No, I’m not talking about the infamous and autumnal flu vaccine, even though I have already got an email and text reminder from the doc… I’m talking about a different type of vaccine; this one is made of 100% natural ingredients and has been proven to induce a quick and comforting feeling of contentment, almost like happiness itself.
I prescribed it to a client a few weeks ago. He went for it and took it like a man. I’ll tell you what happened…
This young man in his mid thirties came to me with this problem: “Anna” he said “all my friends are in relationships, they have good jobs, they own homes, some have kids… and I have nothing”.
“Nothing?” I asked.
To what he replied “Well, I have an ok job, I make oh right money I suppose, and have some investments… but I’ve no partner… I can’t go out with my friends any more like we used to, and I feel like I should have someone by now, and that I should be more successful, make more money, have more things, you know?”
“Oh, I know what you have” I said “you’ve Comparasitus Acute, that’s a bummer! It’s rather contagious too. It affects a great percentage of the population at one stage or another in their lives. But don’t you worry, there is this vaccine…”
I got “the face” from him. I’m used to getting the “Anna, you’ve lost it!” face.
No, I haven’t lost it, I think… but I did take the vaccine a good few years ago; best thing I’ve ever done.
I remember being twenty nine and feeling like I was the only single person in the world. Working in a job I hated, struggling to pay the rent, feeling that I was severely underperforming and letting myself and my family down. Other people my age were married, some already had kids, they had high paying jobs and mortgages, wore designer clothes and went on holidays a lot. I felt terrible and sorry for myself. “What is wrong with me?” I thought.
There was nothing wrong with me. The only thing I was doing wrong is that as a result of comparing myself to others I felt bad, too often. I had dreams and aspirations, but I wasn’t going to achieve them for as long as I was feeling crappy.
A lot of us learnt to compare ourselves to other people very early in life. Mum used to compare me to other kids and ask why couldn’t I be like them. Like the good student I was, I learnt to compare myself to other kids too “why can’t I be pretty, intelligent and thin like her?” But not every skill we learn is good for us.
Comparisons can be useful sometimes. They can help in acquiring certain life skills. When we meet someone for the first time we quickly and sometimes unconsciously compare similarities and differences to know whether it suits us or not to have them in our lives. Professionally, it’s good to have a role model to compare to as we grow and improve ourselves and our business; this can create the fire we need to keep growing and get better. Olympians are aware of other great athletes they have to compete against; they know their strengths and weaknesses and compare them to their own strengths and weaknesses and then come up with their own edge.
But most of us don’t practice the art of constructive comparison. We don’t use it to feel better and to do better.
The truth is that we don’t really know that other people’s lives are better than ours. Just because someone is in a relationship it doesn’t mean they are happy. Just because someone is making more money than us it doesn’t mean they appreciate it. Just because someone is slimmer or more beautiful… a lot of people think they are not good enough, they don’t have enough, they haven’t achieved enough.
Good enough for what? Good enough compared to what? I say.
Respecting or wishing others’ accomplishments does not require that you dishonour your own.
This is where the vaccine comes in handy. What it does is that you start to identify your strengths and your assets. You start to be more aware of these, and you play up to them whilst you keep improving your life, acquiring new useful skills, feeling good, and doing the best you can. Because that is all you can do, the best you can. The vaccine also helps you put things into perspective and realise that we are all different, and therefore, we are meant to be living different lives, that’s what makes us so unique and special.
The Anti-Comparasitus Acute is available in Autumn and all year round, from me. Don’t delay, get the vaccine, get well.