HAPPINESS BEYOND COMPARING

This could fit under a seemingly universal theme, “I see, I want”.  When one child has ice cream, others want some too.  When one dog has a ball or bone, other dogs are jealous unless they have one too.  And what may this mean in the quest to reach your own aspirations for life, now and for the future?

When I was born everyone had cars and when one neighbour got a new car others wanted a new one too.  Soon it was the bigger house, better landscaping.  Then a cottage, plus canoes, then a power boat.  Bob pulled up to his cottage in a bright new Buick – he had his world by the tail – until the next morning he awoke to a mighty roar as the neighbour was lifting off the bay in his new float plane!

We may cringe at the human competition for latest gadgets and upgrades.  Today’s world of social-media shows how other people are enjoying what we might not have at that moment.  We can measure ourselves against thousands of other people … before breakfast.  The result may be a frightening bill in credit cards or upsized mortgage.

We scroll through others’ pictures of a happy dinner.  One friend is having dinner on the deck among the colours of a sunset.  Another is with friends at an exotic restaurant -- sunset mirrored magnificently in the lake.  A third is sipping their finest choice under an evening pink-hued sky in Santorini among the Greek Islands.  … BUT if we’re getting chips and a movie at home …are we tempted to say, “Why is it them and not me?” or “Why isn’t my life more like theirs?”

So at that moment we don’t measure up?  It all plays into the haunting fear of our Inadequacy.  Social-media can ignite this disease as never before.  Keeping pace with others has a brutal cost.  Upgrading lifestyle and gadgets to match friends or neighbours, can bring a tsunami of bills, late-payments, mortgage refinancing, insolvency, even bankruptcy.  It could delay retirement or mean going back to work in our 70s.

Let’s not give our heart-strings or purse-strings to Facebook or Instagram.  We have friends.  They do things – they go places.  Pictures show them smiling, and we can be happy for them.  When we do fun things, our friends smile for us too.  This way we can enjoy social sharing without expanding our bills.

I mentioned Bob.  Though he had flown many missions in WW2 he never bought a plane.  He resisted the impulse to keep up with the neighbour.  His family was amazing, and if they were alive today they’d definitely check FB to see what friends and family are enjoying.  They would smile at all their friends’ happiness and achievements.  We all have times of joy and satisfaction worth celebrating.

Happiness is an inside job.  To successfully fit your Life and Wealth together let’s get better acquainted.  We’ll help you enjoy the Life you choose, and safeguard the goals that truly matter most to you.

Brian

Brian Weatherdon, MA, CFP, CLU, CPCA.  905-637-3500

627 Guelph Line, Burlington, Ont. L7R 3M7.  Brian@SovereignWealth.ca

Author:  A Lifetime Of Wealth — And How Not To Lose It  (2013). Protecting Life, Loved Ones, and Future Dreams  (2013). Your Business, Your Retirement: Halton Retirement Study (2015) .

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