I had a chat with a friend and he felt miserable as he was comparing himself with others. He accounted this comparison mindset to his childhood when his mother compared him to others. Similarly, I can relate to this, it seems to be an Asian culture for Asian mothers to compare their children to others. This is unhealthy for the children when they grow up. We tend to compare with others in terms of career, compare about retirement age, compare about net worth and compare about number of properties.
We need to appreciate that everyone’s circumstances is unique and no two family is the same. Your retirement needs will be totally different from mine. Some of us want to achieve Financial Independence and Retire Early (F.I.R.E. movement).
“Do what you love and you will never work another day in your life”
Some are working on something which they enjoy a lot, they want to continue to work till their very last breath. Some want to rise up the rank and join the C-suite. Some want to start their own business. Some just want to go home early to spend every moment with the family. I belong to the last category, I don’t have career aspiration, I only have financial aspiration, I want to reach home by 6 pm to spend time with family.
I think it is about being grateful with what you already have and not endlessly pursuing what you think you want. I want a S$5 million net worth but having that extra few more million will not change my present lifestyle.
Will I buy a car? No, not necessary. I just use Grab (aka Uber).
Will I buy a landed house? No, in fact with every 5 years, I want to downgrade to a smaller HDB. Maybe in my late 50s, I will move to a freehold studio apartment with wife and kick the children out of the house.
Do I need any luxurious stuff? No.
How many meals can you eat? How many bags can you carry at a single time? How many watches can you wear at a single time? How many cars can you drive at a single time? Travel? Nay, I had too many work trips.
Just focus on what you have. Whatever people have, belong to them, comparison brings nothing but misery. I just need to remind myself that death is the grand equalizer. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. I cannot bring with me any of my wealth. I just need to utilize fully all the talent and skills God has given to me before my time comes. Exercise, spend time with family and do good for the community.
Back to work.