Have you ever heard of the quote, “comparison is the thief of joy,”? I’ve heard it, seen it, and lived it. It’s no fun to compare your position to others. We are all on different paths in our lives, thriving and surviving in different environments. There’s no way that the majority of us could even begin to understand the complexities of everyone’s life around us. When it comes to our positions in life, where we see ourselves, and where we want to go, we often try to keep up with the Joneses. That alone is not healthy and needs to stop right now.
What Sparked This Conversation?
Today, I was reading an article about a 24-year-old making $100,000 a year. There was a pie chart that broke down his expenses. A lot of the things on his chart were relatable to me, even though he shared expenses with four other people, and I do not. Under the comments, people were in shock. They claimed the article was out of touch with reality. However, it is more likely that its a reality they were not accustomed to, nor did they know anyone who could relate. Not relating to something does not mean it is impossible. Many people questioned how could he have $20 internet, $400 grocery bill, $800 rent, and a 100k a year salary, many began to compare.
How Does This Relate To Keeping Up With the Jones?
Some people in the comments wondered how they could make changes to be just like the guy in the article, while others downplayed their lives as meager and without hope of ever reaching his level. When we look at pie charts and situations such as these, we are missing the bigger picture. You don’t know what someone is doing or what they went through to get where they are today. You are looking at a snapshot and making judgments about your position in life based on an assumption. Those assumptions can be both positive and negative. But those who try to keep up with the jones typically focus on the glitz and glam and not what it took to achieve that.
It’s important to remember when see someone excelling in their career and living a life that you often dream about, it doesn’t mean being a copycat. There is no rush or race to get to the finish line. Everyone is diffrent and has a unique set of circumstances affecting their lives. Live your life the best that you can. See your situation for what it is, and carve out a unique path for yourself and a timeline to match. When you live your life with intention, goals, and purpose, you will eventually reach your destination. Life is not a race. There are no hard fast deadlines, and comparing your life to others won’t get you anywhere.
Shatel Huntley has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Georgia State University. In her spare time, she works with special needs adults and travels the world. Her interests include traveling to off the beaten path destinations, shopping, couponing, and saving.