Why We Don't Care Your Friend Makes $100k/yr
Last week I was catching up with an old friend over lunch.
We had a great conversation — what we'd been up to, how we were doing and the future things we wanted to go off and accomplish.
One moment during our convo my friend mentioned she had a 2nd degree friend who was 25 years old and making +$100,000/yr.
The way it was said felt like, "Jeez, I want his life. If only I did, everything would just be better."
What we talked about from there was so awesome that I want to share it with you.
Here's an outline of our convo.
So let's assume your mind has channels. Each channel is going at all times, and you tune in to whichever one depending on how you want to view the world.
Channel 1, let's say, would be seeing the world the way Mother Culture has influenced us to believe.
Things like, "Driving a truck makes me cool." "Bigger and more is always better." "One day I have to buy a home with a white picket fence and a dog."
Channel 1 is when your mom or dad says, "Okay, come back to reality." in response to you dreaming up an awesome life.
So if you're on Channel 1 the feeling of jealousy and envy makes sense.
That little voice in your head probably says something like, "$100,000 in income. O. M. G. I could be so free to do anything I want!"
You see, on Channel 1 we follow the herd's way of thinking -- you hear someone has a massive income, and you immediately think,
"Gosh, they are able to do everything I've always wanted... At least that's what I've learned from the TV shows, the magazine articles and the YouTube videos."
But what if we leave the herd's way of thinking? The way Mother Culture has influenced us to believe, and we click our brains over to Channel 2?
You know there's a Channel 2, don't you?
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So on Channel 2 there are no societal preconceptions for what happiness is, or what luxury should be, or for what success looks like.
On Channel 2 those ideas can only be defined by you.
Here now, we learn from a friend that someone our age is making $100,000/yr.
"Humph.." We think. "That's interesting. What do they do?"
We learn they work from 8am-6pm everyday, and sometimes on Saturdays too.
They sell someone else's idea that deep down they know they don't really care that much for.
The pressures of performing at their job causes them to come home stressed out each evening. But all their colleagues do it too, so they don't think any different of constantly being stressed out.
And even though they have a high-paying career, for some reason they can't figure out why their bank account never increases.
They work so much that they end up paying for unhealthy breakfast, lunch and dinner meals, for memberships to gyms that they don't have the time to go to, and for all-inclusive, far off vacations so they can finally try to relax in that small 7 day vacation.
They feel trapped on the hedonic treadmill of consumption.
They make $100,000. They spend $100,000.
This story obviously isn't true for every situation, but what I'm saying here is that on Channel 2 we look deeper than surface reality.
We think, "Neat, $100k. Are they happy with their life?"
Their version of happiness may be completely different then ours, and that is totally great.
The key is is it really their version of happiness or is it Mother Culture's version of happiness?
For us, maybe our definition of success would be working a job that aligns with our values and our interests.
It may be working a career that gives us the time in the present to see the world, and also allows us to save enough money to later go off and build a business or start a family.
We could make $40,000/yr.
But through living efficiently and aligning our spending to happiness we could very easily save $20,000/yr.
How much of your income are you keeping for yourself? And how much of what you spend are you spending on things you love?
If you have a balance among those two, then you are in tune with your success.
Now I'm not saying that a higher income doesn't help with having some more money to save. Obviously it does.
But there comes a point in the amount you make, your income, where you have enough. Enough to live a wonderful, beautiful life.
When you tip beyond your point of Enough, it can lead to spending present time and future aspirations in ways that you actually don't want.
I'd argue that that happens because this excess money is being wasted on unwanted, unneeded luxuries.
So in the end, the real question is, "Are you happy? Are you truly fulfilled with your days?"
So next time someone says, "I have this friend and he makes over $100,000!" Take a deep breath.
Tune your brain to Channel 2.
And remember success or happiness doesn't have to do with how much any person makes.
Happiness has to do with you making sure your short time on this planet is filled with fulfillment and joy -- whatever that looks like for you.
How much of what you spend are you spending on things you love? How much of what you make are you keeping for yourself?
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