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How do I stop keeping up with Jonesses?

RibljaCorba

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Mar 26, 2019
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Hi,

Recently I bought a new car because my older car kept breaking. If you look at my older topics, in 2019 I couldn't pay my rent but today I am financially stable. I am nothing like rich, but I am just living nicely thanks to the United States, I can work from Eastern Europe and get paid in dollars, and earning even the minimal American salary is making you "rich" in Eastern Europe.

The neighbor that I rent my house floor from bought the same car as me for their only son. They literally went to the bank, took a mortgage, and bought the car just to compete with me. His mom called me to drink coffee with her and I thought it was just because she wants to chat with me, but she invited me only to tell me that they bought their son a car. And I was fine with that and I congratulated them.

But after I went home it started bothering me, I started to compare myself with them with stupid excuses, like they took a mortgage, but I paid cash, I grew up without a father and was raised by a single mom and I couldn't stop thinking of these "reasons" why he has it so easy and I don't.

How do you achieve this state of mind where you just congratulate other people without any envy? I just want to leave the Jonasses race. My neighbors are typical narcissistic Jonasses who will do anything to not feel below and they will do anything to feel above me, but I don't want any of that shit. I only want to compete with myself and not with others, but they keep competing with me.
 

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Hi,

Recently I bought a new car because my older car kept breaking. If you look at my older topics, in 2019 I couldn't pay my rent but today I am financially stable. I am nothing like rich, but I am just living nicely thanks to the United States, I can work from Eastern Europe and get paid in dollars, and earning even the minimal American salary is making you "rich" in Eastern Europe.

The neighbor that I rent my house floor from bought the same car as me for their only son. They literally went to the bank, took a mortgage, and bought the car just to compete with me. His mom called me to drink coffee with her and I thought it was just because she wants to chat with me, but she invited me only to tell me that they bought their son a car. And I was fine with that and I congratulated them.

But after I went home it started bothering me, I started to compare myself with them with stupid excuses, like they took a mortgage, but I paid cash, I grew up without a father and was raised by a single mom and I couldn't stop thinking of these "reasons" why he has it so easy and I don't.

How do you achieve this state of mind where you just congratulate other people without any envy? I just want to leave the Jonasses race. My neighbors are typical narcissistic Jonasses who will do anything to not feel below and they will do anything to feel above me, but I don't want any of that shit. I only want to compete with myself and not with others, but they keep competing with me.
In my mind: kids want attention, adults give attention. If they want attention so much then give it to them as an adult would a child? Not in a mean way, but a way that will delight them?

I had a friend who was always super excited if you got something new. I'd turn up with a new motorbike or a car and he'd be bouncing from foot to foot in excitement. It was always great fun going for a spin with him. I try to be more like him.
 

Dojcinovski

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Apr 29, 2014
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I know that feeling brate :)

"How do you achieve this state of mind where you just congratulate other people without any envy? I just want to leave the Jonasses race."

I'm not sure if this will help, but, I do think you should find pleasure in success rather than money. In my opinion, money is just a fruit of success. I'm quite sure you would rather give away your money than your experience, knowledge, skills, discipline...

I know this sounds a bit cliché, but I remember when I bought my car as well. All of my friends bought used Mercs with many potential issues, and I bought an Opel. Why? Low mileage, cheap to drive and maintain. It serves the purpose.

To keep it short, anytime you feel like comparing to such people, just go and watch a documentary about someone like Warren Buffet (who's not a slave to such pity and material things).

I hope this helps Brate!

Cheers,
 

WJK

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Hi,

Recently I bought a new car because my older car kept breaking. If you look at my older topics, in 2019 I couldn't pay my rent but today I am financially stable. I am nothing like rich, but I am just living nicely thanks to the United States, I can work from Eastern Europe and get paid in dollars, and earning even the minimal American salary is making you "rich" in Eastern Europe.

The neighbor that I rent my house floor from bought the same car as me for their only son. They literally went to the bank, took a mortgage, and bought the car just to compete with me. His mom called me to drink coffee with her and I thought it was just because she wants to chat with me, but she invited me only to tell me that they bought their son a car. And I was fine with that and I congratulated them.

But after I went home it started bothering me, I started to compare myself with them with stupid excuses, like they took a mortgage, but I paid cash, I grew up without a father and was raised by a single mom and I couldn't stop thinking of these "reasons" why he has it so easy and I don't.

How do you achieve this state of mind where you just congratulate other people without any envy? I just want to leave the Jonasses race. My neighbors are typical narcissistic Jonasses who will do anything to not feel below and they will do anything to feel above me, but I don't want any of that shit. I only want to compete with myself and not with others, but they keep competing with me.
One day you will realize that there is always someone, somewhere, who has more at a given point in time. There is always someone younger, more successful, smarter, better looking and the list goes on... They have something that you don't have. And there are also those who have less. So, I'm going to tell you about the only equality that all humans have -- we each have 24 hours in our day. Time is our only level playing field. Nothing else in the human experience is equal. Accepting the nature of that human innate inequality sucks the power out of envy. Keeping up with others is running a race that you cannot possibly win in the end. The goalposts keep moving as you keep running. You've lost before you even leave the starting line...
 

