Getting Ahead In Life

Starts with asking oneself better questions. Over the span of a couple of years spent working in the corporate sector and the last four years working in the private and entrepreneurial sector of physiotherapy and hand therapy, I’ve come across a fair number of associates, friends, relatives and families whom I observe in their antics and behaviors as I mingle and spend time with them, be it through therapy sessions, or simply social settings. I try to not judge them, but what I’m actually more intrigued with is what they actually do compared to what they say.

Maybe it’s because I’m getting older – I recently read a statement somewhere that “over time, we don’t just listen to what people say they do, we observe to see what they do.”

And I find it intriguing that a number of people who love to complain, are the same number of people who don’t really get ahead in the area that they are looking and hoping to get ahead in. An example is a friend who wishes to have and earn more money, but several times a week, he spends anything from $40 – $100 on a meal – several times a week. Now here, I’m not against spending money on a good meal, with friends; and it’s not just about the fact that he earns about $2500 (so imagine he blows about $120 – $300 PER WEEK, about $480 – $1200 PER MONTH) on a few “special meals” in a week. A

No wonder he can’t get ahead in his finances.

When I was curious and asked him, he said that “it’s because he works hard, and he should reward himself” or “just because” or “ha…everyone is eating there already…I’m too embarrassed to say no just because I want to save money.”

I mean, why not? Just because “I’ve worked hard” doesn’t often equate to myself “treating myself extra well by splurging on food” if it knocks a few points back in my financial goal and plan. “Just because” is not in my dictionary, and I am not easily embarrassed just because “everyone is there already.” If it’s against my financial plan, I’ll seek to keep to my plan. If I need to spend less, then I’ll just get a soup, and drink water.

Why do that? To that, I’ll reply that my goals are more important than social situations where mere embarrassment are not as important to me. For me, not keeping on track financially just because of social situations is embarrassing.

In fact, during one of the guys’ gathering, one of the guys called me “weak” simply because I ordered lesser stuff so that I wont spend so much in a restaurant. He even had a smug look on his face to complete the entire “I’m greater than you” effect. In the beginning, it actually bothered me a little, not because he said it, but more because I wondered to myself if I was holding back too much? Later I realized that I’m on a journey, and this journey has certain criteria that I need to be strict on, and doesn’t matter who I meet along the way, I need to be consistent still on my criteria to enable to reach my end destination and goal.

Of course, to a certain extent, there is a huge element of sacrifice that I will tolerate, such as financial discipline, taking time to learn and practice on this journey of financial freedom, personal development of saying “no” to things and people that are not as important as they seem and life…plus, the extra bonus that in years to come, this moment of “weakness” to him, will be one of the traits that will propel us to greater levels of personal development, financial freedom and independence…and he’ll still be where he is.

Louise, my lovely wife, thinks it’s just because I’m highly opinionated. Or maybe because I’m just stubborn. What do you think?

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