A person can potentially use comparisons to mess up his life.
For example, a person can go to the most elegant restaurant
which employs the greatest chef. He can order the most
expensive food. Then for the rest of his life he can say about
any other meal, "This isn't as good as the meal I once had in
that five-star restaurant."
I recently related this example to a group of tourists. They
laughed. And then one spoke up and said, "I just realized that I
do this all the time. Just last night at the fancy hotel we were
staying at, my first comment after the meal was, 'This wasn't
as good as the food I ate at another restaurant five years ago.' I
didn't realize how foolish this response is."
Our patterns of comparisons will either be a way we prevent
ourselves from enjoying what we have, or a way by which we
gain a greater sense of appreciation. A sage once said, "In
spiritual matters look up and raise your sights. But when it
comes to material and physical matters look down." That is, in
spiritual matters keep looking for role models to motivate
yourself to reach higher and higher levels. But when it comes to
appreciating your possessions and your financial situation, look
at those who have less than you and gain a greater sense of
appreciation for what you have.