I believe that people often ignore their own opportunities for happiness because they’re too focused on comparing themselves to other people.
In the movie Amadeus, a composer named Salieri is driven mad by measuring himself against Mozart, who had a rare genius that Salieri could never match. Salieri called himself the king of mediocrity by comparison to Mozart.
Yet, Salieri accomplished great things in his own right. He wrote acclaimed operas, was the favored court composer, taught many appreciative students, and lived in luxury. Sadly, he never truly enjoyed what he had.
There is another story like this…the story of the African farmer who saw other people around him getting rich by finding diamonds. He envied them, so he sold his farm and used the cash to wander the land, searching for wealth. In the end, he died broke and sad. When the new owner of the farm took over, he discovered the land was covered in diamonds. The farm became the Kimberly Diamond Mine, the richest the world has ever known. The original farmer had literally been standing on acres of diamonds, but he never thought to look down at his own feet.
These stories are metaphors that remind us to look for opportunities that suit us, rather than measuring our success against others.