It’s hardwired into each one of us, at the time we are born, to compare ourselves to those around us. We are born with something called Mirror Neurons, which are brain cells whose sole purpose is enable us to emulate others – a sort of monkey see monkey do neurological guardrail.
Mirror Neurons help us survive by giving us the ability to emulate the good behaviors of others – behaviors that keep us healthy and alive. So, some good can come from comparing ourselves to others, especially when those within our social networks are living productive, healthy, abundant lives.
Using those you admire as a template to live your ideal, best life, stimulates you to adopt good thinking, good decision-making and good habits. Thus, mirroring the good in others can help you grow in the right direction.
Where comparison goes wrong, however, is when it leads to adopting bad behaviors. When this hard-wired human tendency of mirroring the behaviors of others is applied to owning things, recreational drug use, anti-social behavior, illegal activities, drinking or eating in excess, that is when things go off the rails. Such bad behavior mirroring often leads to an unhappy life.
Seek Constructive Comparisons – good traits and habits you see in others.
Avoid Destructive Comparisons – bad traits and habits you see in others.
Destructive Comparisons are a slippery slope that will only lead to unhappiness, poor health and want.