Inspired by a wonderful article in the Huffington Post, I started thinking about the world we live in today and how messed up things really can become if we get caught up in the highlights reel everyone shares on social media. We live in a time where so many people constantly look at others lives with envy despite having a world of amazing things right in front of them … if they just opened their eyes to see just how lucky they are. Where people are EXPECTING great things, without applying themselves and EARNING them.
Think about this – we all have so many incredible things in our lives that 50, 40, 30 … even 20 years ago people couldn’t even have dreamed of having (well did you ever think in 1993 you would have a phone in your pocket that had the same capabilities as a computer?). Some of us are lucky enough to have a house full of amazing gadgets, nice clothes, clean running water, nice TV’s, games consoles … the list goes on and on. Some truly wonderful, wonderful things that somebody somewhere else in the world would love to have. The sort of things that somebody would give their right arm for. The sort of things somebody somewhere would do absolutely anything just to have … and then, back here in our world, we’re spending our days glancing enviously at other people and thinking “Look at that lucky b*stard next door, his car is bigger than mine”, or “Why can she afford that TV but we can’t?”, or “We could never afford that holiday so how can they?”.
You’ll know it, you’ll have seen it and at some point in your life you will have been guilty of it. Here we are in a technological era with amazing things all around and still we want more. Still we EXPECT more … and when we don’t get it we get frustrated, we get angry, we get sad. It doesn’t have to be that way, there is a way to appreciate what you have but you have to get back to reality.
You have to stop in your tracks, sit down and write down all the things you have. Take days or weeks if you have to, compile a huge list of all the things you have to be grateful for. Read it over and over, prioritise the most important to you and focus on that happiness having those things “should” bring and how lucky you are. Put those priorities at the top but keep every little thing you put on there so one day you can look back on them and count each and every single blessing you have.
Now any time you get green with envy give yourself the required wake-up call by reading that list over. Just look at the list and truly digest just how lucky you are. Yes, you could have more and yes, it would be nice to have even more luxuries but unless you appreciate what you have right now getting more and more will only go unappreciated as well.
Now on to those “Lucky b*astards” on the other side of the fence – don’t you just hate those guys! Those guys with the amazing lives, nice cars and “apparent” wads of money that YOU delude yourself into thinking are so much luckier than you. So much more better off than you, happier than you … even though you don’t know their whole story.
Here’s a fact, as much as you think you know someone’s full story, with baggage and all, you don’t! It’s a simple fact. You don’t know all their insecurities, their inner battles, their family troubles or their hidden heartbreak that they have to carry with them daily. Cut them a break, maybe they are lucky … but did you ever think that maybe they work hard for their perceived “luck”? Or maybe the truth is they are majorly unlucky but so desperate to appear lucky that they throw themselves into thousands of debt so that they appear “lucky” to the outside world!
You don’t know the full story and shouldn’t be fooled by the hype they post on Facebook or the built up stories they weave every time they talk. People paint a picture they want others to see, nobody is going to admit their insecurities and that they put on a façade every time they face the outside world. Nobody is going to admit that they are struggling financially and have maxed out 4 credit cards already – and that they’re credit rating is .
Stop focusing on other people and start focusing on YOU and all that you HAVE. These “lucky” folk on the other side have their own baggage to carry and troubles you don’t even know about so forget about them … live your own life, your own way and don’t create more baggage to carry yourself.
A closing note to consider – there will always be something you don’t have or something you can’t do. That will always be there. You MUST NOT get hung up on it. There will always be people painting a picture that they are better off than you. There will always be people who actually are wealthier than you through hard work, good fortune or a financially prosperous family line. That’s ok, that’ s not your problem, that’s not YOUR LIFE.
It’s ok to want new things and be ambitious, just don’t let it frustrate you or affect your mood. Appreciate what you have daily, count all your blessings and improve all the areas you can within your means. Gratitude really is the key to a happy mind.
Enjoy the greatness surrounding us, teach your families to do the same and to see all the goodness in people and all those amazing things that this messed up world has to offer.