Thursday, January 26, 2012

Forget about the Joneses

Forget who?....

Well this idiom may probably have its origin from the idiom “Keeping up with the Joneses”. According to Wikipedia "Keeping up with the Joneses" is an idiom in many parts of the English-speaking world referring to the comparison to one's neighbor as a benchmark for social caste or the accumulation of material goods. To fail to "keep up with the Joneses" is perceived as demonstrating socio-economic or cultural inferiority. If you want to learn more about its origin you may Google it up or read from Wikipedia

Almost all personal finance articles give this one sound advice “Forget about the Joneses”. But how...? With Facebook making it easier than ever to compare your own material status to others, it can be easy to always feel one step behind.

If only we could echo Jessie J crooning

It's not about the money, money, money,
We don't need your money, money, money…..
Forget about the price tag.
Ain't about the (ha!) cha-ching cha-ching.
Ain't about the (yeah!) ba-bling ba-bling,
Sad but true, it is already a well-established aspect of human condition, we want what our friends, neighbors, colleagues have. Be it a flashy bling or the latest gadget, a high-powered job or even those cute shoes. Those Joneses can tippy-toe into our life in all kinds of sneaky ways. The more you’re exposed to them, the more those things that once seemed like luxuries start to look like basic necessities that you’d be depriving your family to go without.

So how do you forget the Joneses, when you rub shoulders with them every day? I’m only human and it’s tough to do in this world of consumerism. I may not forget the Joneses overnight, but what keeps me from keeping up with them as my main occupation, is to think of the price that I would pay “GETTING INTO DEBT”, DEBT that would be worse than the Joneses.

Although money and what it can buy provides us a certain amount of freedom and liberation but what we should really value most in life should be our family ,friendship, trust, love things that do not come from money. Though I would always welcome a GUCCI, an LV or a PRADA and perhaps that romantic cruise for two, but it might as well good for me to remember the old adage “the best things in life are free” :)

photo courtesy:Philip Caro (Panglao, Bohol Philippines)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Perfecting the Art of "Waiting Proactively"

photo courtesy:sg.forums
I was rushing home one afternoon, trying to catch the MRT. I heard the sound “tooo tooo toooot toooooot. Doors are closing.” I saw the flashing red light and the train gates began to close. I had to stop and wait for the next train. It was not a short 1 minute wait, it was 5 minutes! Great, just when I was really in a hurry.

While I waited for the long 5 minute interval, my mind began to wander, how in my life where I had to wait. Times when I am almost close to achieving something. Moments when a goal or a dream is about to be accomplished, then something came up…and there was nothing to do but wait. Or simply because I have to undergo a step by step process and each step of the way requires you to wait.

As far as I know, in our society, no one likes to wait. I know I don’t. Do you? But oftentimes, there are situations when we have nothing to do but wait. They are beyond our control. A long queue in the ATM booth, or perhaps an untoward event like a natural disaster or an economic downturn stills us to a waiting and anticipating mode. There are people who slow us down -- our colleagues, clients, or perhaps our family members. Personal matters that could stop us like our health or our limited finances. One or a few of these factors may contribute to the stalling of our much cherished dream becoming a reality.

What do you do when you are forced to wait? How do you cope with the agony of waiting? I am still finding answers but some of these tips help me to cope while waiting for a goal…a dream:

I create a “to do list” in how I will be able to achieve this goal. Review it regularly to make sure that my dream is still alive despite the hiatus state of waiting. In others words “Plan”. Create a roadmap to the goal you have in mind, so that you do not get lost in the sea of day to day living and anxiety.

I always keep in mind that fear is part of the process. Sometimes I wonder if I have what it takes to reach my dream. I admit that fear is a normal human behavior. But at the same time I know that the only way past fear is “through it” and not “around it”. Courage and perseverance goes a long way.

But while I’m at it, waiting and hoping….I acknowledge that life goes on. With that in mind I should be nice to myself along the way. Your life does not stop because you are waiting for a dream to materialize. While I review my roadmap regularly, I still live my life and enjoy every moment of it. Look forward to your dream but cherish and enjoy every moment of your life. Sometimes it’s not the destination that counts but how we appreciate the journey.

And most important of all, make Jehovah God the center of your dreams and goals. Pray and trust that He knows what is best for you. And he will give you the desires of your heart at the right time.

This works for me so far, what ticks with you?

Live and Love,

Mrs. Martinez :)

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