Do you know what will snuff out your happiness faster than anything? Comparisons.
Comparing your life, your family, your car, your home, your clothes, or your body, to your neighbor’s.
I have been just as guilty as anyone, but I usually didn’t have the money to compete, so I would be that much more miserable, because I not only didn’t have what they have, but I didn’t have the means to get it. I had sort of an epiphany last year, after reading Dave Ramsey’s book The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness . Don’t misunderstand me, this is a really good book, but that doesn’t mean that it will have the same effect on you. It was just the catalyst for my wake up call. I’ve always considered myself a happy person for the most part, and I try to have a positive attitude toward life, but I was definitely stressed about our finances, and getting out of debt. After reading Dave’s books, it has relieved so much of the anxiety that would cause me to lie awake at night. Now I have a plan laid out, and I am nowhere near finished, but there is a light at the end of the balance sheet! I know now that there will be a happy ending, and that we will be in a better position to help others. I really wish I had come to this decision to make the changes sooner. So much precious time was wasted running on the hamster wheel, and much of it was due to comparing what material things we had, and not about truly living. When we stop comparing, and just be happy with what we have been blessed with – good health, children, grandchildren, a spouse that loves you, and true friends, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about your old car, or your smaller house, all that matters is the legacy you leave your family with. Stop comparing, and start living!