derek bobo: the joneses

Keeping up with the Joneses is a slippery slope.

It's particularly prevalent during teenage years, but many adults are just as guilty. This need to compare ourselves to others is definitely not a healthy one. What's even worse is that, as Americans, we're constantly comparing ourselves to someone who has something better. Or so we think.

We set our sights on having a life as great as The Joneses. Often times this means living beyond our means to keep up. When we do catch up we just pick someone new who has it even better. We're obsessed with the delusion that our lives are hard and everyone else has it better or easier. When you go down this path there is never an end. Never enough. Never.

That, my friends, is exactly what marketers want you to think.

The worst part of all is how one sided we are. We only see the good stuff and none of the bad that these other people undoubtedly have in their lives. They have the nice car and nice house, but the inside is a mess. They have the great job making a bunch of money but the have horrible relationships with family and friends. Or perhaps all of those late nights you thought they were out having a great social life were actually spent in a hospital with a dying family member.

You know what one of The Top Regrets of the Dying is?

"I wish I had lived a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me." - Top Regrets of the Dying

So stop it! Be present in your own life and play the cards you were dealt. You have a tremendous opportunity and only one shot at it. At the end of your days you don't want to share this regret.

Take a good look around and appreciate everything you see. Do so without comparing yourself to the Joneses, because what they have doesn't matter anyway. If you can accomplish this you'll start to realize the things that truly matter. Then you can finally start living a life with the right things in mind.


28 First you must become
04 One Foot in Front of the Other
21 The Zen Master
08 Those You Spend Your Time With
19 You're Probably a Prepper
12 Anger Management
04 All About Choices
02 What I Know About Being a Dad (so far)
01 The Dalia Lama on Humanity
30 Time to Reflect
28 The Leeches Must Go
26 Take a Moment to Appreciate
26 A Matter of Perspective
19 The New Rich
17 The Story of the Mexican Fisherman
15 What's on your List
14 The Most Precious Resource
13 Three Things to be Happy
11 The Joneses
07 Be Intentional