“The cars are always faster in the other lane”

Have you ever been driving on the freeway and looked at the car in the lane next to you and thought that lane seems to be moving faster?

I’ve always found it funny how drivers can sometimes maneuver across 4 lanes of traffic just to end up in the same place where they were before.

You’ve probably heard the quote, “the grass is always greener on the other side.” Well the same thing applies to driving- “The cars are always faster in the other lane.”

I’ve always thought it was pretty ridiculous to compare your speed with the lanes next to you because the lanes generally even out in the end. If you’re stuck in traffic, the other lanes are stuck in traffic too. Their traffic just might be another 50 yards ahead of yours.

So what I have done instead is picked a car that was pretty distinguishable or that had cut me off or was weaving through traffic. I figured that if I just kept track of that car then I would know if the other lanes really were faster or not.

Usually… they’re not. But… occasionally they are…

This is where I run into trouble. When that guy that cut me off actually does get ahead of me and stays ahead of me, it frustrates me. I start thinking that maybe I should drive more like that because then I would get ahead too. The thing is though that in general, even if you do get ahead by a few cars, you only save yourself maybe 1-2 minutes. So it really isn’t worth risking your life or the lives of others to get a few cars ahead of someone.

Anyway, I finally decided that comparing my speed with other cars wasn’t making me happier or saving me any time. It was simply getting me frustrated.
So I just stopped. I stopped comparing myself to the others on the road.

And I was so much happier…

I realized that comparing myself to others didn’t change them and it didn’t change the situation, but it did change me. It made me less happy, more irritable, and not as safe of a driver. However, when I stopped, everything changed. And now that I realize that, I have no desire to compare myself to others on the road because I realize what it does to me and I don’t want any part of that anymore.

This has also made me reflect on how else I compare myself to others. Am I making myself unhappy for no reason? What can I stop doing to make myself happier? And does comparing ever change anything other than me?

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