One of the biggest satisfaction in life is to go to a gathering and appear more successful than all your ex-classmates.
As politically incorrect as it sounds, it is a reality of life.
I mean who doesn’t want to be seen driving the biggest car? Or having the most attractive spouse (unless you have a classmate named John Terry… in which case you might not want to let him know)? Or having important sounding titles (usually in abbreviations of 3 letters, starting with C) on your namecards?
But I have learned over the years that all those above may not necessary translate to true success. (no, it is not a case of sour grapes. Believe me, it would benefit me the most if all my friends are successful.)
1. Driving an expensive continental car does not mean one is rich. It could just mean one is spending a bulk of his income on his car instalments and maintenance, at the expense of other more important things like insurance or saving for their kids’ education.
I do personally know of people who earns about $3,000 a month and driving cars like BMW or Lexus. One third of their pay is spent every month on the vehicle and they are actually just a retrenchment, pay-cut or major illness away from a personal financial disaster.
Or course, it could also mean they REALLY have the moolah… in which case, it would bring us to the next point.
2. When 2 people earn the same income, are they equally rich?
I have a friend who earns $10,000 a month, all passive income from his various businesses. Basically, he can afford to sleep through the day, everyday for 24 hours, and there would stll be money coming in.
Another guy I know earns about $10,000 a month too, as a PR executive. But due to his lifestyle, he spends almost every cent of it (and more if you consider his credit card spending) with almost little or no savings in his bank account.
While both shared similar standards of living, the latter, without any savings and other passive income, simply cannot afford to lose his job.
3. Through my line of work, I have met many taxi-drivers, hawkers, property/insurance agents who were once CEOs, COOs, CFOs, MDs, GMs etc… They are people who were once highly esteemed in their social circles, wielded tremendous power in their companies and earned huge paychecks…. until they fell on hard times.
So what is my point? Well it could be summed up in this particular Bible verse:
I have seen something else under the sun:
The race is NOT to the swift
or the battle to the strong,
nor does food come to the wise
or wealth to the brilliant
or favor to the learned;
but time and chance happen to them all. (Ecc 9:11)
No need to look at other people and envy their success. It is really the “time and chance” of God that really matters. And as God had promised, all things work together for the ones that love Him.