What about my fears?
July 13th, 2011 - 9 Comments
We all have ridiculous things we used to believe (I outlined many of them in Why Do Delusional People Think Their Spending Will Be Different Than Other People’s?)
Stupidly, I genuinely used to think that “fear” was a physical feeling. So when people asked me, “What do you fear?” I would shake my head and say, nothing really.
It took me years to realize that we don’t experience the same fear that our ancestors did — the fear of being chased down by wild animals, or starving to death.
Our fears are far more subtle: the fear of failure. The fear of looking stupid. The fear of being wrong, or regret, or not taking a chance.
So when I started sharing details about the things I fear on my Insider’s List, they were some of the most popular things I’d ever written. I was surprised myself.
So today, I want to share an interview I did with the magazine, “fear.less,” in which talked about some of my fears and philosophoes. Fear.less is focused on “empowering people through unique stories of overcoming fear.”
Here’s two excerpts I think you’ll enjoy:
IG: You studied Behavioural Psychology — what’s the relationship
between decision-making and behaviour?
RS: What I find most interesting is this concept of ‘reactance.’ We
know that if a person feels a particular freedom is being denied,
that person will respond in an over-the-top way to secure that freedom.
If I can eat jelly beans any time I want and you take
away those jelly beans then boy, I am going to fight back because
I want those jelly beans. Well guess what? The same is true of
young people spending money on shoes, jeans, and lattes. If you
tell me “don’t spend money on lattes,” I’ll respond with “screw
you” and anyone who gives me that advice.
IG: If that’s true, how can discipline or saving exist, or indeed any
RS: My book takes a different approach. I say “spend
extravagantly” on the things you love — as long as you cut
mercilessly on anything you don’t care about.
IG: The act of incentivizing yourself in a fun way is way more
powerful than trudging through late fees. Okay, what do you
think about working hard, saving a lot now to pursue your
dreams later, or working at what you want, like launching your
business, but being financially unstable initially?
RS: That’s some bullshit dichotomy — that you can live your life
now and you can live a rich life. Money’s a part of that, not all of
it. I have friends I would call rich that make $25,000 a year and
live in New York City and enjoy their life. I also have friends who
are bankers and make a ton of money but who aren’t rich and
don’t enjoy their lives. The first thing is: what does rich mean
to you? Money’s a part of it, but it’s not everything. The second
thing is when people think about money, they tend to have very
static assumptions that we’ve had for the last five decades. They
assume that the money they have is fixed. They can’t control
their fervent opinions about taxes because they feel that that’s
being taken away from them. Whereas these days, young people
are saying, “Wait a minute. I have a pretty flexible view on this.”
I use a strategy called the CEO strategy. Most people say saving
money is about cutting back on the things that you love.
That’s bull. I think CEO: Cut costs. Earn more. Why doesn’t anyone ever
think about earning more? Then, optimize your spending. To
Indians, optimize means negotiate!
You can read the full interview (scroll to page 32) here.
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