Keeping up with the Joneses.
One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was from my best friend.
I was experiencing a rough patch in my career as a writer and was falling into the habit of measuring my success or lack thereof to other more successful people.
One evening when the two of us were on the phone, I began to play the woe is me record, whining about how I wished I were as far along at 23 as so and so.
Suddenly, he cut me off mid-sentence –– “Cole, stay in your lane. Just stay in your lane.”
It was a bit brash, but that’s what best friends are for –– giving you honest un sugar-coated feedback (sometimes in the form of a verbal slap in the face).
He went on to explain that what everyone else was doing didn’t matter and that life wasn’t a race.
And, he was right –– he still is right.
Humans have a bad habit of viewing life like a Nascar Race –– us against 40-something other cars barreling around a track at 200 miles an hour.
We tell ourselves that if we don’t go fast enough (or at least faster than Mark, Sally and Bob), we are going to crash and burn.
But, in reality, it’s the racing that kills us. It’s the keeping up with the Joneses. It’s the stories we tell ourselves –– we have to make more money, be more successful and have more impact than so-and-so.
It's a funny story. So-and-so and The Joneses aren't paying the mortgage on your house –– but they may be the reason you bought the damn thing.
By Cole Schafer.
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