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Good, Better, Best : For Better or For Worse?

via Daily Prompt: Better

Remember this tongue twister we said when we were kids. Read today’s prompt and couldn’t help but type this out.

Betty bought some butter,

The butter was bitter,

Betty bought some better butter

To make the bitter butter better.

This post is not about tongue twisters or about butter. It’s about the unassuming, unpretentious word “better”.

 

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What can “Better” do? 

  1. It can help you take decisions. Everybody wants the better product, the better job, the better price, visit the better restaurant… Without much ado and scientific reasoning, the simple “better” can make decision making so much easier.
  2. It can make you feel great about yourself if you are the better child amongst other kids at home or school or  if you are the better employee amongst others. Wow, you are better than the rest!

“Better”, is a comparative adjective and it’s absolutely cool as it’s the easiest way to tell a person which choice is more beneficial.

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When does “Better” become not so cool?

What if you’re the one being compared to and what if you’re told someone else is better than you? Not cool right?

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There’s not a soul in this world who hasn’t suffered at the hands of  this seemingly innocent yet hard-hitting comparison. Some used the feeling to fight back and prove themselves while others faded into obscurity. But I am sure, all these people, the successful and the not so successful would have declared , at their lowest point, that they wouldn’t make anybody feel the way they did, they wouldn’t compare between people because the negative feelings the comparison breeds far outweighs the positive.

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Are we converting our home to breeding grounds of mistrust and doubt?

Comparison happens in the classroom, on the playground, in the office and sadly at home as well. You cannot control what happens outside. You cannot control how others behave towards you or the ones you care about. But what you can control is YOU and how you react towards those you love and care for. You can control what happens at home.

Isn’t home a place where we are supposed to feel loved and secure?

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Strangely, home turns out to be the place where the people who love us the most end up hurting us the most without even realizing it. It’s the first place we learn to hate and resent and feel envious as we are pitted against our siblings, the neighbor’s kids, or a friend’s kid. Ever social interaction becomes a ground for competition and we must thrive because it’s survival of the fittest. Sounds stifling? It is!

Well, if you haven’t had any of these feelings, ever, then you are exceptionally lucky and maybe you should skip this post and read some other post. This isn’t for you.

But if you have felt it at some point in time, even for a minute second, if you have felt the comparison eat into your confidence and it has made you hate yourself for having those  feelings of animosity, then read on.

Why do we compare? Why should we tell a child ” He or She is better than you”?

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As parents, we obviously do it with perfectly good motives because we love our children and want to push them to improve, to progress and to rule the world.  We wouldn’t do it with a sadistic pleasure to hurt the most precious things in our life, of that I am certain.

But I wonder how we got this notion that comparison helps progress. If comparison was the key to success, then Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Galileo, Newton, Arya Bhatt, Stephen Hawkins etc.   wouldn’t have succeeded because they had absolutely nobody to compare themselves with. They were first generation inventors, solution finders, thinkers.

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Key to Success and Happiness – Compare yourself with yourself!

Comparing yourself to somebody else is demeaning. You are one of a kind.  You are special.  Comparison can be done between objects not between living things because each one of us is unique. Each child is special. None of us is a clone of the other. If that be so, then how can we compare?

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The only person that the bright minds of our century competed against were themselves. They strived, worked hard and were passionate about surpassing themselves. Nothing else mattered. And that’s the only way it should be, the only way to attain happiness, contentment and go beyond mediocrity towards excellence.

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You moved a grade higher, you got better marks today than you did last term or you allowed a passer-by to cross the road though you were in a hurry or you completed your job in time and reached home early or you had healthy food today as compared to yesterday or you walked an extra mile today rather than take the car. It could be anything that’s important to you- your health, your education, your career, your life, your passion. Take a step towards being better each day to achieve your goal without losing your health, your peace of mind and your sleep.

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What’s the point in comparing yourself with your-self?

  • You’ll most certainly be improving and working on improving without feeling stressed and disgruntled.
  • You would go to bed, happy and satisfied each day, with a sense of achievement rather than feeling anxious and disappointed.
  • You would look forward to each day as it’s another day to be much better than you were the previous day.
  • You would definitely feel positive and on top of the world which would only make you even better at what you do.

 

Get out of the vicious cycle of comparing and use “better” in a better way. Originality comes from being yourself and comparing yourself to yourself.

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