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The Mansion Next Door

Have you ever looked up at the night sky, amazed by the countless stars and vast space?

Most of what’s out there, about 99.9999999% of it, is simply… nothing.

And yet, on this blue marble we call Earth, there’s us – living, breathing, and experiencing life. Crazy huh?

Now that is what I call gratitude on a cosmic level. In this article by Accidentally Retired gratitude on an earthly level is discussed as well as how we can discover the transformational power of a thankful heart.

Our neighborhood is fairly new and is one of those built by a national homebuilder.

What is interesting about our particular development, is that it was built with various price points in mind.

There are entry-level homes, mid-tier homes, upper-tier homes, and mansions…yes mansions.

Each type of home has its own subdivision within the development, and it was clearly developed with buyers from all walks of life in mind.

So anyways, I was taking a quick walk around our neighborhood today and passed into the mansion section.

The first thing that popped into my head was “Man, it would be great to live here!

And it really would, because most of the homes have huge yards with pools, basketball or tennis courts, large grassy areas, and kids’ play sets.

These homes are the envy of anyone born and raised in our bigger, better, newer culture.

Just thinking about living in one of these houses gave me a dopamine hit. I mean…there’s no way around it!


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Keeping Up With The Joneses

It turns out that when people make enough money to meet their needs, they just find new things to need and new lifestyles to aspire to; they never quite manage to keep up with the Joneses, because whenever they’re in danger of getting close, they nominate new and better Joneses with whom to try to keep up.

 Oliver Burkeman, Four Thousand Weeks

But then I was thinking more about this conundrum…

I literally live a half mile away up the street.

I live in a very nice large mid-tier house.

We chose the lot, helped to design the house ourselves, and hand-picked all of the interior components.

Our house is about as custom as you can get without being custom.

We have a pool (and more importantly hot tub), we have a playroom for the kids, a huge kitchen, and a nice office.

In a word, our house is badass! And yet, we have friggin mansions next door that put our house to shame.

Talk about having FOMO baked into our everyday lives!

When a neighborhood is built in this fashion, you can’t help but see what the “next step” could be.

You can’t help but want more.

Because in our neighborhood, there is always someone with more.

There is always someone with a bigger house.

There is always someone with a nicer car.

There is always someone getting an Amazon delivery.

There is always someone taking a nice vacation.

I’ve come to one simple conclusion – no matter how big your house is, it will NEVER be enough.

Despite Never Having Enough, You’ve Already Won The Lottery

We all want more.

We all move the goalposts.

It is human nature.

But there is a way to battle back against FOMO and Keeping Up With the Joneses…that is to constantly remind yourself that you already have everything.

Because you do. You really do.

In fact, each and EVERY one of us reading this already won the lottery when we were born!

The odds of being born in a first-world country are somewhere between 5-13%.

So if you were born in a first-world country, that is already a good draw:

  • There are more opportunities.
  • There are more amenities.
  • There are fewer threats.
  • And there is better healthcare.

The life expectancy in the least developed countries is only between 62 to 67 years.

On average, by simply being born in a more developed country, you are going to get an extra 13 to 15 years of life.

I mean seriously. That is more than a decade!

Just by being born, you were rewarded with the potential advantage of a decade of life.

If that is not winning the lottery, then I don’t know what is!

Ignore The Mansion Next Door Because You Already Have It All

Sure, we may drool over our neighbor’s new car.

We may get that dopamine hit when we walk past the mansions next door.

We may constantly want to indulge in luxuries that give us joy.

But when I sit back and think about it, I remember that I already have everything I need to be happy.

I already have it all!

I challenge you to write out a list of 50 things that you are grateful for.

From time to time, I will write out a list of 50 things that I am grateful for – and the result is a huge mood booster.

But even better, it reminds me of all the little things in life that I am grateful for, that I enjoy…that make life worth it.

Of course, life isn’t always a breeze.

There are good days, there are bad days.

But I’ve found that writing down my gratitude never fails.

Because you’ll find that you already have it all.

And you already have enough.


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What practical steps can you take to cultivate a greater sense of gratitude in your everyday life?

Do you think FOMO can lead us astray from the path toward gratitude?

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2 thoughts on “The Mansion Next Door”

  1. Indeed, I have many wealthy friends, including some actual billionaires. But I don’t envy them. Like me they have an abundance. Once you have enough having more makes very little difference in your life.

  2. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  3. I would rearrange two key words of satisfaction.

    “We may constantly want to indulge in luxuries that give us HAPPINESS.

    But when I sit back and think about it, I remember that I already have everything I need to be JOYFUL.

    I already have it all! (CONTENTMENT)”


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