Somehow the algorithm for most of the the ads, articles, and let’s just say the entire world wide web shown on my phone will be money related content. Some of the examples include: “how this 25-year-old turned her side hustle into a 7-figure income stream” or “10 tips to be financially independent, retire early” or “undervalued stocks to invest in right now”.
It drains me sometimes. Then I have to snap myself out of it because come to think of it, that’s what social media does: to show you immediate gratification. How many people can negotiate with themselves and not give in to immediate gratification? Practicing delayed gratification has to be intentional and is a lot of hardwork.
I guess it’s also deeply rooted in any society where you’re expected to achieve certain things when you reach certain age. For example, go to university at 18, get a good job at 23 and with it you’re able to buy your first car, get your first credit card, get married before 30 and God knows who or what will finance the wedding, have your first baby, and then rush into buying your first home because it’s not cool to rent (says who?). All these expectations – how the heck did we even get here?
For once, can we change the storyline? Let’s normalise not having your first brand new car in early 20s. Let’s also normalise getting married late and have babies much later, like it’s okay to establish yourself in your career first and hustle your way through the corporate ladder. It’s also okay not to have a side hustle if you can’t cope with having two jobs, because it is such a stretch to begin with, especially for a parent with four kids!
In my advisory sessions, I often hear my clients tell me they feel embarrassed to share about their money stories because they feel like they are behind. No way. Nobody’s behind or in front of anyone. You are where you are supposed to be. Can we honour and celebrate this first? Can we celebrate at how far you’ve come, especially after this entire pandemic episode? Can we acknowledge that life is much harder now because our mental and physical well-being are also at stake? Life isn’t about ticking off an item from a checklist, married – check, have kids – check, buy a house – check, invest in ETF – check, and so much more. Chill, dude. Seriously. You’re not late for anything.
All of these commitments will also cost you. So what if your friend from college just bought a luxury car, or just got back from a fancy Santorini trip. Be happy for them. It must have costed them (or their credit line) a bomb. If you continuously measure happiness with how much money you have, or how many holidays you get to go for in a year, then how much is enough? You can still be miserable eventhough you’re wealthy AF. Kapish?!
On the other hand, if you’re all about surviving one day at a time right now, that’s okay. Be proud of how much it takes for you to stand tall and strong on your own two feet. All that responsibility on your shoulder right now, embrace it because it is meant to shape you into the person you’re meant to be.
Whereas for me, I’ll continue dreaming about owning a Ducati in my 30s. Given a choice, I’d like this to materialise but again who am I kidding? I can’t even ride beyond 80km/h on my 150cc Vespa 🙄
All the success stories out there can be a form of inspiration, but hey, even if it doesn’t happen on your clock, it’s okay. You don’t have to be like everybody else. Be you, celebrate the pain as much as you would celebrate the gain.