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A Effective Way to be Present – Do Not Compare

by Jo-Ann Downey

in Mental Clarity & Calmness

Very Smart Girls will celebrate its 10th Birthday on July 27, 2019!  In honor of this milestone, I will provide an update on my first 4 blogs- There is No Such Thing as a Table for Two, What is Wellness?, An Effective Way to be Present- Do Not Compare, and 2 Essential Guidelines to Create a New Habit.

Original Post

An Effective Way to be Present- Do Not Compare

Do you want to live more in the moment, but don’t know exactly how to do it?  Have you heard that living in the moment can bring you more calmness and joy?  Would you like to live less in the past, less in the future, or both?  One practical way to be present is to stop comparing.

Being Present versus Comparing

When you compare, versus when you observe, you are not fully present.

If you sit on a friend’s couch and think “this couch is nicer than my couch”, then you are comparing versus truly enjoying your experience, or being present in the moment. In a subtle way, you are thinking about your past experiences on your couch.   If you think “this is a nice couch” then you are more present.

Read these thoughts again and notice how you feel:
“This couch is nicer than my couch”
“This is a nice couch”

Were you calmer, and perhaps more joyful, when you read the second thought?

Comparing and Judgments

When you compare, you are often in judgment of yourself, others, circumstances, feelings or experiences.  Comparing usually makes something better or worse than something else.

Think about how much time you spend comparing and judging.  What would your day, your life, look and feel like if you were 100% present to what is- without judgments or comparisons?  Would you be more present? Would you be calmer?


Preferences are fine; we all have preferences.  I acknowledge you if you aspire to make positive changes in your life.

If your preference is to have an organized office and you see an office that is organized, you may think “what a wonderful, organized office. I’m going to look around for some tips.”  Or you may think “this office is organized and my office is dismal.”  There you are again – back in your messy office.

10 Years Later ~ Acceptance

During the last 10 years I have developed a practice of accepting what is from a place of curiosity and trust. This became easier for me about 5 years ago when I realized how many concepts and ideas I was consciously and unconsciously attached to when I resisted what was present.

Comparing and judging (right/wrong, good/bad, or better/worse) assumes that you know everything that is going on and that you know what is best (which is impossible). It also involves a standard that you made up and/or adopted that was either supported or violated. Now that’s a lot of making stuff up!  In the meantime, things are the way that they are and wanting something different does not leave much space to receive wisdom.

When I consciously combine acceptance with being unattached to a particular outcome (aka acceptance) I am naturally present, patient, and peaceful. I more easily receive feedback, see more choices, and make better decisions from a place of willingness, trust, and flexibility. 

Healthy acceptance does not condone harmful people or situations. It does include learning lessons, making adjustments, being honest, and honoring yourself (self-acceptance) by sharing your experiences, preferences, and boundaries. 

Acceptance and quality of life go hand in hand.

You may want to read “There is No Such Thing as a Table for Two- 10 Years Later”, “What is Wellness? – 10 Years Later”, “Acceptance and Patience”, “Quotes about Acceptance“, “Understanding Series: Acceptance and Success”

*2021 notice* I am not posting on Be All of You Today. You will find an update to this blog here on Be All of You Today.

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photo credit:  Dolorix

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