Do You Have a Best-of-the-Best (BOTB) Lifestyle?


Did you know that Charles Dickens and advertising created the modern Christmas? Yep. In Dickens’ day, Christmas was a minor holiday much like Easter today. Some people celebrated and got the day off, but it wasn’t a culture wide phenomenon with decorations everywhere, lots of parties, and lots of presents.

Somewhere along the way, Dickens’ vision of charity and goodwill has turned into a Christmas buying frenzy with people striving to get the best-of-the-best (BOTB). What happened?

What’s the BOTB Lifestyle?

We can all have the lifestyle of our choosing. One experience is just as valid as another. 

I’ll share my thoughts of scenes I observed to provide food for thought though so you can get a view of what BOTB looks like from my eyes.

I’ve had many clients who have asked for a sliding scale fee because they “couldn’t afford” counseling, yet they were always freshly manicured, drove an SUV, ate organic food, wore designer clothes, got their car detailed on a regular basis, etc. You can’t tell a person’s situation from the outside looking in, but this kind of thing may say something about priorities and values and doesn’t auger well for long term self-sufficiency.I’ve seen children with the latest iPhone. They lose it and get another one. Again, it’s not my place to say how a person should spend their money, but this doesn’t teach the child the value of things, work, or money. I’ve seen people driven to suicidal thoughts because of negative self-comparison. They see others’ highlight reel on social media where they appear to be living in fun, love, and luxury that real life can’t compare to because it’s all smoke and mirrors.  Life isn’t a 24/7 party.I’ve seen lots of homes stuffed with things that aren’t used, yet the occupants keep buying more shiny things.Many people have no savings or retirement plan, but they have really nice vacations. I’ve seen people who grew up poor change their fortunes. Their fear made them slaves to money so they can’t enjoy the luxury they have.

What’s Wrong the BOTB Lifestyle?

If you live a BOTB lifestyle, you’re missing out on a lot of what life has to offer. 

Consider milk. If you skim the cream off the top of whole milk and only used that because it’s the best of the best, you’d leave behind a lot of nutrients and probably would get fat. 

When we only eat the choicest cuts of meat, the same thing happens. Then we pay for expensive bone broth, glucosamine and chondroitin, and other supplements to get the things we didn’t get from skipping out on eating the whole animal. 

We also don’t get to experience discomfort or delayed gratification, so we don’t learn things like gratitude and perseverance. We can begin to treat people like objects because we can be focused on what we can get rather than relationships.

Life is Holistic

If you want to be prepared for life, you have to engage with it as it is. It really is perfect. Nature knows how to balance itself and give you what you need. 

If you use it, you can experience far more than you ever would by picking and choosing only the choicest parts. 

Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty, be hungry, or struggle. This will make you stronger, more compassionate, and more connected. 

Life’s not about stuff. It’s about relationships. If you live in relationship with people, time, nature, money, and everything else, you will feel more alive. Don’t you want to be here? 

Charles Dickens’ view of Christmas was love and charity. If you embrace relational living and can afford luxury, your stuff will be like milk. It will be the cream in your coffee, not the whole drink.