Status. What's yours?
There are four women sitting at a table.
The first pulls out the very latest i phone X and quietly sets it on the table signaling that she indeed has the latest greatest.
The second lady pulls out a Google Pixel indicating that she considers herself a smart consumer and is more interested in function over influence.
The third gal pops up an eight year old flip phone that shows us her needs are met but above that she doesn't need more.
The fourth chick does not have a phone. Her assistant carries it for her and handles all her calls.
I heard this modern day parable on Seth Godin's latest podcast, Akimba. I highly recommend it.
Nowadays status is at the core of most every motivation. We are constantly moving up or down in status. It's a natural human behavior that has existed for all of time. It just so happens that more and more the need for an increase in status is being exploited by commercialism and social media.
When you go on Snap, Insta, Facebook you are given a little stage on which to do what? Share your status of course! It's literally called a STATUS UPDATE.
We create a little "snapshot" in time that is carefully curated in order to seize a little bite of status. These snapshots come in all different kinds of ways. Perhaps a photo of a girls weekend (I've got friends!), a heady quote (I'm a deep thinker!), a dinner of date night (We're still in love!)
I've done all of these btw.
Others times we see our lack of status as a way to indulge our shame, another core human emotion. Shame reminds us of inadequacy within ourselves. This can come from an outside source ("Oh...they had dinner all together and didn't invite me") or an inside source (I drank alcohol after telling myself I would quit).
Status is in the real world of course. Why else would Louis Vuitton, bushy beards, Lululemon, Range Rovers, or Labradoodles exist? (And yes I've got a bich-poo).
This is not to be confused with guilt. Guilt is a feeling produced when you have done something you know to be wrong.
And so what do we do with this ever present, all encompassing, shame inducing thing called status?
Don't ask me!
Alright, but here's what I've learned. About 30 days ago I came to the realization that status was holding me back from doing the satisfying work that I need to be doing in order to be a happy and productive individual.
The manipulation (for good or bad) of social media and marketing, the stories I was telling myself in my head of how I look to others (good or bad), the positioning of my status in various groups became front and center and due to some serious sh*t that went down I received a wake up call.
I don't want to let status rule my life.
There's nothing wrong with making money, being wealthy, having a hit, owning a luxurious home, having lots of friends, or living an all organic vegan lifestyle while doing yoga twice a day. (Okay, well that is sorta annoying).
But there's also nothing wrong with renting a home (I've had to come to grips with this as it is often perceived as a status stripper), moving to an apartment to save money, being a stay at home mom, choosing to make art instead of practicing law, or shopping at Ikea versus Pottery Barn.
Status is perception.
It's all in our mind. My status rises in a room when I'm the dance instructor. My status lowers when I'm in a room of all stay-at-home moms who drive white hybrid Lexus'.
That doesn't mean we will ever let go of it. It's been part of human evolution since the beginning of time. So it becomes a practice just like everything else. The practice of empathy. The practice of discipline.
The practice of today. Today is only real commodity that matters isn't it? The currency of time.
So the next time you update your status, think about the narrative you're creating and see if it's inline with the intention of your life. If you don't have an intention, maybe it's time to think of one. That's a good start.