Everybody is different. This may seem like a trivial statement, but people often need several decades to truly learn what it means. Children go through a psychological crisis when they realize that there are other people around them who also have thoughts and needs. Teenagers spend months depressed about the existence of rich or more popular classmates. Even as adults, we still suffer because we compare ourselves to others (even if we do so subconsciously). This frequently leads to unnecessary, negative consequences: taking out loans in order to buy a new car, “settling” for a life partner you don’t love because all of your friends are married, quitting a job because of impostor syndrome and so on.
Learning that the only person you should compare yourself to is you requires a lot of work. When we finally learn how to do this, we have an opportunity to truly get to know ourselves. The person who can never be replicated – even thousands of years after they have been born. The person who came to this world with a mission, and without whom this world would be different.
- Finding yourself is very important. Every one of us knows this deep down. Perhaps this is why we wake up and fall asleep with a great desire to accomplish something, to make a difference. This powerful energy to keep moving forward is there for a reason. But unless we understand where to direct this energy, all of our efforts are in vain and life seems like a string of meaningless events.
Why is it so difficult to understand who we are and what our calling is? It’s not only because we senselessly compare ourselves to others. All of us develop among people, and every person has an opinion on what our future holds. Our parents want us to follow a stable career path instead of doing what we want. Our employer demands that we think and behave in a way that is best for the company. Advertisers inundate us with images of success that don’t correspond to our lived reality. All of this noise often prevents us from listening to our inner voice, from knowing our true selves. What we do end up learning is maybe just a tenth of the real truth – there is simply too much hidden in the secret, subconscious part of ourselves. The way we view ourselves is often too dependent on the opinions of others and fleeting personal conclusions. We often draw these conclusions quickly and are influenced by our emotions, but present them as final truths. This is how we end up on the wrong path and live with a constant feeling that real life is passing us by.
“Know yourself” is a central tenant of human culture and Vedic astrology has accomplished a lot in this respect over 6,000+ years of its existence. A key axiom of this discipline is that the same events will be perceived differently by different people. For example, a Scorpio’s issues with his father will push him to work harder, while the same issues for a Virgo will turn into a life-long mistrust of people and feelings of loneliness. A Leo’s motivations are completely different from those of a Capricorn. When we realize how these differences come about, comparing ourselves to others starts to feel senseless. If we accept our internal (and not always obvious) impulses as an important part of ourselves, they become a powerful tool we can use for our own development.