Author Topic: Seeking Wisdom  (Read 3064 times)

Freedom Invested

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Seeking Wisdom
« on: May 12, 2017, 08:20:18 PM »
"Comparison is the Thief of Joy" - Theodore Roosevelt

So I have come to know one of our higher officers in our small 46 person company just turned 32. And I turn 32 later this year. I am a junior member and new employee of the company. And while I do enjoy a just barely six figure salary, it is an ego hit to know that I worked jobs and struggled through school (medical issue which is now solved) to attain a bachelors and masters at the age of 28... yet I still feel behind. Perhaps I can quickly gain ranks given I believe in the company and am motivated to help.

My logical self would say that I am likely further ahead than I think given my net worth just pushed past 200k, but I cannot help but thinking... what if I knew way back then what I know now. I could be way much closer to FI.

Thanks for reading and tell me your story or give advice as you'd like. Perhaps we can help each other and anyone else reading this thread.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2017, 08:26:23 PM by Freedom Invested »

mozar

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matchewed

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Re: Seeking Wisdom
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2017, 10:08:55 AM »
So follow the philosophy of the quote instead?

Freedom Invested

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Re: Seeking Wisdom
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2017, 11:19:09 AM »
Read this thread:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/are-there-other-folks-here-who-didn't-discover-fire-until-after-40/

True. We all fall on the spectrum somewhere. Thank you for the link.

So follow the philosophy of the quote instead?

Of course that is what I should do, but it is much easier said than done.

Broadway2019

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Re: Seeking Wisdom
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2017, 11:29:34 AM »
 I am also constantly trying to get ahead. I am 28 and have two masters degrees. I recently became a manager at a big 4 consulting firm, however, constantly feel in order to keep ahead is exhausting. Trying to put in extra hours and time to know the latest and greatest technology all for a bigger title and slightly more money is not always worth it. There will always be someone younger who looks like they have it all figured out. I know people who are VPs in their 20s at smaller companies, but really what does title mean. If you enjoy your current job and feel you are compensated fairly, then try to enjoy it rather than always thinking about the next move.

I know it is easier said than done, but I have realized that I will naturally move up from here when the time is right. I do not need to rush to become a Director as this will most likely happen in a natural progression if I stay with the company.

nick663

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Re: Seeking Wisdom
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2017, 11:46:15 AM »
Quote
A 32 year old worker making $100,000.00 annually was in income centile 91% in 2016.  This centile ranged from $100,000.00 to $102,281.00 a year.
https://dqydj.com/income-percentile-by-age-calculator/

Just sayin', you should be very thankful for where you are and not worry about the less than 10% of the population above you.

CindyBS

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Re: Seeking Wisdom
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2017, 06:05:37 AM »
I agree that reframing your thinking is the way to go.  I think everyone, at some point, feels the way you do by comparing themselves to someone else who is better off in some way.

I find comparing with those not as well off as you helps.  Not in a snobby way, but to realize your blessings.  Millions of people have no clean water to drink in the world.  Knowing that makes me more grateful and appreciative of the clean water that comes out of the tap every day.  Most of my friends have at least 1 parent that has died.  Knowing that makes me more appreciative and grateful mine are still with me. 

I have a teenage son with cancer.  I mention this not to make you feel guilty, but trust me, your life could be much worse. 

I use this comparing technique and counting my blessings even in the cancer world.  My son got to spend his birthday home from the hospital, we have a good support system, he has a good prognosis, etc. - All things I know other people don't have.

Start framing the glass as half full, not half empty.  Spending a few minutes once per day just listing out some positive things you have or you have achieved will help.

marielle

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Re: Seeking Wisdom
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2017, 07:00:42 AM »
I think you would feel that way no matter what. I have always been frugal, and discovered that early retirement is an option at 23, but still feel like I've screwed up, should have gotten scholarships, or could have a better paying job, etc.

Laura33

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Re: Seeking Wisdom
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2017, 07:12:26 AM »
What you are feeling is totally normal -- and also something to face down and get over for the sake of your own happiness.

I was one of the poorer kids, and I spent any number of years resenting the kids who had a leg up on me.  But I have since learned two lessons:

1.  Sometimes an advantage is not an advantage.  I relied on scholarships/work to get through school.  When my brothers went to school a decade later, they got a free ride from the Bank of Dad.  Resentment trigger!  But the reality is that both of them screwed around and struggled and took extra time (and in one case multiple schools) to graduate.  Turns out that the extra pressure I felt through HS and college not to screw it up gave me a drive (not ever being poor again!) that helped me take better advantages of the opportunities I did have.  [I actually never saw this myself until I was about 40 and telling this story to someone, who said, "dude, you totally won" -- and I realized, umm, yeah, I guess I did]

2.  You can only start where you are.  Our desire to have kids was delayed by miscarriages and infertility.  When we were debating a second, I was upset, because I realized I would be 40 when he was born, 58 when he graduated HS, 62 college, etc. etc.  But then I realized, well, it's not like I can turn back the clock, right?  My choice is to have a second kid, now, at 40, or not -- so of those two choices, which do I prefer?  Framed that way, the answer was clear (he's now 11).

