The Cure for Comparison is the Team Score

26 Mar

I’m going to get woo woo with you on this one. I just ask that you be open.

Did you hear about the anti-bullying ad that IKEA did a couple years ago, where they exposed two identical plants to different behaviors? One plant was subjected to recordings of negative statements for 30 days, while the other got to listen to positive statements. Here, if you’d like to watch:

While this campaign has fallen under some criticism, I believe in it–not just the important anti-bullying message itself, but that how we speak and act affects our environment.

What do you believe in? God? Jesus? Karma? Good vibes? If you believe in anything at all, you can agree with me and IKEA about the plants.

I’m going to try to keep this as secular and accessible as possible.

A couple weeks ago when I was driving on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I was being tailgated by an aggressively driven Range Rover. My mind immediately went to a negative thought about the person, and then next went into my corrective measures to think something positive.

Because when we think and speak and act negatively, that sends bad vibes out into the world. I believe this causes our world, on a spiritual level, to wilt, like the plant. I don’t want to make the world wilt.

Besides trying to aim love at the driver, I tried to feel happy for the person and what they were doing in the moment, which made me brainstorm ways the person was “winning.” Well, they got to drive fast and crazy and get away with it. That’s a win. They got to drive a really nice, expensive car. That’s a win. I thought of these and beamed gratitude towards them to feed the wins more power to get positive vibes out there.

Suddenly, I realized I was not even a little bit comparing my Mazda to their Range Rover. It didn’t matter. Without even trying, I didn’t view this person as a competitor, but as a teammate, and if they were winning, then “we” were winning.

I quickly moved my car to the right lane where I would be stuck behind a slow-moving tractor trailer truck so the Range Rover could fly by me. Not only was this another win for them, but it was one I got to give them! We were vibing in a way to make one very perky plant!

Still with me?

I’m not going to say this is easy, but with discipline, practice, and heart, it is a viable cure for comparison and jealousy. (Believe me, being someone who is chronically ill, chronically single, and chronically broke, eliminating envy is a tall order!)

I kept doing it as I drove. Every time I saw an expensive car, I thought, “Yay! that’s a win for team human! Good vibes!” I’d pass a mansion and be thrilled that person scored a win for us. I went backwards at all the times I felt jealous, that someone was more successful, that someone was living in a way I only dreamed of, that someone got to live life without pain … now, those were just ways my teammates were scoring wins.

(And if right now you’re saying “Yeah, but–,” you’re playing for the wrong team.)

I have my own ways of winning. All the travel I’ve gotten to do, the places I’ve seen and people I’ve met, having the best dog ever. We’re not all going to have mansions and gold medals. We all have our own, different positions on the team. Could you imagine a baseball team where everyone played only left field? They’d never win.

So these are the points I score, and when I hold them with the utmost gratitude, I give them the ultimate power to beam happy vibes out into our world. Every moment of practicing gratitude tips the balance for good.

I’d love to tell you that it’s not a competition, but it is. It’s a competition between good and bad, and you get to choose which team you’re on.

I hope you play for good. Embrace your position. Don’t oppose your teammates, but pass them the ball and cheer them on when they score. As long as all of us together keep adding points to the board, more than those who are doing bad things and being mean and negative, then we’re all winning. It’s truly making the world a better place.

And like I said, be open, because you never know when it’ll be your moment to catch a pass and run for the goal.

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