When we were in grade school, we work very hard to fit into the group. We want to be like everyone else and appear to have everything they have. We yearn for a sense of belonging, acceptance, a place where we have a sense of acceptance. We think that being like them will make them like us, or at least appear to like us.
Somewhere along the journey of growing up we begin to embrace what makes us unique. We realize our talents and passions and delve into figuring out what those things can do for us. As we travel down that path we deviate from ‘normal’ and become our unique selves. We find and develop and embrace our own ideas and thoughts even if no one else gets it.
When adulthood hits we somehow revert back to needing a sense of belonging – in an organization, a community, a club or a skilled group of people. We work hard and spend time earning, learning, and accumulating what we need to build a life. Then we somehow begin to hear about ‘The Joneses’, that elusive family or group that seems to have it all. They have a great house, well behaved children, cool cars, and of course always look amazing. They take great trips, smile and have the appearance of the perfect life. These Joneses become the silent standard that seems to hibernate in our heads. They live the picket fence life and are the subtle envy of all they encounter.
Maybe your Joneses are not the same as my Joneses. For each of us what they represent is different, but still there making us feel less than somehow. Those poor Joneses have the ability to make our lives seem ordinary, when in reality the Joneses don’t even know or care that we exist. So why do each of us have a set of Joneses? Where did that elusive perfect life come from? Maybe it dates back to grade school when we thought everyone would like us and we would fit in if we had what they had? The Joneses merry-go-round will drive you crazy. Just when you thought you were making it the standard changes and you fall short again.
It’s time to get off the ride and get what you want. The question is do you really know what you want at this stage of your life? And what do you need? Wanting and needing are two different things. Most of us are blessed to have our basic needs met, so then what? How can you help others secure their basic needs? How can you leverage your uniqueness and strengths to help others make their own lives better? It is time to leave the Joneses to their own lives and live each day doing what we want and need to do. Picket fence or not, you only have one life so live it as your wonderful self.