P789

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If I were you, I would define my goals and my purpose in life and do something about it. If I attain it, that’s it. There’s no need to follow the Joneses because this may stuck you to the rat race I believe.
 

Stargazer

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I only want to compete with myself and not with others, but they keep competing with me.

So what if they do?

You just focus on the first half of your sentence

Having said that, competition is a good thing which spurs us forward.

Sports teams and individuals, armies, businesses, artists - all genres, compete to improve themselves yet are aware of what their competitors are up to and will adopt new training techniques, hardware, practices and methods.

So be competitive in the right areas and not the irrelevant things.

Djokovic focuses on every technique he can use to be better and beat Nadal, not on what kettle Nadal may have bought last week.

Dan
 

Johnny boy

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Imagine looking at two 7-year olds in school comparing who has the better crayon box. "Mine has 64 colors" "well mine has a sharpener in the back".

That's how stupid you sound comparing yourself to your neighbors.

Who gives a flying f*ck? You have ZERO goals and ambition if you're getting distracted and spending so much time thinking about those losers.

I could sit out on my dock on the lake and get butthurt that my neighbors have a new boat and I have no boat, and I could go finance one instead of getting another truck for my business. A boat would be a lot more fun than a truck. Am I going to get one? Hell no. I'm focused on my business. I've got a plan and I'm not stupid enough to get distracted by what other people are doing. Who gives a shit?

Every time you see other people try to keep up with you or act like the Joneses, just imagine them as a 7 year old comparing their crayon box with yours. They are the most immature f*cking losers and haven't grown up yet. Laugh at them, don't compare yourself to them.

You shouldn't give a shit whatsoever about what's going on with other people. I take it a little too far. I forget names, birthdays, details about people. I don't know what job my mom has. I don't know how old my cousins are. I haven't called anyone in years. You don't need to do the same but you should become so focused on yourself and your own path that everything else disappears, including if your neighbors got a new car or some other bullshit.
 

thechosen1

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This can affect anyone at any level.

You just have to decide what your priorities are and focus on them. Forget about what other people are doing.

Don't compare yourself to others - compare yourself to yourself.

Are you making progress? Yes or no?

That's the only thing that matters.
 

WJK

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Imagine looking at two 7-year olds in school comparing who has the better crayon box. "Mine has 64 colors" "well mine has a sharpener in the back".

That's how stupid you sound comparing yourself to your neighbors.

Who gives a flying f*ck? You have ZERO goals and ambition if you're getting distracted and spending so much time thinking about those losers.

I could sit out on my dock on the lake and get butthurt that my neighbors have a new boat and I have no boat, and I could go finance one instead of getting another truck for my business. A boat would be a lot more fun than a truck. Am I going to get one? Hell no. I'm focused on my business. I've got a plan and I'm not stupid enough to get distracted by what other people are doing. Who gives a shit?

Every time you see other people try to keep up with you or act like the Joneses, just imagine them as a 7 year old comparing their crayon box with yours. They are the most immature f*cking losers and haven't grown up yet. Laugh at them, don't compare yourself to them.

You shouldn't give a shit whatsoever about what's going on with other people. I take it a little too far. I forget names, birthdays, details about people. I don't know what job my mom has. I don't know how old my cousins are. I haven't called anyone in years. You don't need to do the same but you should become so focused on yourself and your own path that everything else disappears, including if your neighbors got a new car or some other bullshit.
The best way to stop hating or having envy for someone else is to pray for their health and happiness every time you think of them or at least daily. In the beginning, it may be between gritted teeth -- but you will mellow over time. Do it for a while, and you'll see them differently. Remember that you can only control yourself -- not others. So get on it!
 

Timmy C

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Hi,

Recently I bought a new car because my older car kept breaking. If you look at my older topics, in 2019 I couldn't pay my rent but today I am financially stable. I am nothing like rich, but I am just living nicely thanks to the United States, I can work from Eastern Europe and get paid in dollars, and earning even the minimal American salary is making you "rich" in Eastern Europe.

The neighbor that I rent my house floor from bought the same car as me for their only son. They literally went to the bank, took a mortgage, and bought the car just to compete with me. His mom called me to drink coffee with her and I thought it was just because she wants to chat with me, but she invited me only to tell me that they bought their son a car. And I was fine with that and I congratulated them.

But after I went home it started bothering me, I started to compare myself with them with stupid excuses, like they took a mortgage, but I paid cash, I grew up without a father and was raised by a single mom and I couldn't stop thinking of these "reasons" why he has it so easy and I don't.

How do you achieve this state of mind where you just congratulate other people without any envy? I just want to leave the Jonasses race. My neighbors are typical narcissistic Jonasses who will do anything to not feel below and they will do anything to feel above me, but I don't want any of that shit. I only want to compete with myself and not with others, but they keep competing with me.

Keeping up with the jonesses is so dumb and idiotic.

My uncles like that, latest and greatest and guess what?

