Mark was born into a middle-class family. He lived with his older sister, Sasha, and his parents. He was very good in academics from childhood. Sasha was not as good as Mark at studying. This made Mark overconfident. He started to think that nobody is better than him at studying. Every time Mark earned good grades, their parents let her down.
This all changed one day when Sasha started studying seriously. She worked very hard and showed Mark and her parents that she is also very good at studies. This left Mark with nothing but underconfidence and doubt in himself. From this point onward, Mark struggled with self-confidence and his academic grades went on lowering.
The sides were reversed. Mark thought he is not as good as Sasha and can never leave her behind in their studies. Henry, their older cousin once visited them and he showed them their certificate of how good he has been in academics. Now, Mark wanted to leave behind Sasha as well as Henry in studies and Sasha only wanted to do the same but with Henry only.
Now, Mark, Sasha, and Henry were studying very hard to top in their studies and reach the top. Soon came the exams and the results came out. Henry topped his exam and Sasha topped her exams, but Mark could not top his exam. This result made Mark feel much worse than he was feeling earlier.
Henry and Sasha were older than Mark, so they finished college earlier. Mark was still in school when Henry and Sasha graduated. Mark felt that no matter what he did, he would never reach the top. Mark then realized that he has one thing on his side that Sasha and Henry do not, and that was time. Mark studied properly what Henry and Sasha did in college, but more importantly, he studied what they did not.
This gave Mark an edge over them, as he got to do what they did at their age but, more importantly, what he would not have to do at that age. When Mark graduated, he scored more than Henry and Sasha but was still not satisfied as he did not reach the top. On the other hand, Henry continued going for the top and Sasha also went for the top.
But the crown at the top was always changing hands as nobody always sits on the throne. What we should learn from this rat race is that comparison will always let you down. Even if you are successful, you will never be happy as long as you are comparing yourself to anyone.
In this tug of war among Mark, Sasha, and Henry, they all are elevating themselves up by comparing themselves to each other but the real question is are they happy? The answer is no! They will never be happy until they are satisfied with their achievements.