Comparing processes and comparing results

There’s a lot to be gained by comparing our processes versus those of others.

For instance, how does someone you consider successful approach their life? What do they do well? What could you learn from how they approach life?

The main danger here is that we might only be viewing some processes in isolation. Someone’s approach to work, for example, may not translate to healthy personal relationships. But, still, if we keep an open mind, there’s plenty we can learn from folks who’re different from us. Some of these lessons will translate to us living our lives better. Many, on the other hand, will just involve us getting to know ourselves much better. For example, once you realize the process behind how someone built their wealth, you may decide that it’s not for you.

Comparing results without understanding processes, as a result, is a guaranteed source of unhappiness. It is akin to surfing your Facebook feed and finding yourself envious of the exotic vacations your friends are enjoying. Results never tell us the full story. They don’t tell us what went in what worked. And, they almost always leave out vital strokes of luck that accompany every accomplishment.

A large proportion of human unhappiness comes from people comparing their kitchens with everyone else’s Instagrammed meals. It is an unfair and useless comparison.

And, most importantly, at least from the point of view of this blog, we learn nothing from it.