The real value of money ?

One of top blog in my blogrol is the one of StevePavlina. It gives you some really interesting insights on various topics, thus contributing to your personal development. He recently published this article about what he calls “the outrage script”and why it is a blindsided way of thinking.
Here’s a short summary of it to start this post(yes all his article are always that long 😉 ). Taking as an example how Donald Trump switched from buying cheap shoes to top notch ones, he explains and demonstrates how envying people spending a lot of money may not be the best solution. Instead, it would be much more efficient to try to understand how they can spend so much on things (shoes, travels, restaurant, …) and try to accomplish the same thing. That is find a way of making such big expenses (on a first look) look like small ones. Of course the solution to that is by creating value, thus allowing to redistribute the value you created to other people so that they can benefit from it. This is what he calls running the “contribution script” (I create more so I give more) instead of running the “outrage script”(why the hell is this guy spending some much when he could get the same stuff for less ?)

I really liked this post because I think a lot of people can relate to it, and living in France, I can assure that its a pity that so much people run the so called outrage script all day long. I have to agree that everyone’s is being brought up differently, with more or less resources, making the chances of success in life that much difficult for everyone, but still… Anyhow there’s a good chance that between your student life, your first years of work, your first years as a family, … (I’ll stop here because that’s where I’m at ;-)) the way you bought stuff, and so your relation with money, has changed. At first, you need to save every penny. Then you thought you could buy anything (specially with that first pay check) but that was not really the case… Still getting to the restaurant, to the movies, … became less cumbersome. And as your paycheck became bigger, your family size increased, and lots of other every day life events appeared, your relation to money varied. So at that point you have to agree that spending 100 $ as a student or as a 30 year old junkie is not really the same.

Coming from this assessment, you have to ask yourself why is that ? There I totally agree with Steve saying that one reason is because you create value (while working) so you feel less embarrassment in buying expensive (student mind) stuff. So why should not you feel the same when you see people spending 200$ on a dinner or 2000$ for a night in a luxury hotel ? Why don’t you first try to think on how you could do the same and instead, with some envy in your mind, despise those people ? Of course I’m not saying that some expense are not exaggerated, I’m just saying that most of the time you should try to “get there”.

At the end of the day I’m sure that if everyone was thinking like that, lots of things would be different. Take as an example the difference between US and France. There buying a new TV has to be done every 5 years or so. Here, some people still have black and white (maybe it’s a little bit extremist :-D) … Whose economy is more flamboyant again ? When I see today in France people striking to keep their right to strike in the common transportation … You’ve got to ask yourself why they don’t want to make those common transportation more efficient and reliable thus profitable thus attractive to the common person, instead of being thought has a last resort mean of transportation by most. (This crosses an interesting article read on VentureBeat about the Calltrain I read today where they can introduce new trains if a station is too crowded).

Too give a last thought on this article, and on the “contribution script”, I have to say that this should really be a motor in everyone’s life. One thing I don’t like in some people is their incapacity to understand that work is part of your life, and is thus one way of making it better. Of course personal and professional life should be balanced But try to raise one side first, and then the other one … And you will see that your life will remain balanced, but much better and appreciable for everyone. Moreover if you create more value, you will be proud of that and give back one way or another. Do you really think that buying 20$ power drills is a way to keep factories in Europe ? Buying the 300$ one certainly can help ! And that factory worker may well be your next door neighbor you’re barbecuing with on week ends … You see my point ?

So next time you see someone buying a 200$ shirt, or driving a Ferrari, please ask your self how you could be that guy … Create value, give value, and make the world a better place … too simple to be true ? What’s your take ?

Elections Législatives

This week end in France is the first round of the legislative elections. These two rounds of voting follow the ones where we elected Nicolas Sarkozy as our president for the next 5 years. The goal of this election is to define who will be sitting at the “Assemblée Nationale“, which represents the Legislative power in France.
The point of my post is not really to give you a detail explanation about this process but rather to understand how to vote ! I recently received by mail a letter with a leaflet of each one of the 17 people that I could vote for … Yes you read right : 17 persons ! So my question is dead simple how do you make your choice ?
So the first answer is simple : vote for the candidate which represents the person you voted for during the first round of the presidential elections. Easy you might say ! The only little problem is that there were only 12 candidates ! So the whole post comes to that : who might vote for these 5 “extra” persons ? Family, friends, … ? But whats the purpose ?
It seems most of these people are using ecology as one of their key driver, or they are yet another candidate of the “far left side”. Don’t get me wrong, I do like freedom of speech and republican rights, but at some point you got to wonder the point of having so many different trends and people, whom are mainly interested by their own interest of being elected, and do not really worry about us electors. In that sense I really do like internal debates within one party to designate the best candidate (like the PS has done this year, or like this is done in the US). Of course pushed to the extreme this would mean limited number of parties and we need diversity, but come on, do we really need 17 people thinking they have completely different strategies from one another ? This does not make any sense to me at all !
So this might be the “rosé” speaking, but clearly I wanted to share my astonishment in front of the number of candidates I needed to choose from … But do not worry, my choice is made ! Is yours ?