Money Desires and Regrets

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Some were able to find some resolution, but for others, it was too late, and they died still hanging on to regrets. This impactful experience became a huge motivator for me to start living as if any day could be my last. We never know how long we will live, so we must make conscious choices each day to live fully and make the most out of each experience we have.

Here are ten ways to start living life with no regrets. Let your loved ones know you love them. The experience of love is one of the best things in life. When you love someone, let both your words and deeds be loving. No one is promised tomorrow, so tell your loved ones each day how much they mean to you. Not only will your relationships grow, but you will as well. Follow your dream. So often, we are so busy trying to live up to the expectations of others that we do not allow ourselves to follow our own dream.

Pursue the longings of your heart. When we ignore them, we miss the opportunity to reach our full potential and experience that deep fulfillment that following our dreams can offer. Trust your gut instincts. Your intuition is your best source of guidance. Whereas rational decisions come from your thinking mind only, your gut is that "all-knowing" part of you that if paid close attention to and acted on, will never lead you astray.

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When we use logic as our primary thinking mode, we miss many opportunities that our gut may have led us to. Keep your work at work. Earning a living is important, but not to the exclusion of other things. To fully participate in all aspects of life, such as spending time with loved ones and enjoying meaningful activities, we should leave work at work. When we reach the end of our lives, it is not our work that matters, but the people we loved. Take risks. Staying within our comfort zone may be safe, but it is impossible to achieve greatness by living cautiously.

Identifying one way each day to move outside our familiar comfort zone will help us take the risks needed to propel us forward and achieve a fuller, more gratifying life. Take life less seriously. Life is far too short to be spent worrying about things that are beyond our control. Allow happiness and fun to be part of your life each day. Being mindful and open to the good that is present in all situations can help us not to take life so seriously and is a key ingredient to having a more enjoyable life.

Turn "failures" into stepping stones. Don't quit when you perceive you have failed. Instead, use the experience to learn from and grow. It has been noted that Thomas Edison failed times before he succeeded in creating the light bulb. Can you imagine if he had he quit that we might still be living in the dark? A failure is always a stepping stone in disguise. If you truly believe in yourself, then you should start your own website and build your brand online. Get rich off yourself! I started Financial Samurai in , and three years later, I was able to leave my banking job because this site was making enough money.

Now, this site earns way more than I ever made as an Executive Director with much less work and much more fun. I really appreciated your article! I am currently a university student who is upset about my desire for prestige. Reading it has helped me redirect some of my automatic thoughts. Glad to hear. Just do the best that you can with what you got. I never stop searching for a job that provides meaning. There is sometimes a valid reason for people to chase prestige, because practically speaking, having prestige sometimes opens more doors.

For examples, I went to a top 3 engineering school, a very prestigious place. Sometimes, just that little bit of extra motivation or extra benefit of the doubt from others makes all the difference. In fact, this is what Sam did. After all, Sam went to work in a prestigious role first finance and got rewarded very well for that, and then only later after he got married and started thinking about raising children that he switched. Great post overall! I work at a consulting firm considered less prestigious than the McKinseys and Bains of the world.

So I needed this very much. One comment on the second exhibit of anti-depressant use per 1K people : While I understand the point you are trying to make here, I think there are many factors that contribute to anti-depressant use — like the social perception of using it. Places like Korea rank low not because depression is less prevalent there but because there is a huge social stigma against admitting to any form of mental sickness. Great advice, especially the part about practicing gratitude. Thank you for your posts. Thanks a lot for this post Samurai. My past self can identify with John in the way of seeking extrinsic value from great positions of power.

I am now an aspiring master plumber in the big apple. Nothing pretty to the eye about that. But the dream is real, the pay is real and the fact that I can accomplish this dream before 30 will be more real. I am This post assured me switching paths and committing to what feels right for me is the correct way to go.

Thanks Samurai. Hi Sam, great article as always! I work in finance.. So why not just grind out for years? You advocate freedom and starting your own business… while I would love that and contemplated it.. Curious to hear your thoughts.. I was burnt out by 35, but wanted to last until Relativity is to blame for alot of the quest for prestige or status.

Human beings typically make decisions by comparing themselves to others or to something else. It takes alot of self awareness to truly understand what one wants and why it matters. Sadly, many never quite get to realise this or get to this level of emotional intelligence. Sam, great article.. But the problem is, for many of us, wise advice like this, which contradicts..

I facepalm when people waste lot of money on wedding instead of invested in bitcoins — they would had a lot more money now. Great post, I just reread it and should probably continue to read it periodically. Would you get the part time Haas MBA all over again, knowing what you know now? I feel like prestige is a big part of the MBA decision whether people like to admit it or not. How large a part did the desire for prestige play in decision?

I would go to full-time MBA program if I was already rich man had something lined up and I needed a big vacation. Time is too precious. Only go if you know for sure after you graduate you plan to work for decades to come. Thank you very much for the quick reply. Attend Harvard, Stanford, or Wharton at the full cost of tuition 2.

