A person can potentially use comparisons to mess up his life. For example, a person can go to the most elegant restaurant which employs the greatest chef. He can order the most expensive food. Then for the rest of his life he can say about any other meal, "This isn't as good as the meal I once had in that five-star restaurant."
I recently related this example to a group of tourists. They laughed. And then one spoke up and said, "I just realized that I do this all the time. Just last night at the fancy hotel we were staying at, my first comment after the meal was, 'This wasn't as good as the food I ate at another restaurant five years ago.' I didn't realize how foolish this response is."
Our patterns of comparisons will either be a way we prevent ourselves from enjoying what we have, or a way by which we gain a greater sense of appreciation. A sage once said, "In spiritual matters look up and raise your sights. But when it comes to material and physical matters look down." That is, in spiritual matters keep looking for role models to motivate yourself to reach higher and higher levels. But when it comes to appreciating your possessions and your financial situation, look at those who have less than you and gain a greater sense of appreciation for what you have.
(From Rabbi Pliskin's "Happiness",p.67-8)