We live in a world that is constantly striving for perfection and it’s only natural to get wrapped up in the cOmPetitioN. Wanting the perfect “life”….ya know the perfect house, car, body, job. Don’t forget giving the perception that your family gets along perfectly and that you have no problems. Ha!
And when some of these areas in our life aren’t PeRfeCt, what do we do? Panic and complain. We get down because we feel like everyone has things bEtteR than we do. We push ourselves to extreme measures just so we can try to keep up with everyone else. The sad thing is, as we waste time stressing about keeping up, we are missing the big picture right in front of us.
I have to remind myself of the important and aMaZiNg things happening before me, instead of complaining about what isn’t perfect in my life (like how my house has a zillion unfinished projects, I forgot to sign my daughter’s homework, or the fact that I have poison ivy on my face and I have a wedding to attend this weekend. Eekk!). Maybe you are so fixated on the fact that you want a new kitchen table during dinner time that you completely miss a sPeCiAL MoMenT from your kids who are sitting in those old worn-out seats. Or maybe every morning you spend your drive envying people that don’t have to leave as early for work, when you are really oVerLoOking that God yearns for your attention the most in the early morning hours.
Take advantage of the good things happening right in front of you. When your thoughts drift toward craving perfection, stop and search for the gOoD in those imperfect moments. After all, your life may not be as bad as you think. It all just depends on how you choose to look at it :)
Do you make decisions based on the people around you? DeeP dOwN did you decide to buy a new car because all your friends and family recently upgraded theirs? Did you put your kid in t-ball because you felt the pressure from the other parents? Have you recently felt the need to go on an extreme diet because you bumped into an old classmate that lost a bunch of weight?
Whether it is what you buy, the vocation you choose, how you raise your kids, or the way you live your life, we must ask ourselves this question:
If I couldn’t see others and what they are doing, would I still be making the same decisions?
So many times we forget to think on our own because we are heavily influenced by other people. Doug and I talk about this a lot. In our decison making we have to constantly remind ourselves that, if we didn’t care what others thought, would we still go down the same path?
Taking buying a home for example. Would you have purchased your home if you didn’t know what type of home everyone else lived in? Without thinking about it, you went house hunting feeling obligated to want certain things because you knew what other people have. Even though they weren’t there, the influence talked you into buying an expensive home, and you are left with the stress of keeping up with the payments. (If you are in a financial struggle, read our finance posts for help)
When you are at a crossroad to make a decision, ask yourself WHO you are doing it for. Like a race horse with blinders on, tune out what’s going on around you and focus on what YOU want. It isn’t always easy, but living YOUR life will be the ulimate pRiZe when reaching the finish line.
Tired of keeping up with the Jonses? Read my post called Goodbye Jonses! Hello Freedom!
Some of the best advice my parents gave me was this: If you ever want what someone else has, then be prepared to take all that comes with it!
It is easy to look at another person’s life and pick and choose what we would want for our own, but be sure to ReMinD yourself that no situation is PERFECT. Being a celebrity would mean wealth and fame but it also means being followed by paparazzi and never getting privacy. Being a successful business owner means having the freedom of being your own boss but it also means working around the clock. I’m not saying that these positions are bad, but it is easy to only want one part of that life without the other. Unfortunately picking and choosing isn’t ReaLitY.
When finding yourself discouraged that your life isn’t as good as the family down the street, be sure to look closely at everything that comes with it. Often times you’ll realize that switching lives with them may not be worth giving up all the bLeSSinGs you have after all!
(Thanks Mom and Dad for helping me realize this VERY early in life. I wouldn’t change my life growing up as a farm kid for anything!)