Friday, May 6, 2016
Looking for a new(ish) car isn't fun. I've only done it a handful of times without some expert help (my stepfather, good car-minded friends, etc.) but we are currently searching for one for our oldest daughter. I've spent a lot of time online looking for a good deal and even wandered onto a used car lot today to check. It's not an easy process to find what you're looking for as you compare models, features, mileage, and especially price. It is essential, however, to measure what you see against other deals to make sure you get something worthwhile.
Comparison is a helpful tool when picking out a car, but it can be damaging when it's centered on yourself. Determining how successful you are by the success of others isn't a valid or healthy tool. Measuring your physical fitness by another person isn't completely accurate. Deciding if you are a good parent based on how another father interacts with his daughters isn't a true indicator of my family's stability.
The comparison trap can be overwhelming dangerous and discouraging if it's the only measurement we use. While we can gain insight from witnessing the lives of other people, we risk debilitating discouragement when we try to be just like other people instead of being the best version of ourselves we can be. Let the people around us be an inspiration (and sometimes a warning) without being a measuring stick we can't compare to.