Bit-of-Joy #21

Comparison is the thief of joy. – Theodore Roosevelt

Today’s quote originally popped out at me as a given. Of course, comparing ourselves, our lives, our belongings, our gifts to others robs us of joy because someone will always be or have more or better. FOMO, keeping up with the Joneses, the grass is always greener…

Comparing is the root of all misery, right? Maybe not.

Let me explain….

Comparing might be a motivating factor: “If he/she/it/they can — maybe, just maybe, I can, too.”

This doesn’t mean I lose my joy – because my joy isn’t outside of myself but resides within me – in acceptance of what is, in hope of what is yet to come.

Rather than comparing myself to someone who is living the life I want – whether it be physical, emotional, financial, social, spiritual, etc – and putting myself down because I am not yet ‘there’, I can compare myself and know that more, different, better is POSSIBLE.

Like most anything else in life, it is not the comparing that robs me of joy but what I do with, or how I respond to, the comparison…

So today I invite you to compare and carry on.

Can you remember a time when comparing yourself to another led to a moment of joy?


  1. That quote spoke volumes to me when I discovered it a few years ago. It is something that I’ve come to terms with now and I actually put things in place when I feel like I’m making unhealthy comparisons. I’ve been known to unfollow friends on FB who are living too large – if things make me feel sad or envious I move away and focus more on what I do have, rather than being bothered by what I don’t have.


    • Leanne, it is so easy to make unhealthy comparisons, isn’t it? I have been rethinking the ideas of envy and trying to turn it into appreciation. Perhaps the key is to celebrate others’ success AND be grateful for our own – comparing will increase our joy. Good for you that you know when you need to create boundaries to protect your joy!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Janet! I wrote a blog post about comparing a while back and for the most part, I do my best to avoid it. I find that when I use comparison, I am witnessing external things and then judging them and relating them to my experience–either in the positive or the negative. Instead, when I allow my inspiration to flow from the inside out–then I experience both joy and deep appreciation for the action. I suppose so much of this is semantics though, it all depends upon how we end up defining comparison, doesn’t it? BUT, I’m sure you know that I completely agree that, “Like most anything else in life, it is not the comparing that robs me of joy but what I do with, or how I respond to, the comparison…” Thanks for the thought-provoking way to think about joy today. ~Kathy


    • Kathy – I get what you mean about not comparing. I try to avoid it too. But when I came across the quote I had a thought to flip it on its head. Given how difficult it is to NOT compare, I thought it could at least be better to use comparison for good. Thanks for joining the conversation…


    • Karen – as part of my mission statement says, I like to challenge the status quo! Some call me contrarian, but I really just enjoy looking from different angles and perspectives to see what might be hidden inside. Delighted you found something helpful when flipped on its head. Enjoy your day!


  3. Yes, comparison can be a good thing too, if it motivates us to try harder or do differently. Very good point, Janet! I think it has to do with our inner motivation – why are we comparing ourselves to others? Out of fear, or lack? Or because we want something different and are looking for others who have achieved what we want, in order to learn how.
    Thank you for this.



    • Yes Deb – good point. Isn’t so much about our motivation or intention? Yesterday a well-known, award-winning, 20+ year writer shared a rejection letter she received from a small, young magazine stating they were looking for someone with more experience – and encouraged her to keep writing. Now, when I consider the many submission rejections I have received through the years, I don’t feel so bad – in comparison….

      Liked by 1 person

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