We tell ourselves things to make ourselves feel better.
Some one bad will get his just returns...
Well... maybe he will, maybe he won't. But we tell ourselves that eventually, we hope, that karma catches up to him.
Or we tell ourselves that... We don't want to work so hard and earn more. Cos even though we can earn more, we correlate working hard to falling sick, getting stressed, having less work life balance.
But that's an assumption. First, many people who are salaried workers won't get more pay by working more hours. So there's not much that working harder will do. It's not like some sales job.
Then there's the assumption that working harder will take it's toll on the person. Which again might not be true.
The truth is, when people say this, they usually don't have a choice to work harder to earn more. Imagine, you're earning $200 per day, 8am til 6pm... If someone offers an additional $200 per day for this person to continue to work from 6pm to 11pm, most likely many of us would take up the offer.
The difference is between $4,000 per month, vs $8,000 per month, assuming 20 working days per month.
Or we could look at someone buying expensive stuff, and assume that they are in debt, or have low savings... But who knows right? We tell ourselves that to make ourselves feel better about our decision not to indulge ourselves? Truth is, we don't know what the financial situation of other people are. There's a probability that they might be in debt, or they might not be. We don't know.
I don't know. It seems like people like to compare. So when we do something, or don't do something, we look to other people who make the opposite decision and we naturally conclude that it's a bad decision for them. We like to tell ourselves that we made the right decision.
Or people who don't want to be frugal would say that being frugal is suffering. They don't want to live like a pauper. And yet, many folks are frugal and live very good lives.
Looking at people and comparing and drawing conclusions is very much part of being human and our culture.
I think we use it to justify our own decisions, why we make our own decisions, or why we don't make certain decisions.
We like to tell ourselves we made the right decision and we paint negative stories about people who have made an opposing decision as compared to ourselves.
And yet, many times, I see people are living pretty good lives. People who have made significantly different decisions from myself. Some work harder, longer, are more successful, some might have less money, some spend more, some spend less.
But yet in the end, they are living "quite ok", in Singapore, most of us aren't really suffering. Sure, there are consequences to many decisions, but most of the time, things aren't as good or bad as we typically assume would happen.
I have many friends who have made many different decisions as compare to myself. Some didn't do well in school, some are damn smart, some landed better jobs, some not so good jobs, some had kids early, some had kids late, etc...
In the end, most people end up quite ok.
Note, for me, "quite ok" is a very large spectrum. As long as they are healthy, making a good enough salary to make ends meet and have spare money for entertainment, not in debt, to me, that's doing ok. Most people are doing ok in Singapore. Most, not all.
Most people can afford all they need, most people can afford some of their wants. Most people are healthy enough.
Mathematically, it's easy to fall into the category of "most".
Otherwise, the hospitals would be full, and there would be many homeless.
The thing is, in life, we all make different decisions, and we make the decisions for benefit, or fear of loss. We tell ourselves certain stories to justify our decisions, and we might look at others as examples of what to do or what not to do.
But maybe... maybe, those examples that we pick out are really far and few in between.
How many people who didn't study ended up as cleaners?
How many people who worked hard ended up multi millionaires?
I think many of us might be cherry picking our examples and patting ourselves on the back thinking we made the right decision, when maybe, our decision might not affect our lives as much as we think it does.
If you bought a Prada bag every year, would you work significantly less before being able to retire or put you into debt?
I think many people are able to spend an additional $2k per year as a special bonus to treat themselves without significantly impacting their decision to retire.
However, a luxurious overall lifestyle would likely case someone to have to delay retirement.
So I think... we really shouldn't console ourselves too much on decisions that we make. Cos we really don't know the real outcome of many of our decisions vis-à-vis others. We usually see, and conclude and there's usually no follow up or anyway to determine where our decisions lead us, or where their decisions led them.
Most important of all, we need to be content with our decision and even if it turns out bad, we need to tell ourselves that, at that point in time, with that amount of info and probabilities, we would have made that decision again anyway.
And if the result is good, it might be sheer luck instead of good decision making capabilities.
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