I also had a period where I avoided going to the gym, because I was embarrassed about how I looked and how out of shape I had gotten, and I was afraid of looking soft and weak -- yes, in front of total strangers.  How self-defeating is that?  Finally I realized that, yes, it sucked that I could no longer do what I used to do, but the only way to get back there was to start exactly where I was, today, and build it back up.

Sometimes, starting from behind can be an advantage.  Other times, you brain can turn it into an excuse to justify failure.  The key is to move past the latter and get to the former. 

mozar

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Re: Seeking Wisdom
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2017, 10:38:24 AM »
Quote
but the only way to get back there was to start exactly where I was, today, and build it back up.

Yes! You can only start where you are. I used to be frustrated about many things but I can see that I am starting to accelerate, coming from behind and now realizing that I am better off than a lot of people I know. It would be good for you to meet some new people and get out of your bubble of people who make 6 Figures, as you are in the minority wealth wise.

Smokystache

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Re: Seeking Wisdom
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2017, 10:48:52 AM »
Quote
A 32 year old worker making $100,000.00 annually was in income centile 91% in 2016.  This centile ranged from $100,000.00 to $102,281.00 a year.
https://dqydj.com/income-percentile-by-age-calculator/

Just sayin', you should be very thankful for where you are and not worry about the less than 10% of the population above you.


And this calculator http://whatsmypercent.com/ puts you in the 96th percentile in the US.

And this one http://www.worldwealthcalculator.org puts you in the top .3% of the world based on $100,000/yr.

At times I think all the of recent "gratitude craze" can get out of hand, but it might be really helpful in your situation. It takes some conscious effort, but stop comparing yourself against the top .3%. It's a recipe for depression, overworking, and other bad things.

Freedom Invested

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Re: Seeking Wisdom
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2017, 01:30:23 PM »
Thanks for the advice everyone.

I am gravitating towards trying to not compare myself to others. While that is not completely possible, as it can be helpful to compare to others as a point of reference, it is better than thinking too often I have not 'made it' or feeling guilty for being more fortunate than those less fortunate. A big reason why I have been so successful at saving and investing is comparing myself to others on this blog and forum.

Then there is the possibility something could happen that would push my financial independence date out, and the attitude of comparing myself to others would be even more mentally damaging.

Laura33

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Re: Seeking Wisdom
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2017, 01:59:44 PM »
A big reason why I have been so successful at saving and investing is comparing myself to others on this blog and forum.

So isn't this the key -- compare yourself to those who are good role models?  Not in terms of comparing at a single point in time, but looking at how they did it, the sacrifices and tradeoffs they made, and then adjusting that to suit your own abilities/circumstances. 

E.g., I would like to look like some people at my gym, but (a) they are 20 years younger than me, so that isn't feasible, and (b) they are there every morning at 5 AM, and I am not.  I can use their work ethic and level of effort as inspiration to improve my own -- but I still need to keep my expectations in check about the kind of results I can expect.

Tl;dr:  Role models are great, as long as they inspire you to focus on what you can do and not what you can't.

Freedom Invested

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Re: Seeking Wisdom
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2017, 02:31:50 PM »
A big reason why I have been so successful at saving and investing is comparing myself to others on this blog and forum.

So isn't this the key -- compare yourself to those who are good role models?  Not in terms of comparing at a single point in time, but looking at how they did it, the sacrifices and tradeoffs they made, and then adjusting that to suit your own abilities/circumstances. 

E.g., I would like to look like some people at my gym, but (a) they are 20 years younger than me, so that isn't feasible, and (b) they are there every morning at 5 AM, and I am not.  I can use their work ethic and level of effort as inspiration to improve my own -- but I still need to keep my expectations in check about the kind of results I can expect.

Tl;dr:  Role models are great, as long as they inspire you to focus on what you can do and not what you can't.

Right. As long as it is constructive comparison, it is good.

I'll continue to work on adopting a more positive attitude. :)

Proud Foot

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Re: Seeking Wisdom
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2017, 02:57:29 PM »
"Comparison is the Thief of Joy" - Theodore Roosevelt

So I have come to know one of our higher officers in our small 46 person company just turned 32. And I turn 32 later this year. I am a junior member and new employee of the company. And while I do enjoy a just barely six figure salary, it is an ego hit to know that I worked jobs and struggled through school (medical issue which is now solved) to attain a bachelors and masters at the age of 28... yet I still feel behind. Perhaps I can quickly gain ranks given I believe in the company and am motivated to help.

My logical self would say that I am likely further ahead than I think given my net worth just pushed past 200k, but I cannot help but thinking... what if I knew way back then what I know now. I could be way much closer to FI.

Thanks for reading and tell me your story or give advice as you'd like. Perhaps we can help each other and anyone else reading this thread.

Everyone has already given you good advice.  Look at those you want to model yourself after for comparison.  So this higher officer just turned 32, what is their personal life like (if you know it)? What is their professional life like? (hours worked, knowledge of systems, the "it" factor).  Also consider that you finished your Masters at 28.  So a how is your career length compare to theirs?  If you want to compare yourself to that person then taking account all of these things into account may change how you view the comparison. Also at 32 this person very well could have 10+ years of progressive work experience. 

Like Laura33 said, find out how this person made it into that position.  Unless they are the child of the owner I highly doubt they were just given that position.