Growing up, my dad would always tell me that comparison is the thief of joy. However, it was not until many years later that I would learn the deep wisdom that laid behind those words from experience.
When I picked up a camera for the first time I wasn’t led to comparison. I wasn’t a full time photographer yet and I viewed it as simply as something I wanted to get better at. I saw other photographer’s work, admired them for their skill, and worked on my own skill set. Years later, I am typing these words as someone who has truly learned what it means to be content in what the Lord’s provides for me everyday.
As a photographer, it’s enormously easy to constantly be comparing my work to other photographers or other photographer’s success to mine. And there’s no difference in this than the comparison we daily do in our normal day-to-day lives.
You see, I don’t live a normal college life. I’ve been told that I’m not getting the correct “college experience” and I’ve been asked why I don’t post more pictures of me hanging out with friends. I get asked when I am going to move out of my parents house and live on my own and they way I want to. The truth is, I’m not getting a typical college experience. I’ve never been to a party, I’ve never drank, I’m typically in bed by 10pm, and my ideal Friday night is doing something with my parents and four siblings after a photoshoot. And I love it.
It took me a few years to stop comparing my lifestyle to other college students and realize that I truly wouldn’t change anything. When I start to compare my college lifestyle to other’s I grow discontent and unhappy with the things in my life. But in reality, my best friends are my 4 siblings that I still have the privilege or living under the same roof as, a business that I pour my heart and soul into with so much joy, and a school that I couldn’t be more proud to attend. And I get to send a few more years living under the same roof of the best parents in the entire world.
Comparison is the thief of joy. When we start to look at the live’s of others we compare. It’s easy to see what people post on Instagram and how much fun they’re constantly having with all their friends. That’s their life and not yours. There shouldn’t be anything for you to compare. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned as a college student and business owner to keep your eye on things above and things eternal. Because if you’re not, your focus is on the wrong things.
I still struggle with the temptation to compare my life to that of other’s. I have to daily choose to remind myself that I must be faithful to the life that the Lord has called me to live, regardless of what it seems other’s are doing. Today I continue to choose to lift my eyes to things above and I invite you to do the same. I promise a life of extreme joy awaits you!