Is mine bigger than yours?
Stop looking for a faster horse, get a car...
We’re a competitive bunch. It sometimes seems like the only way we know to measure how we’re doing is by comparing ourselves to others.
This is pointless behavior (since how other people are doing has nothing to do with how you are doing), but it’s what we do.
In fact, there was this crazy experiment conducted at Harvard.1 Researchers gave participants two options:
- Option 1: Earn $50,000 per year while everyone else earns $25,000
- Option 2: Earn $100,000 per year while everyone else earn $200,000
Now let me be super clear here: people were told to assume that everything else (like the economy, the value of the dollar, etc.) stayed equal. So more money meant the option of buying nicer things.
Obviously, you’d pick Option 2, right? Of course, we would want more money, independent of what everyone else had.
But, it turns out, half of the people in the study didn’t want more money. They just wanted to have more than everybody else—even if it meant having less overall. INTENTIONAL TYLER PAUSE
What do you make of that?
Of course, the only solution (and I say this so often it sounds like a broken record) is to get clear for ourselves about what the money’s for.
Granted, that’s easier said than done.
But one way to do it is, every time you spend money, just ask yourself how doing so made you feel.
- Did that bring me the joy I had expected?
- Did it make me happier?
- Did it make my life better?
- Would I do it again?
Don’t use this as another opportunity to beat yourself up for bad behavior. Just notice. Memories and experiences can create great value.
Be Thoughtful and Intelligent. Be Kind to yourself too. Happy Wednesday!