You know the phrase, keeping up with the Jones’? The Jones’ are a fictitious family that have EVERYTHING. Big screen television, fancy house, extravagant vacations. Oh, the Jones Family has it going on! Everyone wants what the Jones’ have, and they are going to do whatever they have to do to keep up with them.
Lots of folks are working to keep up with the Jones’. They beg, borrow and steal to go on a vacation that the Jones’ are going to because they scrimped and saved and sacrificed all year to get there. Wives stay up late at night, ignoring their husband and kids, working on projects that they have no interest in because they see that Mrs. Jones is having some success with it. Instead of focusing on their own opportunities and capabilities, folks are trying so hard to keep up with the Jones’ that they’re holding themselves back.
We live in a very social era. Not only do have our own experiences, but we also have the benefit of experiencing the highs and lows that other families are going through as well. When it seems like everyone else is doing great, going here and there, with happy, smiling kids, and you’re just trying to make ends meet, it’s normal to feel frustrated. After your brief pity party, it’s time to close the blinds so you aren’t worried about what the Jones’ are doing, and focus on your own family.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I spending money that my family doesn’t really have in order to be somewhere that I’m only excited about because my friends are going to be there?
- Am I spending a lot of time and energy on a project that I’m not even passionate about?
- When asked why I want to do something, or need to have something, is the answer, “Well, Amy’s going to be there”, or “Amy has one”?
If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then you might be trying to keep up with the Jones’. Stop it. Set your own goals and determine your own standard for success. Consider your own family’s income and needs when you’re making decisions and don’t worry about what other folks are doing. The Jones’ aren’t sitting in their house worried about you, that’s for sure.
Look, there are more than enough opportunities out there for everyone. If you can’t do this today, chances are you’ll get to do that tomorrow. Very rarely is something a “now or never” type deal, and even more rare is it that someone else gets a break that’s meant for you. If it’s yours, you’ll get it, and no one, not even the Jones’ will be able to take it from you.