Wednesday, May 11, 2011

You're not that important

Really. You're not.

As a cocker spaniel, I am, by definition, very important. You? Not so much.

Hahaha. I'm joking.


In the grand scheme of things, though, you're really not that important. Before you get upset...hear me out...

Think about the biggest barriers to your squaring away your home, work, and financial life. Go head. I'll wait while you think.

Done? Ok. Chances are, most of the things you came up with revolve around your perception of what others think you should be doing. For instance, your housekeeping may be falling behind because you think you're supposed to be devoting more time to work, or to taking your kids to activities. Or perhaps you have a really large house and it requires a lot of time to clean/maintain because you think that at your station of life you "should" have a large house.

Think about the last time you went to a store. Let's say Walmart, Target...something of that sort. How many people do you think you passed in the store? Is 100 a fair guess? How many of these questions did you think about the people you saw?:

- What kind of car do they drive?
- How big is their house?
- Do they use name brand laundry detergent?
- What kind of diaper is that kid wearing?
- Are they paying with cash or credit card?
- Do they take their kids to 5 extracurricular activities per week?
- Did they buy those clothes at a thrift store? What brand are they?

The list could go on forever, but you get the idea. Did you think any of those about anyone you saw? Probably not. Yet, when we're in stores making decisions for ourselves, we think other people care about what brands we use. Of course we do--that's what smart marketing people want us to think. Otherwise, why would things like Tylenol stay in business when you could buy Equate Acetaminophen? Perceived status, that's why.

So, taking it a step further...if you didn't think any of those things about anyone you saw in the store, what are the chances that any of those folks thought those about you? Not likely, huh? Probably because they were too busy thinking about themselves and what you'd think of them! Irony at its best!

I mean this post with nothing but love and encouragement, so if you hear too much cynicism as you're reading it, I apologize. I merely mean it to give you a healthy dose of something we ALL need--perspective! If you're having trouble paring down your budget to get out of debt (and this can be applied to many areas of your life), think about the types of things you honestly notice about other people. Most of us are so trained to be consumed with what people think of us that we don't actually think about what other people are trying to impress us with! Go figure!

So, enjoy the liberation of knowing you're not that important (to the average Walmart shopper) and are free to make decisions that are best for the people in your life who DO think you're important--your family!

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