"I notice that there are other people who seem stronger than me and didn't start with the lack of confidence that I had to struggle with all my life. They are so cool. They are so much better off and so much better than me. I should have been better. It's so sad."
THE CONCEPT OF "BETTER THAN"
Yep, there are people better than you. And that is true for all but one person, so welcome to the crowd. [Of course, I'm not sure what criteria would be used to determine that and how we could measure it.]
Of course, you probably don't make yourself wrong for not winning the decathlon at the Olympics, so there are some people you don't even bother to compare yourself with.
But if you meet an accomplished person who is happy and has a wonderful spouse and is very well off financially, you could place yourself as 'inferior', or 'not as good as.' That could be true.
But the question is "so what?"
What is wrong with me not being as good as another person? Yes, they could judge me and I might not get quite as good a job because of it or be included socially with them, but 'so what?' I also can't fly by flapping my arms.
Of course, I would benefit if I could qualify for a better job, so I am not getting that benefit.
But I am also not getting the benefit of being able to turn lead into gold.
So what? I am just in a reality that is as it is. Yes, the other person's reality might be better. Well, good for them. It is no skin off my nose. They are simply better.
I am simply me. I have a job given to me of making the best I can of what I can. If I were the only person on earth that would still be my job. Somehow I made it up that there is some significance to somebody else being better than me and/or the consequences for them are better. But I just "made it up". There is no "better" in reality.
But you say that you can see that he is better.
As Popeye, the great philosopher of the comics, said: I yam what I yam and that's what I yam!
And you are what you are.
You couldn't have been any different.
Yes, if circumstances were different and you had different parents, then you would have been different. But it is pointless to talk about that being different than it was, because we can't change it now, right?
I had parents who helped me survive and who loved me in their own limited way, but who were not perfect nor even as good as lots of other parents. So, I got from them what I got from them, and it was as good as it was and no better and no worse. My friend Fred got better parents so he grew up without the neuroses that I grew up with. So that is just what is so. It means nothing. I still have to do the best with what I've got no matter if someone else is doing better or doing worse. It doesn't matter that their potential was freed up more than mine and that I failed many times when I was caught up in my fears and worries.
I'm still where I'm at. Given the level of awareness that I was at at the time of any one decision I couldn't have made a better decision because my awareness couldn't have possibly been better than what it had accumulated to at the time. (Duh!) And the circumstances that happened to me simply happened to me and they were simply a result of my being where those circumstances would affect me. I was snowed in often so I couldn't get to school more and so I got less of an education so I made less money and was less knowledgeable - but that is simply the result of what was so at the time and where I was and what the circumstances were. So what? It don't matter none. I am just where I am (or yam!)!
Since I couldn't have taken any other path, given all the circumstances that happened, including the people I learned from, and the decisions I made in my limited awareness, I have simply arrived the only place I could.
Since the purpose of life is to be happy, which is a purpose that just happened as a result of my being born a human, I only have the best choice of doing what I can to experience the most total happiness I can. And what others get to have is simply what they get to have. It is my job to handle my world and try not to collide too much with their worlds.
All I can do is be the "go to" guy in my life, the one person who cares the most and can do the most about my life (including sometimes convincing others to benefit me). Though circumstances and people's actions could benefit me, I am totally responsible for creating the best I can, and considering the rest as a bonus. But for sure, even if I do or don't get those bonuses, it is up to me to create all the good for me that I can.
Something happens and then I respond in the best way I can. I am responsible for my life. I can't 'take responsibility' as I already have it, though figuratively speaking I can choose to be proactive about doing the best I can. But the best I can might be limited to less than 'the best' since I have limited awareness.
The points here are:
That it is irrelevant, in the end, of whether others are better or not, as it is up to me to create the best life I can given what occurs in my life - and I have received all the equipment that is necessary for me to be able to create deep, lasting, durable happiness.
There is no point and it is utterly silly to "regret" that my life wasn't better because it could have only happened the way it did, given all the circumstances. So I will simply put my efforts into the future instead of wasting energy on something that is unchangeable and pointless.
I will learn what I can so that I can increase my ability to enjoy life, and create a life that is better and better in terms of happiness capability, regardless of the circumstances. And I have the power to choose to create that life anyway I want to.
I choose now to increase my wisdom and awareness so that I can be a "force of nature" in creating that life I love, not concerned about others' approval and completely free.
(Consider watching Kaufmann's videos on Become A Force Of Nature. Consider watching his other YouTube videos and/or those on the Option Institute site.)
The reason we want to be respected or approved of or admired (as being better) is so that we will live a better life because of our social status, where we will get more procreation opportunities and privileges. This is "bettering our survival". But if we wait for everybody to give us sufficient approval, we would be better off just going about directly improving our skills and ability to "better survive". We'd be far better off doing that than by wasting our efforts trying to control other people's opinions of us. (See also Solving The Social Status Problem - Another "Enough" Problem?)
alpha male, survive better
but happy enough
purpose to be better or to be happy