He's still working at 70 and doesn't have a dollar to his name.

Don't compare yourself to slaves.
 

Ali Abbasi

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They should be pitied not seen as people you need to prove your worth to if they are truly trying to make you feel less than. Which I don’t suspect is the case, but you may still feel like they are due to your difficulties coming up. If anything you should feel good that they have a good sense of style. They are following you seeking your approval.

Life isn’t a competition about who can acquire more things. We all go to the grave with nothing just the same. One upmanship stops at death. What a waste of life.

Focus on your goals, your exit from financial bondage. Don’t give 2 shits what they do or how they want to bring you down.
 

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thechosen1

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WJK

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Life isn’t a competition about who can acquire more things. We all go to the grave with nothing just the same. One upmanship stops at death. What a waste of life.
I learned that when I was young and very ill. When I was down and it didn't look like I was going to make it, the only thing that counted to me was who I loved and who loved me. It was the people that counted and the experiences we had shared. It's been 41 years since that moment. I've been living on "borrowed" time for all of those years. I have never forgotten that lesson. Today I have the privilege of spending a lot of my time and resources helping the people around me.
 

Andy Black

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What’s the line?

“Too many people waste their lives doing something they don’t like to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t know.”
 

Ing

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Many people’s purpose of life is that!
If you don’t want to play their game, just don’t do it. Play the game YOU want!

I know its hard. Fastlane thinking is no mainstream easy one.
 

biophase

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What’s the line?

“Too many people waste their lives doing something they don’t like to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t know.”

I would like to add the question, would you be buying that if nobody knew you bought it? Would you do that activity if you couldn’t show anyone videos or photos or tell anyone you did it.

It’s just so interesting now because when I was growing up I did so much stuff with no documentation. We had no cameras. Nobody knew where you went for vacation. Nobody knew what you bought for your house.

Remember it was called keeping up with the Joneses, and the Joneses were your neighbors because it was only your neighbors who saw when you got the fancy new car. Nobody else would ever know.
 

Andy Black

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I would like to add the question, would you be buying that if nobody knew you bought it? Would you do that activity if you couldn’t show anyone videos or photos or tell anyone you did it.

It’s just so interesting now because when I was growing up I did so much stuff with no documentation. We had no cameras. Nobody knew where you went for vacation. Nobody knew what you bought for your house.

Remember it was called keeping up with the Joneses, and the Joneses were your neighbors because it was only your neighbors who saw when you got the fancy new car. Nobody else would ever know.
I never thought of that. Even what some people eat is on public display now.
 

Andy Black

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Objectively choose things that enrich your life in the ways that you would like it to be enriched. Don’t worry about the rest.
This is a good point.

We should use our own definition of success.

How many people sit down and define what success means to them?

If we don’t come up with our own definition of success then someone else (or society) will.
 

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WJK

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This is a good point.

We should use our own definition of success.

How many people sit down and define what success means to them?

If we don’t come up with our own definition of success then someone else (or society) will.
I agree. What is success to me isn't a universal truth. Each person must find his own north star.

Like... The older I get, the more I'm becoming a minimalist. There's a lot of people on this forum who are on a quest to acquire possessions. While I'm getting rid of stuff, they're busy accumulating. Why do I feel that way? I have come to believe that possessions own you rather than you owning them. I have become OK with the fact that most of the time, I'll never convert nor convenience others to see things my way. And that's my flip side of keeping up with the Jones.
 

Ing

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I bought a used, 16 year old car, a SUV, end of last year. It was a good opportunity and I ogled that type for a time. Just the opposite of the trend here in Germany : Green, electric, economical. I love it to go offroad, and the slow reduction split is great to shove the trailer anywhere ( I need that often).

So what happened?
We don t have a very long street, but there are 3 new SUVs in it since than. And people salute me which hardly did before.

I thought about that last night after reading that thread. I really didn t care about that before.
 

WJK

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I bought a used, 16 year old car, a SUV, end of last year. It was a good opportunity and I ogled that type for a time. Just the opposite of the trend here in Germany : Green, electric, economical. I love it to go offroad, and the slow reduction split is great to shove the trailer anywhere ( I need that often).

So what happened?
We don t have a very long street, but there are 3 new SUVs in it since than. And people salute me which hardly did before.

I thought about that last night after reading that thread. I really didn t care about that before.
My tenants drive new, trendy vehicles. And they have car payments. as well as paying me their monthly rent. We drive older, reliable vehicles which are free and clear. You made a smart decision. New cars depreciate 50% in their first 3 years.
 

Phil Yu

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I would just share a quick experience. Hope this help.

There are a lot of jones in the sport shooting/gun community. They preach you to buy the $2000 battle proofed scope that is used by US military while in reality, most gun is kept in the safe 99% of the time and will never see a second of real combat.

The way i handle it, is by actually realizing the problem with self awareness.
-Do i actually feel better if i keep up with them?
-Do i actually care about what they think of me if i have a less expensive scope?
-Do i have to impress them?

In reality, i don't even spend time with them at all. Most of them are slowlane consumer, not producers.
 

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