Why the Joneses can suck it…or how conformity will kill your dreams.

Winter has officially eaten then entire United States of America (except Florida). From Oregon to Alabama, people everywhere are hunkered down. Stuck in their homes. Trapped there by gazillions of little tiny flakes of ice.

…and many of them are ready to kill each other.

Are you one of them? Or are you one of the few who seem to be really embracing all of this together time?

What in the hell does this have to do with the Joneses?

Hold your horses, I’m getting there.  First, let me ask a few more questions. Warning: These questions might suck for you, because this might not be shit you want to admit. That’s alright. Just keep reading and nodding and pretending I’m talking to someone else.  That always works.

When you’re out there…in the wild…among your kind…is your ego fed more than it is at home? Do you get nourishing approval from the pack because you drive the right car, drink the right coffee, took on the right hobby or your shoes have the right name in them? If so, you’re not alone. It’s human nature to crave that validation, but we have become addicted to it.

The majority of our buying decisions & perceived needs are subconsciously driven by the damn Joneses. Status. Or, because that’s what everyone else has. (And, yes, you do sound like a 14 year old when you say that.)

Your ego is a spoiled brat and she’s starved for attention while you’re stuck at home in the snow.

It’s time for some tough love for your ego.

Who are you trying to impress anyway? Just yourself, really.  Think about it.  You are the one who feels bigger, better or somehow ‘more’ when you have something bigger, better or ‘more’ than the person sitting next to you.

You may not even be a shopper or label reader. You’re probably still playing a mental game of one-up more often than you’d care to admit.

Do you smirk a little when the neighbor’s grass has a few yellow spots and yours is a lush carpet of green?
Have you ever heard a friend brag about their 1 year olds first steps and thought “Ha, mine was walking by 10 months!”?

It’s little things. It’s cultural. But you can change it if you want to.

And, here’s the kicker…

You will never find that joyful, simple, well-blended, DIY lifestyle you want so much at the boutique, on your best-on-the-block lawn or inside your designer purse.

I know what you’re screaming at the screen right about now. We carry this deep-seeded fear that someone is looking at us and deciding whether to be our friend or our client based on those “right things” I just said you don’t really need.

You’re right. They are. But guess what? You don’t have to please those people. Or like them. Or beat them.

They aren’t playing the same game you’re playing.

You don’t have to conform to fit their idea of what your life should look like.
Did you hear that sneaky optimal word drop there?  It’s YOUR life.

Acknowledgment is your first baby step toward joy-producing non-conformity

Today, while you’re snowed in and spending more time in your house than you can stand, think about this:

What made you decide you needed to buy a 2800 square foot house for your family of four? That’s 800 square feet per person. Did you know less that 20 years ago, the average house was closer to 300 square feet per person? That begs for a big fat “why?” Did we get bigger? Do we have more stuff? Do we need more personal space?

Nowadays, we’re told by all of the house hunting experts that we should want a separate room for every activity and every person. Apparently, multi-purpose rooms are the devil. But, is that what you really want? Is that separation making you happy?

I want to know your thoughts

Tell me in the comments:

What are some of your Jones-based decisions or justifications?

How much faster could your budding business cover your expenses if you stopped trying to fit some conformist ideal? How much less expensive would life get?

Would it be easier to ride out this storm if your family spent more time in the same room, playing the same board game, breathing the same air, watching the same movie and sharing the same experiences?  Is some ingrained need for conformity keeping that from being an option?