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Destroying your wealth by envying the Khumalos?

Envy destroys wealth because it, much like lust, causes us to ignore our rationality and engage in a fantasy world where we compare ourselves and our lives to others and then go after what others have rather than what we truly need.


Don't compare yourself to others when they go on exotic holidays. Spend only the money you have and be happy with what you have achieved.
Image: Rawpixel 123RF

We start doubting ourselves, our decisions, our human needs.

We need to practice the virtue of kindness if we want to challenge our envy.

This means looking at others and rather being happy for them and their achievements and understanding that they may live a life beyond their means, or a life supported by a wealthy family member, you just never know what is going on behind closed doors and in bank accounts.

Focus on you, your life, your means, your needs. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “comparison is the thief of joy.”

 “Another overseas trip, this time to Europe! Didn’t they just move into that new estate, not to mention the latest upgrade to his car, how do they do it, what am I doing wrong?”

These thoughts, or ones very much like them, often run through your head as you scroll through the latest newsfeed on your social media page of choice.

There are times when we cannot help it; we compare ourselves to others as if doing so was an acceptable benchmark against which to determine how well we are doing in life.

Unfortunately, this usually leads to you feeling dissatisfied with yourself, defeated, and maybe even more than a bit jealous.

Even worse, it could lead to you spending money you might not have, just to appear to be on the same level as the Joneses or the Khumalos, along with the repercussion of debt and subsequent lack of financial freedom.

 You must always keep in mind, that everything is not always as it appears. Everyone’s situation is different.

The Khumalos might have been lucky and won that European trip or even the Lotto.

They may be living off credit card debt and are about to lose their house because of it.

They may have come into the money by losing a loved one and are travelling to forget the loss for just a little while… and a few minutes ago you were envying them.

Either way, no good can come from comparison. Not comparing yourself or your situation to the Khumalos is often easier said than done.

But, consider this - you may be underestimating the power of your mind. Even when it seems impossible to find a bright side of things, let alone focus on it, it is actually 100% in our power to transform the way we see life.

It is all about how we frame our mindset and being determined to keep our focus on that alone.

Next time you let your thoughts run away with you just remember, do not insult yourself.

You know your goals and dreams and everyone’s journey is different, stick to your mindset of finding your happiness.

You never know who could be looking at you and thinking, “Wow, she is so happy, what am I doing wrong?”. Let us inspire ‘happiness envy’ rather than ‘material envy’.


A few tips to stop you comparing

Follow these tips if you want to stop robbing yourself of joy by comparing yourself and what you have to other people.

* Learn to judge yourself by your own goals and challenges, it will be different from other people’s, not better or worse, just different.

* Have your own goals and take control of your finances. 

* Do not spend more than you earn simply to keep up with the Khumalos. Controlling your finances will allow you to work towards your money goal whether that is paying off debt, saving more, saving toward that dream holiday, or pursuing your goals.

* Be positive and happy with who you are, in other words, be self-confident. Just think of how much you have accomplished so far, and how much potential you have to accomplish even more.Instead of letting that green-eyed monster, known as envy, get hold of you, be happy for others. By being happy for others you’ll learn to accept yourself and let more positivity into your life. Even better, it might motivate you to reach your goals quicker.

* There is no such thing as the perfect life. The Facebook life is fake! There is Instagram and then there is reality. Take a break from social media. Mute the cacophony of audio and visual bombardment. Reboot your mindset. To do that, spend time thinking how much you have accomplished so far, think about what you really want out of life. Age is no limitation. What are your personal dreams and goals in life?


Delport is a financial planner with BDO and holds the Certified Financial Planner accreditation