Keeping up is hard to do ...

Life coach Maureen Kennedy
Life coach Maureen Kennedy

Do you ever stop and wonder why things are important to you? The job you do, where you live, the car you drive, the clothes you wear, how much money you earn or have. You might think it is about personal ambition and a desire to do well, about keeping up with fashion and other trends. Or about how you appear to other people.

Even people who are struggling financially seem to have the latest phones with expensive contracts and the biggest TVs. A young girl I know went on and on to her mum about having to have an iphone because everyone else in her class had one. A quick chat at the school gates revealed that in fact only a couple of the children had them but even at the age of 11, the youngster was desperate to keep up with others. She didn’t even know the costs involved and certainly couldn’t afford it herself. In the end, kind granny bought her the phone for her birthday only to be asked only a few weeks later if she could get her the latest iphone to replace it.

It was all about keeping up with the others.

A friend of mine, who was a high achiever with associated material rewards, recently jumped off the merry­-go-­round of top job, great car, first class travel and moved from her luxury four bedroom house.

She was drained by the endless pressures at work, the ridiculous hours, the erratic social life, lack of holidays or any down time at all. She had long held personal ambitions she felt she would never achieve while she was working so she quit. Sold the house and car and relocated to a small flat. It was tricky to find a 9-­5 job that was just that. Employers were sceptical about why a high flyer would want to change direction but she persuaded them.

She then had time to take courses she had always wanted to do, catch up with friends she had neglected and even go on holiday. It doesn’t matter to her that her car is old because it’s just a means of getting from A to B.

She is happier cooking for friends than dining at top restaurants and she has more than enough clothes to last her a lifetime. As well as that, she is happier than she has ever been – with a PAYG phone!