I was doing a little browsing and stumbled upon this graphic. There is a lot of truth to this simple comic. It’s rare to find someone who is satisfied with what they have. I’m no exception. I am always thinking of what I want next, where I want to go, what I’d like to do etc etc..
In the graphic, each person takes for granted what they do have and instead yearns for something the other people have. While this isn’t exactly a revelation, it’s interesting to think about.
I suppose this is why so many people continue their quest to keep up with the Jones’. Why the Jones? Probably because they are the most visible. I mean, shoot, their shiny new car is right next door in the driveway. The new boat is crammed in to their garage, screaming at you as you walk by to get the mail. You can see the steam rising above the fence from their new hot tub. As you sit there in your backyard you can’t help but think what it might be like to have a hot tub of your own to soak in at your leisure. When your car starts sputtering you instantly think of the new sports car next door. I’m convinced the desire to always want more is wired in to our DNA.
So, if it’s just hard coded in our genes, perhaps rather than fight it, we should reset our desires to a more conservative place. Rather than try to keep up with the person next door, maybe we should set our sights on someone that has less than we do. If I can’t stop the desire to compare what I have to someone else, why not choose someone that drives an older car, lives in a smaller house and doesn’t own a boat?
I confess to having yearned to keep up with the Jones’ many times over the years, but I’ve also tried to “recalibrate” by considering how lucky I am compared to others that I know. It doesn’t always work, but it certainly has stomped out more than a few desires in the past.
How do you keep the desires in check?