Keeping up with the Joneses
There is more to life than just money…..
A man with no humility and integrity can only impress small minds with his worldly possessions.
– Edmond Mbiaka
Recently I received an e mail that had these as the headlines or the ‘grabber’ to get your attention.
‘Impress your loved ones with gifts that make you look good’ and another one read
‘Boost your ego, bring up your status with our luxurious timepieces’ and also,
‘If you really want to impress your loved ones’
Now, there is nothing wrong in enjoying a nice car, home or even an expensive watch but what is the reason for buying such an item? Is it to keep up with the Joneses, exalt your ego and flash your cash or is it because that was a real goal you had and something you wanted?
The most valuable thing you have are things that cannot be purchased, things like family, friends, relationships and your health. The key here is keeping things in perspective and realising people are more important than things!
I have seen people get their egos blown up over having an average car or an ordinary house. I have also seen people with their new fancy house or luxury car as just a thing to be enjoyed and it not meaning that much to them. It really is a condition of our hearts how we look at possessions, status and trying to impress others. The fact is by the time you have accumulated enough to impress the people you wanted to impress they are dead and they probably never cared in the first place!
In today’s society people tend to judge us based on what we have and I submit to you that the real value is in what you become not in what you have. Like most things in life we need to keep moderation in all things. In the same way you can overindulge yourself in food, alcohol or become a workaholic. None of these things are wrong in themselves but when taken to extremes they become addictions.
Money is the same way, it can become an addiction and obsession unless controlled. So, do you have a grip on money or does money have a grip on you? Do you control money or does it control you?
Two ends of the spectrum…poverty and wealth.
I have never yet meant anyone who was struggling or in poverty who said ‘this is a great life! Everyone should try this thing called living from pay cheque to pay cheque, it is so much fun not having enough money to pay the bills!’ On the other hand I have never met anyone who had any kind of wealth who said ‘You know the good life is really horrible.’
As a youngster I was orphaned at age 7 and grew up in foster care and orphanages, dependent on the state. It wasn’t any fun. I never said to myself ‘Wow, this life of struggle and living on benefits is great! I want to do this for the rest of my life.’ I remember my foster father telling me at age 15 ‘Jeff, benefits are not an alternate lifestyle. They are meant for people who can’t help themselves, not people who won’t help themselves.’ I was determined to dig my way out of this way of life and began to do well in my studies at school, got myself a part time job, read books on self improvement and one of the greatest inspirational pieces to go from poverty or struggle is the book of proverbs in the bible. Anyone can lift themselves from where they are to where they want to go with some self determination and hard work.
Don’t let money control your life and become THE focal point of your life and the most important issue in your life. If you have further interest in knowing what is the true purpose of wealth, how to get your life on track when it comes to your money, see one of our Genistar representatives and let them help put you on the right path. When we sit down with you, we help you identify your short and long term goals. These goals will show you how to enjoy your prosperity with a purpose.
May you prosper in all you do for all the right reasons!
Have a question for Jeff on the practical aspect of finance ? Jeff will be answering questions in upcoming articles. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org