Why can’t some people pull themselves out of a shit hole?
I think for some people, over time, they lost a lot of self-respect.
And then they get eaten up alive by their peers, their friends and their relatives.
I have a friend from University days share with me what she saw in the office in her old job.
There was a co-worker in her company that has worked in the compay long time. If you have worked in an organization for a long time, you are likely to have built up some relationships with long time co-workers.
Even more likely, some of your peers would end up in a senior position. Thus, your prospects and working conditions should not be too bad.
But this co-worker, ended up getting some of the worst scope of work. Since he isn’t a great worker, that means performance grade isn’t good, and that affects the promotion prospects.
To compound to this, instead of sympathizing with him, the new birds also shun him, buying into his poor profile.
This is not an uncommon case study. I heard a few accounts like this and it shocked me how come there are folks that take so much bullying not just at work, and often times at home as well.
After watching the video, I somewhat understand these people’s situation.
The video is in Chinese, and I cannot find a YouTube version, so let me try to translate.
This is video is part of Professor Li Xikun‘s Power Kun Series, where he shares his teachings in politics and life lessons seldom taught in school.
Li Xikun is a part time professor in National Taiwan Normal University teaching politics. However, his way of teaching is so entertaining, they publish and edit it online, and it went viral.
I really like the way he dispensed the life lessons more than the political ones.
The Rich Man, The Pilot and the Stewardess
Professor Xi recall a time when he went for an event organized by his friend, some who is well off and has power.
At the gathering he got to know this couple. The guy, is an air force pilot while his wife is an air stewardess.
In Taiwan, an air force pilot should earn around TWD100,000 to TWD200,000 per month (about $4495/mth in SGD) and an air stewardess should earn around TWD150,000+- per month. Thus, their financial situation is pretty good, compare to a lot of other Taiwanese.
However, as he was sitting next to them, he heard a piece of the conversation that does not sit too well with him. The stewardess wife was commenting to hubby that she felt very privileged that the rich man invited them and was very touched by the gesture.
The professor cannot understand why a couple who is doing so well financially have so little confidence in their own situation. The stewardess said that, in her eyes, she sees themselves more as normal human beings compared to rich people like that.
To the professor, there seems to be a trend that in front of people with money and status, we have a serious lack of confidence in ourselves.
If they felt that the person with money and status are willing to be your friend, it is something to be proud of. If the person refuses, you will lose a lot of self-respect for yourself.
The Relationship between Your Confidence and the Respect that you Have for Yourself
When people have self confidence, they gain self respect.
On the other hand, if you have shame, you tend to avoid and find ways to escape.
This is pretty similar to whether you are a hunter or the prey.
As a hunter, you have a goal that you wish to accomplish. You do your best to achieve what you want. To do that, you need to have an adequate level of confidence.
If you do not, and you are afraid of the prey, you cannot kill the prey. If you are so scared, you become the prey itself.
Because you do not have confidence, you choose to escape.
This is similar to how you carried yourself in front of richer people. The richer folks do not respect you because you do not even respect yourself. It is not just about the money.
You have to Gain More Respect for Yourself – Without Attaching Your Wealth to It Always
In your eyes, you have to have enough self respect. You need to build up adequate confidence and build up that hunter’s mentality.
In this way, you can protect yourself from being the prey.
You can then have an easier time in solving the issues around your environment.
You have the ability to choose.
When you encounter people with, so called higher status and position, your posture would be that did not do anything wrong in your life, you live your own life, you choose whether the person comes in or does not come into your life.
You have the adequate self confidence to know that there are areas of your life that are as commendable as a person that is that rich.
It is a matter of a hunter mindset. You have to get past the difference in sex, monetary and social status.
Be careful not to becomes Someone Else’s PET
If you have too much shame in yourself, and choose to escape most of the time, you evolve to become someone that is a prey. You might also become someone’s ‘pet’.
On the surface, people are very good to you, be your friend.
However due to the amount of shame you have in yourself, you end up sucking up to people with higher status a lot.
Men are not suppose to be someone else’s ‘pet’ but they are suppose to have enough confidence about themselves.
Your Confidence or Lack of it is Attached to Money
Prof Li’s point of view is to develop confidence that not always have to do with money.
However, many times we feel that our confidence is very much linked to money.
At Investment Moats, I give you the blueprint to gain financial security or independence. It will be not right for me to be hypocritical and say financial security do not give you confidence.
The lack of money gives you anxiety, and depletes your confidence.
The important point is that we cannot remove that link between the power that money gives us and confidence. You have money, it allows you to acquire things and change your life, and it gives you power.
Having power gives you confidence.
However that is not the only thing. You become powerful by being good in your work, in the way you manage and influence people.
In this way, you get power through other means and this gives them confidence.
Rich people gain confidence, knowing they have a mountain behind them, that creates security, and it breeds confidence.
Manipulative bosses and businessmen know the tricks, ways that they can exploit the market and workers, it gives them power, and it breeds confidence. These people are hunters.
This easily means that, there will be folks that does so well in something they think its valuable, and gets infused by confidence without the money aspects. These people are hunters.
Your Spouse may Consistently Remind You That You were not the Man She Married
Your financial situation can create a vicious cycle if you are not careful.
I have friends who lost a lot of confidence when they cannot get a good enough job that their spouse demands. This is especially so when one of the spouse career went better.
For some couples who are absolutely bad with money, get into debt, one of the spouse will constantly remind the other that their financial situation is the result of him/her.
How come their best friend or the couple they most acquainted with, can do so well while he/she cannot?
When you mismanage one financial situation, you feel guilt. You should have done better.
When you create a series of financial mess, you feel shame. In that situation, you associate your identity with guilt.
Not much things come out of these situation well. The family usually spiral downwards.
People become the PET’s of Rich People
Nothing can illustrate this better than why certain sections of the USA population voted for Donald Trump during the USA elections.
Those that are from underprivileged backgrounds got so tired of the same political promises from regular politicians. These politicians tend to be the folks that are above the middle income.
They are at the rung where they feel they could get to, but just cannot due to how unfair the system is. So they harbor enough resentment against them.
In contrast, for the 1% of the most wealthy, they see that these folks are so far high up that they have a sense of “respect” for these rich people. Comparatively, they have more distrust then the usual political candidates then if a candidate comes from the very rich background.
The Solution – You need to improve your financial situation and live a good life
While Professor Li wishes we find confidence in other aspects, having a poor financial foundation is very toxic to security and then to confidence.
Get out of debt, build wealth machine(s) so that you have a pot to acquire meaningful things.
However, if you keep measuring up to your peers, that will degrade your confidence level as well.
The solution is to ensure you pursue money for meaningful goals, and identify yourself with that goal attached.
Develop some competencies in depth, and associate your confidence with the mastery of these competency.
I for one attach a lot of my self-respect to the number of lives I touched in improving people’s financial situation.