Skip to Content

The effect of your appreciation of life on your peers

When I was studying in university, money was tight.  I wasn’t getting any allowance from the parents, I had to work a job that pays $200 per month just to tide me through university.

Naturally, you start evaluating what you should have and what you shouldn’t have. When it comes to food, the more you eat, the more it removes hunger for now and perhaps for the next meal.

I had good friends then. When they couldn’t finish their food, I would make a request and they would obliged to pass it to me. Its a natural and rational thing to do back then.

Looking back, I received this sharing on a mailing list on the experience of Adam Braun, who wrote “The promise of a pencil: How an ordinary person can create extraordinary change”.

Adam was at a nice restaurant in NYC eating a fancy steak dinner. After backpacking, on a shoe string budget, all over the world, I could only imagine how great that steak must have tasted.

He was invited to this dinner because he had interviewed for a prestigious consulting company and they were going to offer him a job. The company took everyone out to celebrate with steak and champagne.

He finished his steak and watched as the waiter began clearing plates. That’s when he noticed another, perfectly cooked, UNTOUCHED steak on a plate being taken from the youngest female partner at this consulting company. All she ate was the vegetables and left the juicy steak behind.

Imagine what must have been going through Adam’s mind – what would have been going through YOUR mind if you were in his position. He was thinking, “I want that steak.”

So he did what most of us would never have the cojones to do: he SNATCHED that steak off the woman’s plate.OMG. Reading this story in his book, I got embarrassed FOR him. Because really, who does that?

You can hear the full interview in this podcast here. To let that sink in, he basically took the youngest partner, in one of the most prestigious consulting firm in the world, which essentially means to others, whatever he wants he takes it.

Eventually that worked out for him. Sine then, he has been known for the person who does the bold moves and it worked out really well for him.

My lesson from this is different. As you understand and structured your wealth building & management philosophy, you will realize that what you live by is totally different from how other people do it. There will be a lot of things that, because you don’t look at yourself from a third person perspective, you have no idea what are people’s narrative of you.

Is it a good narrative? or a bad one.

Do you care that they form that kind of narrative? Do they feel you are above them or beneath them?

Let me know if you got a good story on this.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

My 15 HWW

Saturday 5th of July 2014

Hi Kyith,

Appreciated the story you shared.

I guess a possible moral of the story is that one shouldn't judge (especially negatively) too fast. Our world view is shaped by our limited experience in our lives and a "normal" person might view Adam's action as rude.

However, when one understands his story/background better, he could easily reflect back on how myopic he has been and might even reevaluate his values for the better.

I am especially guilty of this and I hope I will be more aware of this tendency. =)


Sunday 6th of July 2014

Hi 15HWW,

Appreciate the comment. I guess we can take it a lot of ways. I was rather curious about whether there is any stigma of the extend you carry out this certain wealth control with your influence over peers. And their response to it. That is what i want to try and find out.


Saturday 5th of July 2014

Food is very basic to me. i would rather treat anyone asking me for a "good meal" then asking me for money. i am that "practical", you can say that. As for the steak in your story, why waste it? But i would ask politely not snatch.


Saturday 5th of July 2014

Uncle temperament, think he tried to be discreet but apparently it was so out of the norm that everyone notice it.

I felt that looking back I must look rather discussing but if I understand a fellow colleague doing this I would have not made a meal out of it if I gain am appreciation of the situation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.