Humility. It’s definitely a quality I lack. In fact, I’m quasi-arrogant. No, I don’t go around telling people how great I think I am. But honestly, sometimes I think that to myself.
This rings especially true in my financial life. I’m always comparing myself to my peers. I don’t like being average. Wait, let me rephrase that. I HATE BEING AVERAGE. While I don’t think the desire to surpass mediocrity is necessarily a bad thing, I do believe it leads to pride. And pride, my friends, leads to arrogance. And arrogance leads to being a douche bag. And last time I checked, I don’t want to be a douche bag. I mean look at this guy and tell me he doesn’t scream “Douche”….
It’s not uncommon for me to measure my financial success by comparison.
It generally looks like this….
Do I make more money than most of my friends? Yup
Do I have a larger savings than most of my friends? Yup
Do I have more in retirement … ? Yup
Do I have less debt … ? Yup
Does that make me better than them? Yup
Wait. No. No, it doesn’t. There is nothing wrong with answering “Yup” to the first four questions, but when I answer “Yup” to the last one, I’m in definite need of a douche-bag-reality-check.
Do I make more money than most of my friends? Sure, but why does that make me better than them? Answer: It doesn’t. Being that I graduated from a small private college, I have quite a few friends that went to work in the non-profit sector. They get paid diddly squat (haha, the word diddly is funny). They may not make as much as I do. And they may not be able to afford some of the “luxuries” I can. But what they lack in income, they more than make up for in life experiences.
Yeah, I make $65,000 per year, but when was the last time I went to Africa in an effort to stop child soldiering like my friend Jed? Oh wait, that’s right. I haven’t. Maybe my income’s not so awesome after all.
Last night, I was reminded I’m not as great as I think I am. I need to stop using my peers as a metric to evaluate my level of success. It doesn’t matter how much THEY make, how much debt THEY have, or how much THEY save. All that truly matters is that I am doing the best I can, with what I got.
Okay I’m going to go rescue a puppy or donate a kidney or something
Do you ever struggle with pride?
How do you keep yourself humble?
Who inspires you the most (my guess is it’s not your friend that MAKES the most, but your friend that DOES the most)?