I am beset by poisonous comparisons. How can I stop wasting my time on them? | Leading questions

Try to covet what you already have, writes advice columnist Eleanor Gordon Smith, instead of feeling shame at what you lack

I am a man in my early 40s, a college graduate with three young kids and generally speaking have no money worries. Having worked in finance since I left university, I recently changed career by moving into a more generalist role with the civil service. I left finance because I wasn’t willing to commit to the long hours my employer demanded. I have more time with the family and am even studying again, so all should be fine now. Except it isn’t.

I find I am beset by poisonous comparisons. I constantly compare myself to my friends, my relations, siblings and people I have previously worked and studied with. An old and dear friend has recently gained a prestigious promotion and instead of being happy for him I am quite jealous. I cannot even read a biography without comparing my position to the subjects. It’s frankly very foolish and petty of me.

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