Do You - Not Them

Can I be uncomfortably honest here?

I hate Instagram. And Facebook. I ghosted both of them almost a year ago, and haven't looked back.*

There were some other reasons involved, but the primary culprits are pretentiousness and envy.

Pretentiousness in that - most of us - only post the best versions of us and our family and our businesses and success. Myself included. Guilty. 

But MORE than that - envy. 

In the pretentious (and oftentimes fake) #mybestlife world, we become envious. Envious of that vacation. That car. That house. That picture of the perfectly well behaved children taken two seconds before a complete level 5 meltdown. 

We think, "If only I had a little more money ... if only I could travel like that ... if only I was better at ...." 

Envy. And what does it do? 

It robs us of the joy in front of us. 

And the reality is that this isn't new with Instagram or Facebook - this is as old as mankind. But in the new-ish era of connectivity, we SEE a lot more of other people, and their lives. Fake or not. 

Maybe you're not like me - maybe you're able to use these apps and NOT become envious, but truthfully happy for others. Again - uncomfortably honest: I can't, and most of those I talk to can't either. 

When we constantly compare ourselves to others we don't do anyone any favors. The emotional baggage is bad enough, but oftentimes it spills into financial decisions. Spending more than we can afford. Taking unnecessary risks. Incurring unneeded debt. 

You do you. Live your life. Don't allow the lives of others to influence you. 

The antidote to envy is gratitude. Focus on the abundance of what you DO have in life, and not on what you don't have. 

*an unfortunate side effect: you miss out on some positive and big life announcements to those immediately outside of your inner circle. The tradeoff has been worth it for me, however.
Additional Resources

1. CalibratingCapital - What's Getting the Best of You? (3 minute read)
I hardly ever listen to a podcast more than once - but a recent one I have listened to three times, led to a new friendship, and caused a serious realization for me. I write about it in this post. The main point it this: We should be asking ourselves, on a regular basis, who (or what) is getting the best version of us - and are we ok with that?

2. Collaborative Fund - Fat, Happy, and In Over Your Head (5 minute read)
"Having more than you need can be a liability masquerading as an advantage, and no sense of 'enough' can look like ambition but often leads you over the edge." I love this line, and this piece as a whole. Another favorite: "The only way to know how much food you can eat is to eat until you're sick. Few try this because vomiting sucks more than any meal is good." 

2. Vanguard - Market Perspectives (4 minute read)
I'm not one for putting much (read: any) weight into short term market forecasting, but I did find it interesting in a piece that Vanguard for various asset class returns. Over a 10-year projection, they expect non-US equities to return between 6.5% and 8.5% annualized returns, and US equities to do 3.5% - 5.5%. It's interesting to me because the past decade the US has far out-paced non-US, and a lot of investors question why we should be investing outside the US at all. Emphasis: this changes nothing on my recommendations for how to be invested; I just found it interesting. 
I'd love to hear from you - do you find envy creep into your heart while on Instagram or Facebook? 

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