Attend a ranked school on a full tuition scholarship 3. No idea about your situation Kevin. Go for the prestige and let me know how it goes! It sounds like you really want the prestige. Worst case is that you just have to end up working years longer. I work at a large Megacorp in the Midwest. Went back part-time to get my MBA at a Top 30 program in the city I live in — solid program but not top tier at all.

My company paid all of the tuition through a reimbursement program. I had some co-workers pay additional to go to part time programs in Chicago and North Carolina. The honest reality — there is no difference in future career paths going part-time or full time in my opinion. Also, they may have unrealistic expectations of their career to justify going back full time and spending so much money.

I agree. I got the impression from two of my friends who went full-time to a great MBA program having relatively high expectations of their own career trajectory. I was just discussing this with my dentist friend yesterday. There are so many other things to be passionate about like family, religion, community service etc.

Excellent article Sam!!! Its sad to see people living for false prestige all around. Every new shiny automobile, every new home, new 85inch 3D LED …is a living example of the same. I run my own small company now and I sometimes forget that people find it prestigious. I see that I am working FT elsewhere while I build up my client base and knowledge base and working myself hard. My company is a passion project that helps people and will hopefully pay me a decent enough salary to marry my girlfriend. In my FT gig, I see the consultants and middle-managers giving up their lives for a company that will chew them up and I have no desire to join them.

I want to do good for the world and have time for my friends and chosen family. Luxury goods and tricking women into spending time with me under false pretenses is not a desirable outcome. I love your blog and this post rings true on so many levels for me. I work in PR, mid-level role so money is not all that great. Still, despite a bit of stress that comes with it, I love my job and am really good at what I do.


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One of my close friends is a single woman who spends countless hours at work doing what she can to have that prestige, to keep climbing up the corporate ladder. Power is an interesting thing. I do agree with some people above seeing that I, too, also wanted more of that prestige and power when I was in my 20s but, now in my 30s, realize that doing what you love and is passionate about is far better than getting up the food chain to only end up doing work you hate and forgetting why you started working in that field in the first place.

There is a lot of hubris in the professional world. I feel bad for that entrepreneur John you met. I wonder how much longer he can burn through his funds. I used to care so much about silly things like sneaker and clothing brands. I consider whether the product itself is good quality. Is it warm? Is it comfortable? What material is it made from? How durable is it? The people who reside in multi-million dollar mansions with up to 6 garages. Single family residences, these people simply cannot exist without servants to do everything for them.

Half a dozen vehicles are parked in front, despite only half that number of people living there. Do these elites have money or are they piss-poor showoffs thriving on the attention of others? Prestige is all psychological. No one really cares what brand you buy, except yourself. Also if you have friends that do care about prestige, maybe you need new friends I started to see the difference between prestige work and meaningful work when I began working with a not-for-profit community health center. I had worked in healthcare for years but always on the for-profit side.

It was all about bringing in as many patients as possible paying the highest rate. It was generally funded through grants, government programs, and donations. When you look at patients as revenue sources, you tend to see them differently than when you look at them as people in need.

Money, Desires and Regrets

I think the world is changing, period. Things that used to be prestigious are just less so now. The fact that there are more options than ever to make money now means that going the traditional route is less appealing. But not prestigious. My biggest problem is the potential guilt I may feel should I finally decide to cut the cord and walk away from my career. Ah, guilt. I felt that a lot during my transition period e. What kind of idiot leaves a well paying job at I like the post.

Prestige is shallow and can be dangerous, Success is good if you know how to keep your inner self, Accomplishment is very good…. Well said. It is important for YOU to recognize you have accomplished your goals. Not so important whether other people recognize them. Also as Sam emphasized before — progress. If you are improving every day, you will feel good about yourself. I think that nails it. Generally speaking, humans like to be told what to do. Direction provides a level of comfort.

The pursuit of it has certainly grown more uninteresting with age. I have always worked as a systems development engineer. What it did mean, once upon a time though, was prestige. We looked down upon user-space developers. We would not even condescend to consider a web developer an actual developer. So much prestige. The glory of it all. And you realize that all that prestige existed mostly in your head and in the heads of your clique and nobody out there in the real world actually gives a shit about your little pecking order. I am a good example of one of these prestige seeking victims.

I squeezed into a prestigious college off the wait list. Then on and off I went to some prestigious graduate programs and companies. I never felt confident at these highly competitive environment.

3 Spiritual Ways to Avoid Financial Regrets

Sometimes I am above average, and sometimes I am lower on the rung. Yes, you do become associated with the best and the brightest, but as a young person, it really is counter productive to your growth. When you are not one of the best among your peers you never develop leadership ability or confidence. A prestigious school, firm, company is prestigious for a reason. They have the best and the brightest people.

They are at the cutting edge and have the most impact in their field. If you are going in for those reasons and are confident you can rise to the top. Then by all means go for it. I think one should be honest with themselves when they seek prestige. Like the guy Sam described, it is very admirable to hustle and start your own company. But to do it for the appearance is a recipe for disaster.

