I’ve been saying this a lot to my kids lately: “Worry less about others and more about yourself.” They seem to be constantly tattling, bossing each other around and generally whining about the inequities of life. Someone got a piece of gum or a larger dessert. Someone had to do something that the other didn’t and it’s just not fair! Standard response is not worry so much about someone else, and if they didn’t think about their brother or sister, they would generally be happy with the situation.
This lesson is one that us adults should take to heart as well. Not worrying about what someone else at the gym is lifting or how they are looking and instead worry about what we’re doing for the day to improve our lifts or how we look. Stop looking at Facebook or Instagram and comparing yourself to the narcissitic tools that are looking for validation through their posts and photos. Stop worrying about what car you are driving compared to your neighbors or friends, or how big your house is, or what brand of clothes you are wearing. If you started shining the light more on yourself, instead of looking outward, a number of things will occur. If you honestly take the time to evaluate your life, you’ll see that there are weak areas that you can address that bring your quality of life up, without even worrying about others. Would you feel better if you cut down on drinking? Would you be a better parent by turning off your tablet and phones until after the kids are in bed? Would you learn more about something by reading, or is a better use of your time and energy watching television? Would you be a better spouse by taking some time each day to focus on each other, talk and laugh rather than playing Candy Crush and ignoring each other?
Cutting out the noise, not worrying about the Joneses and focusing more internal issues and family items is a better use of all our time and energy. I would rather have a smaller television, an older paid off car, a cozier house and slightly out of fashion clothes than be taking on debt, or not reaching my personal financial goals because I worried what my neighbors thought of me. Fuck them. Instead, I worry about what I think about me, and work to fix it. Seek less validation from others (with the exception of your spouse who is on the board of directors in your family and whose happiness is often intermingled with ours), be less insecure, and take more care of yourself. Hopefully a lesson my kids will take as well.