Very few of us can say they are not under any kind of pressure. They are lucky or intelligent to thwart pressure completely. It seems today’s lifestyle has many pressure points – reasons to create pressure. Some of them might be unavoidable, but if we analyse properly, most of the reasons for creating pressure on us are avoidable, easily.

While checking on her social media, my wife sees photographs of a family friend, visiting hometown, and feels we are stuck in lockdown. It’s a pressure taken voluntarily but is completely avoidable. Possibility of being in a different situation makes us consider our current situation is inferior. Till the time we have seen another person’s situation, we are happy on our own. But as soon as we know, others are different – not necessarily better – situated in life, we feel we would be better placed in that way.

I drive to the office, and at a traffic signal, a roaring sports car stops beside mine. I realise my car, although quite good for me, is much inferior to that beautiful beast. Is it a necessary pressure I take in my mind? I would have loved the beautiful box on four wheels that I own, but as soon as I see someone else’s is shinier, louder or bigger, I take unnecessary pressure on my possession.

You get an email circular from the HR of your company, mentioning your colleague has been promoted to the next level. You know it will give him a 15% raise in salary. Your pay is not reduced, but jump in your colleague’s pay creates unknown pressure in your mind. You are neither demoted nor have got any salary cut, but comparing other’s progress with yours leaves you under unexplainable pressure. It is also called peer pressure, where we constantly see ourselves in undeclared competition with the surrounding people.

Such situations of comparison and inferiority are vicious and never-ending. One can never satiate such thirst. The only way to come out of such a situation is either not to fall into it or to make a rational assessment. Not to slip in that comparison requires Buddha’s mind, which we might not possess. But coming out from there is a simple process of asking a few questions to ourselves:

1. Before the comparison, was I unhappy?

2. If I put myself in that desired situation, will it be the end of my peer pressure?

3. If I don’t get the other car, or promotion or cannot visit hometown or vacation place, will it affect me or my family in any adverse way?

There can be a set of such questions that we can prepare, but in my opinion, it is enough to know, this is avoidable pressure and unless we have a desire to jump into a race, better not to burn out.

So, ask yourself: What creates pressure on you? And see if it can be avoided or reduced or removed.

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