Our students compare themselves to others because it is the human condition. We don’t know things, so we observe things, and some of the things we observe are other people. We instantly compare ourselves to them to see if they have figured out something we haven’t.
For students, this can bring about jealousy, particularly in the age of social media. They are enjoying a vacation and I am not. They are enjoying playing sports and I am not.
Happiness is not, ultimately, comparative. If we compare well, or compare poorly, to others-- we’re out of context on both. The only true happiness is investing time in ourselves.
In the words of Ernest Hemingway: “You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another.”
Comparisons to others hinders students from self discovery. We can teach students to feel happiness through attention and action to their own self desires, and a commitment to the process to grow, and achieve them. If a student becomes jealous of another, it becomes an opportunity for exploration-- have them explore, and learn from the experience.
Originally published on LinkedIn.