & interesting bits that help you live an intentional and purposeful life. Over 200 people subscribe. Enter your email now and join.

Almost done!
Please check your inbox for a welcome email and click 'Confirm your subscription.'
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

About jibran el bazi

Hey I'm Jibran, I'm here to learn, to play, and to connect with other meaning-makers. I write to seek understanding and to help others to become their true selves. I often start my writing with a question in one of the below themes:

🧭 Understand yourself - "How do you find clarity on who you are and what you want out of life?"

Take charge of your life - "How do you pursue your purpose while living a balanced life?"

Pass on the torch - "How do you best help others to become their True Self?"

More NEWSLETTERS On This Topic