Maximise the minimum

Hey everyone!

Look around you. What do you mainly see? Usually people in a hurry. People slogging at work day after day, trying to keep up with the demands of society. Trying to “get ahead”. But get ahead of what? Usually it is ahead of everyone else. But everyone else is in the same boat! Talk about a ridiculous situation!

Why do we have to worry about “keeping up with the Joneses?” Who are these Jones’ people anyway? I have never personally met them, but I have met people that are trying to keep up with them! These people are always needing to have the latest of everything. Just so that they can boast about how they have this and that. But guess what? The infamous Jones clan just bought a brand new “watcha-me-callit”. Now you are sad, because you need to have one of those too! The one that you bought 6 months ago, just doesn’t cut it anymore. The one the Joneses just bought has a shiny new “doo-dad” on it! It cost them a fortune! Now you are going to go into debt, because you want to keep up with these guys! You can’t afford too, but you have too! There is one thing i have to say, and that is stop being stupid!!

Why do we always feel like we have to have the newest, latest gadget? It is becuase the advertising gurus make us feel like our life is unfulfilled if we don’t have it! Look at the people in that ad about the new smartphone that has just landed in the stores. Don’t they look happy! You could be happy too, if you only had that phone! We live in a consumerist society, where our happiness is dictated by what we have or don’t have! That is wrong!!

There is a concept in psychology that is called “social comparison”. We look at others to determine whether we should be satisfied with what we have or don’t have. The Joneses have everything, and we use that as the yardstick for our lives. We realise that we don’t have all the things that those Jones folk have and we feel sad and unfulfilled in life. But then we look at someone who is unemployed, struggling to make ends meet and we discover that we aren’t as bad off as we thought. What happened to change your mindset? You just looked at two social extremes that influenced how satisfied you are with your lot in life.

Do not try and keep up with the Joneses. After all, do you think they are truly happy? Why do they always have to have the best of everything? Maybe there is some implicit insecurity issues that Mr. and Mrs Jones are suffering from! Look at what you have. Be satisfied with it. Do not try and compare yourself with others. Just be happy with your lot in life, if you feel like it’s not sufficient, then look within yourself as to why you feel that way. You may not have the best phone, the best house, the best clothes. But you might have the best life when you compare it to those you are busy trying to seek fulfillment in a materialistic, consumerist society.

Be happy with the little that you have. Enjoy it. Be thankful for the things that you have. Be thankful for the intangibles in your life: your health, your well-being, your happiness, your peace.

Be satisfied with the things that you have and cease looking at the things you don’t have.

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