I myself was guilty of that. Sure it sounded good when I tell people where I went to school, and where I work.

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But my day to day life was not that happy. In reality, the general atmosphere was not suitable for me.

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At these top companies, most people are very assertive and good at climbing the social ladder. For me that is not a second nature. Also you are constantly evaluated and scrutinized. Also coming in at middle age created a level of stress that although mentally I handled ok, but my body started falling apart. I started getting all sorts of medical problems. Or better yet, be the only fish in your own pond.

Nothing bad with seeking a little bit of prestige, but autonomy, freedom, and growth is much more important. Thanks for sharing your story. I guess another solution is to be the big fish in the big pond and kill yourself to try and get there. But we all know that getting there is brutally difficult, and once you get there, then you start comparing yourself to even bigger fish in bigger ponds. Awesome Charleston! Thanks for the contribution! A fantastic article — I love the focus on humility and self-awareness. I often find that people obsessed with prestige are trying to cover a deep sense of insecurity; a bit like the fellow in your article.

The culture is driven by prestige. Your list of the 15 paying highest companies has two law firms I wonder how many people reading this post identified them right away as law firms? Hint: Probably only the lawyers! The thing is, there are many, many lists. This piece made me feel way better about myself. I often kick myself for wasting time and I feel a whole lot of grief over lost time which is what I hope FIRE will ultimately bring me along with joy and peace. Usually I catch it before I act on it and remind myself why it doesn't matter but it's easier said than done sometimes!

The ironic thing is that for most people the very prestige they are chasing will add no material benefit to their life and can sometimes evoke a negative reaction from the very people they're trying to impress :S. Great Post Sam! This is a thought provoking topic for those of us open for self-reflection. Sometimes life makes you realize it through major impactful events job loss, loss in family, etc.

Prestige, Envy, Selfishness can lead to major accomplishments, but would ultimately lead to misery if there is no purpose. I had to go through a few events not life threatening or heart-breaking to realize the futility of prestige or giving importance to what others think. Ego plays a central role in keeping these negative drivers alive and no one even those who realize the futility is immune to the pull. I have to remind myself everyday or a few days in case I forget to check the ego and come back to reality with humility and being grateful to be blessed with my life.

Most ambitious people seeks prestige and self-actualization in the beginning of our career. Once we sit in the corner office, some of us realized it is no longer such a big deal and we start look inwardly as to what makes us happy and fulfilling. Right now, I am in this stage in my life that prestige is less important but having a work, home life balance are very important for me. Brilliant article, more sentimental than most of your other articles, but it also resonates more with me for that very reason. This article is a reminder of why i keep coming back to your site Sam.

I know its an oft repeated cliche l, but money by itself really means nothing, and yet many of us are giving up our hapiness to acccumlualte money which we think will make us happy; very counter inuitive. If there is one thing that people living life on their terms have in common, its courage and the ability to resisit societal norms.

That, in fact, is the real path to freedom. The only prestige worth anything is having a large enough net worth that you can work on things that are worthwhile, right? The trick is getting there. In many cases, the prestigious jobs pay the best and will get you there the fastest. But you have to have a plan, or you will get caught up in the wealth and the lifestyle and never sock away enough to get out. I chased prestige for years. Ah, the compound interest that would have accumulated today. Prime investing years Thankfully I have learned my lesson.

You got that right. At the same time, I do you know how things can get boring after a while. A lot of us lost a lot of money during the last financial crisis. As a result, it is natural to want to start all over and create your own better mouse trap. The woman knows better. I totally agree the unhealthy desire for prestige is a widespread and serious problem. Deep down we all want to impress others, but I think most of us go about it in the wrong way. I think we all need to be comfortable with who we are, and stop caring so much about what other people think.

If you can do that, you will almost certainly be a lot happier. Man, you really hit the nail on the head here. Coming from the law world, prestige was all I cared about early on. Out in the real world, no one has any idea what any big law firm is. As if some regular person in a bar is supposed to know that.

I ended up moving to an unprestigious city in the Midwest — at least to people on the East or West coast — that I argue still has everything anyone needs to feel cool. Lower cost of living, lower student loans, good income, and much less pressure to keep up with the joneses because people out here are much more humble and less flashy. So true to meet new people out of your niche who have never heard of your employer. Very humbling and good for the soul! I never thought about prestigious cities. Same thing for SF. Great cities with an international attraction, but the cost of living is so much higher than inland cities.

If I wanted prestige, I would have been a surgeon.


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  5. Those of us in anesthesia are a little lower on the totem pole, but fortunately, no lower on the pay scale. Nicely done. We think all doctors have pretty prestigious careers. And I thought. I went on to get an MSEE in applied Electromagnetics, and I have a feeling she never became a doctor, podiatrist or otherwise.

    Is there a correlation between desire for prestige and self-esteem? Yes absolutely.

    Letting Go of Regrets