Money is an easy metric to judge oneself on, because it buys things we need to survive, our society values it, and it’s a zero-sum game – you have X amount of money or you don’t.
It’s also an easily-confused metric. We see someone eating at an expensive restaurant and we assume they can do this all of the time. Maybe they saved up for a year for this one night out. Perhaps it is a gift dinner from the owner. Maybe they’re destroying their credit by living above their means. And yes, maybe they are super wealthy and eat there all of the time.
My point is that you don’t know their backstory. Just because people drive expensive cars doesn’t mean they live in big houses.
I met a pizza delivery driver who drives a BMW but lives in a 1-bedroom apartment with four roommates. He told me that since he’s in his car all day, he wanted something comfortable and fun, and since he only goes home to sleep, he didn’t mind the cramped living conditions.
What you see on the outside is often a terrible metric, because no one likes giving exact financial info, and we all pretend we’re more well-off than we are, because society judges us by this flimsy, often misleading metric.
We need to start divorcing our own personal value from how much money we make.
Our society often does not pay according to value. Good educators, creatives, and service people are often underpaid. I might be a bit biased here, but I don’t think that people who are trying to inspire the next generation how to think critically should have to work two jobs.
It should be obvious that value is subjective. Someone will spend all of their money travelling, while others will stay at home but purchase thousand-dollar handbags. You might be the type to happily pay monthly for Spotify, but won’t shell out $15 for a book that would change your life.
No matter what you do, or how you spend your money, there isn’t a wrong answer, as long as you realize what you’re doing and WHY you’re doing it.
Stop measuring yourself by external metrics, whether that’s your job, your income, or status symbols that others recognize. Realize the genius inside of you, regardless of how much money that genius makes you, and learn to embrace it.
You’ll be a lot happier that way.