The other night my band played a show at a local watering hole here in Orlando. As we were pulling into the parking lot, a large semi tractor trailer was pulling in at the same time. I jokingly said to my guitar player, “look, our gear has arrived.” We can actually fit all of our equipment into two cars (and we are nowhere near being able to quit our day jobs) but it’s fun to dream!
His response was, “must be nice to have all that gear!” While I certainly agree that having a truck full of musical toys would be fun to play with, I was instead reminded how often I hear the phrase “must be nice”, and what it typically means.
To me, this phrase comes with the implication (amplified by the tone in which it is said) that having all that gear, the nice car, the summer home, or whatever, somehow makes life perfect. In addition, it also implies that the person saying it could never have that perfect of a life, because they are not in a position to afford or acquire said car, boat, house, drum kit, etc.
What I think really bothers me about this phrase is the idea (and it could just be my perception) that the person with the car, house, boat or drum kit didn’t have to work or struggle in any way to earn or deserve it. Unless someone has won the lottery, this just isn’t the case. (Even then, they did have to buy the ticket!)
To me it comes down to a matter of perception… when you see someone successful, do you think about how you can learn from them and create your own success? Or, do you tend to find faults with them and wonder what lucky star they were born under and why you couldn’t have been so lucky?
Both perceptions lead to actions, but both do not move you forward. I bet you can guess which one is which.
If you have had any sort of success in your life, you know that it is “nice”. But it also took a lot of hard work. Congratulations!
Thanks for reading!