Hello SOTGC community,
I had a client many years ago who was very unhappy in life. He lived in a stately home with his wife and three children. They drove luxury cars, made lots of money, the kids went to private schools, and they were members at a prestigious country club. None of this however, was ever enough.
Even though already quite successful, this client was always on the quest to earn more money, and business/money was all he spoke about. The problem was that he was never satisfied, and nor was his wife.
Since they hobnobbed with what they considered to be an “elite” crowd, they were constantly comparing their life with the illustrious “Joneses”. As a result, their brand new home was decorated and redecorated on a regular basis, the Mercedes’ were upgraded whenever possible, and the exclusive gated community they lived in was beginning to feel less than adequate (you see, there was an even more exclusive one about a mile away).
So, this client went on a quest to earn more and close more deals so that they could keep “upgrading” their lifestyle. And as a result, their lives behind closed doors began to fall apart.
The marriage was in shambles, the kids were having behavioral problems, the idea of a “family unit” was a shell, and both parents were so stressed out that they started to make very poor choices when it came to both mental and physical wellbeing.
My client is not alone – I am sure that we all, at one point or another, have fallen victim to the comparison trap. The fact is that the Joneses are everywhere…they live next door to us, they work in our offices, their kids go to school with ours…this “family” is so prolific that it is hard to escape.
But how much do we really know the Joneses anyway? Here are a few things to consider…
The Joneses might look good driving the latest Bentley while wearing Gucci loafers, but might be in debt up to their eyeballs to keep up the façade.
The Joneses might earn a family income of over $500K/year, but have a loveless marriage.
The Joneses’ children might attend a prestigious private school, but learn only that they are to exceed academically so that they too can join the same rat-race.
If you find yourself trying to keep up with the Joneses, you may want to do one of two things:
Focus on what you currently have (and be grateful), rather than what you do not have.
Try to look inward for sources of happiness and “worth’. Even if you catch up with the Joneses, beware…there will likely be another family moving in down the street sometime soon that might appear to have more than them.