Our constant need for “better” is keeping us unhappy. Here’s how to overcome it.


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First, props to you for taking the time to read this (assuming you finish it). Why? Because you probably interrupted your scrolling through your newsfeed to click off and come here.

And, what were you seeing on that feed?

Cars, jets, houses, couples with 6-pack abs frolicking in Tahiti. Fashion models, shoes, you get the idea.

Or, perhaps you were swiping on your favorite dating app. Maybe getting a couple of matches here and there. Maybe even chatting someone up. But you’re still swiping – why? Because maybe you can do better.

Shit, you KNOW you can.

Our lives have become a constant comparison to the person next to us. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t anything new. The phrase “keeping up with the Joneses” is decades old and represents the need to match up with the neighbors – or surpass them.

Isn’t it understandable to some extent? Our human need for significance and social positioning will drive us towards constant achievement. In some ways, this is GOOD.

It keeps us driven, motivated, and moving towards achievement.

So, what’s the problem then?

The problem is that we are fed a story that once we finally achieve “X” – whatever “X” is for you, we will finally be happy. Once I get that next paycheck, I’ll finally be happy. Once I get that pair of Louboutins, I’ll finally be happy. Once I finally have that Tom Ford suit, I’ll finally be happy.

Actually, that part might be true…ahem, Tom?

I digress. The point is that NONE of these material items actually bring true fulfillment. They look nice in your Instagram photos, but MANY, MANY wealthy people are supremely unhappy.

They are supremely unhappy because many of them have spent so much time pursuing financial success that they have never taken the time to do the “inner work.” The work on themselves that answers the important question: What is actually going to make ME fulfilled?

Sure, you want that Ferrari, but WHY?

Perhaps it’s because you just like the color red. OR, perhaps it’s because you were never accepted in your social circles and feel as though a fancy car will get you that adoration and attention you’ve always desired.

Is it acceptance that you really want? And if it is, what are some other ways you could get it besides signing that check to the dealership?

Perhaps you could volunteer for a local charity, or give your time to community service, or be a substitute teacher a couple of days a week, or take an art class.

Once we start building fulfillment from WITHIN, we begin to see the world through a lens of clarity that we didn’t have access to before. And, when we build from WITHIN, we start to become increasingly happier with the things we ALREADY have and ALREADY are.

We are happier in our relationships because we are living in a quieter peace. We are happier in our social stature because we are not as envious of others’ possessions. We are happier in our own bodies because we appreciate and love all the things that we already are.

And, from a foundation of happiness, we can then decide where it is we TRULY want to go from there.

Still want the Ferrari? Awesome! You will be an already happy and fulfilled person driving it.

Still want those shoes or the suit? Fantastic! You will look even better walking with self-assured confidence.

But if you have not yet done the INNER work, you will always be chasing after things that won’t bring you true happiness.

This goes for the next hot person, or the next hot item.

The path to TRUE fulfillment is built with the bricks of uncensored honesty with yourself about where you really want to go. Until you muster the courage to get clear on that, you’ll always be walking on someone else’s roads.


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  1. multipleforks on January 6, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    So very true! I’ve dated middle class men and men with money and the guy I dated who came from money and had a high profile job was one of the most miserable men I have ever met. A trainer 3 times a weak and a therapist twice a week couldn’t change his ‘mad at the world’ mentality. He was never happy!

    • James Michael Sama on January 6, 2019 at 3:02 pm

      It’s ALL about mindset! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and share your story. 🙂

  2. Georgianne Wordlow on January 9, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    Thank you so much for your article! I, too, had that ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ mindset before and it made it very hard to be present with my friends and family. I’d go on vacation and be miserable. If I wasn’t worrying if I packed the ‘right’ shoes or was carrying the ‘right’ purse, I would be constantly comparing myself to my boyfriend’s beautiful sister. When I think about these trips now, and we went to some really fun places, I hardly remember them because of all that worry. Now, I am starting to be more appreciative of what I have and who I am instead of trying to ‘keep up’ and compare, and I find that I really don’t need that much to be truly happy (although the black So Kate Louboutins do look amazing! But hey, all I need is one pair!). Thanks again for your eye-opening article!!

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