A few days ago, I wrote about how I wrestle with the impulse to compare myself with others. This is an insidious, destructive impulse. This is what Steven Pressfield would call another manifestation of Resistance. Since I wrote about the topic, I've been experimenting with effective ways to curtail the need to compare. I think of it as editing my life. Like the sculptor, I'm chipping away everything that isn't the statue.
The most effective way of tearing out this impulse has been to slash the time I spend on social media. Instead, I read books. You know, actual printed books with pages, ink, and that amazing sawed-lumber scent.
As I've written here before, I'm no neophyte. But social media makes it easy to get sucked into the vortex of comparison, especially with the rise of lifestyle-themed material that has permeated content generation, even outside of the corporate world.
This type of content is fine. It has its purpose. But it centers on the self. Reading books forces me into a more empathetic state of mind. I wander around in someone else's head. I wonder where they were at, mentally, when they put the words to paper. I think about what motivates the characters. The self fades.
This more balanced diet of content consumption has paid dividends. Aside from feeling happier overall, I feel sharper and more engaged, more empathetic. I also find I'm sleeping better, most likely because I'm not spending my last 30 minutes of consciousness in front of a screen.
My eyesight may be deteriorating prematurely, but so far, it's worth it.