Frankly, this is something that’s been nagging in my head for some time now (due to stuff that’s happening in my personal life, and thus aren’t particularly interesting enough to post about). I’m saying “frankly” because I’m not sure how to phrase the idea I’m talking about in an interesting way, but I’ll give it a try, anyway.
I had a chat with the missus today about how miserable I get because I’m constantly aware of how inferior I am all the time. This is, I told her, not an indication of superior intelligence, but only of a bad habit of over-comparison with everybody else. It’s a dangerous occupation I can’t rid myself of, and it brings me my penchant for horrible, incapacitating moods (that’s okay, I only have them when no one’s watching, which is most of the time 🙂 ).
I’m well aware that there are people out there who are beyond ecstatic on a perpetual basis, and for some reason, the fact that I run faster or have a bigger vocabulary than theirs does not shatter their jubilance in the least. When I was (an even more) arrogant adolescent, I viewed this apparent imperviousness as stupidity or ignorance. This was sadly disproven when I noted that people like that are my vast superiors in many respects, and it further pestered me that even “idiots” can beat me at my own game.
Well, needless to say, I was using the wrong paradigm. It’s not that they were idiots, they just didn’t bother as much as I did (and do) with comparative introspection. The truth of the matter is that I will be a much happier man if I just “lightened up”, but I really can’t do that. It’s my eternal quest for scoring more points than everybody else that seems to propel me to do greater things, and without that, I really don’t know if I’d push as hard as I do.
This doesn’t mean that I’m afraid I won’t be as successful (I’d probably be more) if I stopped sizing myself up all the time, but the fact remains that I can’t stop, even though I want to.