27/01/2017 08:35 GMT | Updated 28/01/2018 05:12 GMT

Keeping Up With The Joneses

The Smiths... The Ahmad's... The Rossi's or whatever family just moved in around the corner!

Or is it even the Beckhams, The Olivers, The Kardashians...?

Since when did the world get so incredibly competitive? A long time ago many would say. Back in the day! Yes, ok... I know the grass is always greener the other side of the fence, I know, I know, it always has been. But the issue here is when or moreover, how, did it ever get to be quite so extreme? And indeed, will it ever stop? Or at least become a little more manageable, more reasonable, healthier?

There has always been, since time began, the curtain switching when the chap two doors down rocks up in a brand new sports car or the family opposite starts a ground breaking extension of extensions but we seem to have begun comparing ourselves with somewhat increasingly, incomparable lifestyles. You wouldn't compare a tin of tuna with a jar of caviar would you? Right - so why do we compare what can loosely be categorised as a regular 2.4 children lifestyle to that of an A-list gazillionaire family?

Why are we so obsessed with how Harper is wearing her hair, what trainers Brooklyn has? How many children the Olivers are popping out and of course managing as if it were a walk in the park? Why do we feel deflated that our business goals aren't quite met while the Kardashians are launching a new product every minute and seconds later it's a best seller! These are unhealthy comparisons. Yes we can admire and we will most likely always love to follow 'celeb news' and aspire to aspects of their lifestyles but trying to get our teeth as white as theirs, hair as shiny or clothes as pristine is more trying than necessary. When did it all become so inescapably important? And why does it 'matter' so much? Consciously or unconsciously these 'role models' result in us setting the bar even higher, creating additional pressure that we could simply do without. We don't need it and it doesn't do us any good. What we should be doing is acknowledging and fully appreciating all that we already are. In the words of Buddha:

'Happiness does not depend on what you have or who you are. It depends on what you think.'

And anyway... what happened to individuality? On the one hand we are constantly promoting creativity, art, diversity, expressing 'ourselves,' being who we are, whilst on the other we are desperately trying to match up with next-door, or worse still, whoever the most in vogue celebrity is!

Social media doesn't help, whilst it can be fun, certain parts really do need to be taken with a pinch of salt.

I honestly think we could do with taking a few steps back. A little introspection, taking a closer look within, to value what we have and perhaps discover whatever it may be that we truly desire from the heart - irrespective of what might be going on around us.

If everyone else disappeared, vanished... and only our nearest and dearest were left (who certainly don't or shouldn't need impressing), what exactly we would want? What then would make us more fulfilled? Surely that is the essence of what would make us genuinely happy! And it would make the world a hell of a lot more interesting too!