My wife used to compliment me whenever I communicated in Mandarin. She doesn’t anymore.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that though, because I couldn’t speak it back then and I could now carry a decent conversion using the language. In a short few years, she got used to hearing me speak in Mandarin (or at least my version of it).
It’s interesting isn’t it – How our perception changes our reaction to the same facts. Me being able to learn a language I wasn’t born with should be remarkable. Yet, at some point or another, everyone who knows me will get used to it.
I was thinking just now whether there’s an amount of wealth we could deem it enough to live off of. A million dollars? Ten? If I ask you now, you could probably give me a number, but would you still think it’s enough by the time you actually have that much money?
My Own Story
Then, I remembered my own perception of money and how it changed over the years. Back when I was a kid, I remember getting $40 a month and asking my mom why I had to do all those chores and homework assignments while my grandfather just seemed to sign a few pieces of paper and get $4,000 a month. In reality, I had no idea how much money my grandfather made but $4,000 just sounded like an incredibly high number and appropriate for me to pose the question.
Then when I got out of college, I was making a couple thousand dollars a month. I was the happiest person. I was spending and there didn’t seem like much I couldn’t really buy. As I got older, the amount on my paycheck grew, but I never got HAPPIER because of it. I got used to the increases. I expected it.
Everyone around me was the same. No matter how much wealth they’ve amassed, they shrugged it off as if none of it mattered. You would think that it’s appropriate for many of them to celebrate, but they have already set their sights on the next goal. If they thought $1 million was enough, only $5 million would do now.
Our Mind Evolves
Our expectations change constantly, so how could we possibly be content with what we have? $50k a year might be your annual income goal when you were in college, but you’re already thinking about $60k or $70k by the time you are making $48,000 a year. When you make $90k, you probably wanted $120k.
The answer is actually quite simple. Set concrete goals (write them down if you have to), then celebrate whenever you reach them. This is extremely straightforward, but it works. Make a conscious effort to stop raising the bar until you reach each one.
Question for You
Did you set yourself a financial goal but already made another one by the time you were close to reaching the first? If so, slow down my friend. Give yourself time to be happy by stopping to smell the roses. Otherwise, you might unknowingly drive over all those beautiful gardens as you zoom past everything.
You don’t want to look back at your life and see a big pile of smoke.