Tuesday, May 17, 2022


Weekly column by fitness expert Cashel Hayden for the Waterford News & Star, in association with Kingfisher Fitness Club


THIS is a saying that lives on from times of old; often linked to the likes of Roosevelt, C.S. Lewis, Mark Twain, and many more! A saying that could not be made any more relevant to the world today. In an age where we all seem to be in competition with our peers, opponents, idols, etc. It is within this mindset that we seem to lose sight of what should be our primary driving force. To be the best version of ourselves.

Accepting that we are all unique as human beings and are not all made to look the same or become the avatar for whatever the general consensus at the time is, for the given desired look – often set by celebrities/ influencers/ role models in our life.


We are only being shown a carefully curated chapter from someone’s life’


Comparing the lives of ourselves to the lives of others can have many implications when it comes to appreciating what we have in our life, how far we’ve come and gives a certain lack of clarity and ability to live in the present.

Below I will suggest two actions we can take right now to help ourselves develop awareness on appreciating what we have in life and how far we have come despite any given circumstances that may be going against us.


Highlight Reels Vs Reality

Social media is the prime suspect here. While there are many positives starting to manifest within the world of social media – the negatives are still there. As the saying goes, “no rain, no flowers”. The root of many comparisons we make within our lives usually occurs as a result of seeing the success stories online; this might be your favourite influencer, or even a neighbour!

When we are at what we deem to be a rough patch in our life, or even just becoming more aware of the success of others around us, comparing our life to others accelerates to the front of our mind, often fixated, obsessed with what we don’t have. A craving for what they have. What our brain is blindsided by here is we are only provided with one side of the story. We are shown the success stories, but are often not made aware of the background, sacrifices and failures relevant to the given individual. Keeping this in mind is key when we find our mind drifting here. In reality, we are only being shown a carefully curated chapter from someone’s life.



This links in well with my previous point; comparing our life to somebody’s highlight reel is somewhat similar to comparing a single chapter from a book to a whole book. Its potential for bias is uncanny and something we must learn to become more self-aware of. Let’s use the gym setting as an example to help elaborate my point here on using perspective to avoid comparison. You’ve been training for six months now, but every time you train, you are becoming increasingly aware of how your progress compares to a given individual who always seems to be training at the same time.

This individual seems to be consistently building muscle/ losing weight/ lifting heavier each week, whereas you feel stagnant. When this happens we need to think diligently. How long have we been training in comparison to this individual? The likelihood is they have more training experience. How far have we come since starting our training journey?

The likelihood here is that we have made a considerable advancement in our self-development, both mentally and physically. Switch our mindset to being the best version of ourselves; are we pushing ourselves to be the best we can with the time and tools we have available to us? If your answer is yes, you are going in the right direction. You must acknowledge this, embrace it and move on with the mindset of continuous self-development being used as a primary outcome for happiness and fulfilment.


It’s not all bad news

While comparison can take over our mind if not rationalised, I see no issue myself (and have done myself) with people using comparison as a method of developing some discipline and direction in where they would like to be in life. It is empirical here that we remain aware that this will be no easy task (success rarely is) and that we do not let this be the fulcrum of our happiness. We must remain grateful for what you have in life, and for how far you have come in life. I will end this with a quote I feel resonates well here with the topic at hand.


Difficulties strengthen the mind as labour does the body” – Seneca


I hope someone found some of this information useful here, just some food for thought.

For any questions in relation to this topic or training, nutrition, etc. or for coaching inquiries simply message me on my business page on instagram @coachedbycashel_ or by email – [email protected]

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By Cashel Hayden
Contact Newsdesk: 051 874951

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