It's easy to fall into the comparison trap. We usually think of this as comparing ourselves to other people. How much money we earn, where we live, what we own, and what we do. We compare what we know about our own lives to what we assume about others.
Of course I notice other people, but I don't usually get too caught up in wanting what they have. My problem is more personal. I time travel. I compare myself to who I used to be, who I think I should be now, and who I think I can be in the future.
There are a few major issues with this mindset. I'm never fair when comparing myself to the past. I look at highlights, like when I could get by on very little sleep, or when I was in great shape, or other small successes along the way. I also beat myself up for mistakes I made or where I fell short and I assume I'm still the same. Because lets face it, years go by, but we never really feel like a different person. I don't look at how much more successful I am now, or the significant responsibilities I have now, or how much smarter and more mature I am now.
Looking forward I look at what I would like to achieve, but I overlook how delusional many of my goals or dreams are. I overlook the assumptions I make. I paint a glorious picture of a future life or accomplishments, and ignore the hardships that would inevitably come with any growth.
To me, the comparison trap of me to myself becomes a prison that keeps me from appreciating where I am and what I've accomplished. I hope that being aware of this leads to ending it. As of now, reminding myself that where I am was once a dream, and will once be the good old days. If I can learn to appreciate today, the day will come that I no longer have to do this consciously.
Or, the day will come that I'll wish for the life I now have, and that I would have learned from this lesson.