Two days ago, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and saw a picture of one of my former professors. She had moved to Abu Dhabi to teach and was standing in a mall and surrounded by a number of ex-pat sorors that she had met since moving there a few years ago.
“Wow,” I told myself and I immediately texted my girlfriend that had just returned from living and teaching in Haiti and Abu Dhabi a year ago to meet for lunch. Seeing my professor seemingly happy and with a community of African-American intrigued me and rekindled my interest in teaching abroad in the near future.
Just yesterday, I saw this same professor in a different picture. She was in some cute workout gear just having completed a half-marathon in Jamaica. She was glistening and happily showing off her medal. I smiled because it reminded me of the time that I completed my first half-marathon in Panama. I “liked” her update and made sure that I finally put on my sneakers and got to the gym— something that I had been pussyfooting on doing all day.
While I can’t directly attribute the completion of my “Health and Beauty” vision board to having seen my professor (probably ten years my senior) looking lean and mean in her Facebook picture, I know that after my workout, I spent the evening gluing empowering words and visuals including Kelly Roland (abs), First Lady Michelle Obama(arms), and Serena Williams (thighs) onto my vision board to keep me on track to my June 2014 goal of being “bikini-ready.”
There is so much research out there citing Facebook as the source of adult sadness and envy. People tend to compare their lives with what they see on Facebook and conclude that everybody and their mama, excluding them, is living a healthier, wealthier, more toned, more successful life with tons of good looking people that love them.
Well, how about if we channeled those feelings of inadequacy that we feel when we see a friend posing in her bikini after months of hard work and sacrifice to lose 30 pounds, an acquaintance sharing that landed a dream job, or a family member “cheesing” hard with her fiancé into action?
Instead of cursing them and wondering why they have to brag and put their “business all up in the streets,” why not reach out to them and ask them how they did it? If reaching out is not an option, let their updates serve as gentle reminders of the unfinished business that we have with ourselves. Let Facebook updates motivate us to create meaningful goals, step out of our comfort zone, and be about living the lives that we really want.
Frugalistas—What role, if any, does Facebook play in motivating you to live the life that you want?
[info_box type=”alert_box”]If you want to practice self-care, you have to care for your finances. My book, The Happy Finances Challenge, is designed to help you learn to make money decisions that will lead to long-term financial happiness in just 42 days. [/info_box]