Every few months, I reset my Youtube subscriptions to zero. As much fun as it is to find new creators to learn from and keep up with them, eventually, my feed always becomes overwhelming. The same applies to investments I want to make, business ideas I want to implement, and movies I want to watch.
When, recently, my dentist recommended yet another step to add to my dental care routine, I realized: The Joneses will move in next to you wherever you go. Sooner or later, everything turns into a game of keeping up with them. It’s human nature: We want more.
While it’s important to not let this trend get out of hand, however, it’s hard to consistently practice restraint in every area of life. The older I get, the more I tend to just let myself accumulate, then reset after a while.
Going from full plate to clean slate is easy: You wipe everything away in one swift motion. Restraint requires constant consideration. You have to reflect and adjust all the time. “Am I removing this one element? Will adding one more habit break my back?” If you happen to be self-aware enough in the moment, great! Think about these questions. But if you’re not, know you can always start over later.
That’s what no one tells you about the Joneses: They’ll follow you everywhere, but in the end, they are your tenants. You can kick them to the curb whenever you please. Revoke their contract when they’re trying to bait you into a competition, but don’t watch their every move until they do.