If You Want To Be Nicer, Get Richer: A Surprise Apology Letter

They say money can't buy happiness. But what if having money can make you less stressed, less jealous, less combative, less anxious, and more joyful? Then surely having more money can at least make you nicer right? I think so.

My first realization with this correlation between niceness and wealth occurred at the end of 2015 when I wrote, Once You Have F You Money, It's Hard To Tell Others To F Off!

Ever since I began working on Wall Street in 1999, the term, “f*ck you money” has been thrown around.

Here's a conversation example:

“Did you hear about Tommy? He just made Managing Director. Now he's really got some f*ck you money!”

“Nah, he ain't making f*ck you money until he makes Partner MD at Goldman. That's when he'll get the real money through profit sharing.”

Hard To Tell Others To Screw Off Once You Have Money

Telling someone to f*ck off isn't a nice thing to do, even if it may be warranted. However, it's what so many people dream of doing to their haters, oppressors, and dissenters.

If you were bullied in school, I'm sure you've had some variation of a dream where you roll up to your high school reunion in a Lamborghini because you did well in your career.

The reality is, once you achieve some level of financial independence, it's really difficult to tell your haters to piss off. Instead, it becomes much easier to ignore them and move on with your business. You might even develop compassion for them.

When you've been around online as long as I have, you'll naturally get some nastiness hurled your way. It's all part of the package for those who dare to put their work out there for public consumption.

By the end of 2015, when I wrote the post, I was feeling pretty good about life.

Three years had passed since I engineered my layoff. I no longer worried if I had made the wrong decision to leave a well-paying job. In the first half of 2015, my wife also engineered her layoff with a nice severance package. Finally, I had my best friend to go travel with.

And perhaps most importantly from a financial security perspective, we had doubled our passive investment income to over $160,000 by the end of 2015. The bull market was a real blessing. With $160,000+ in passive investment income and no kids, we felt financially secure.

I did not have the desire to tell my detractors to f*ck off because I was too busy enjoying life with my wife. Getting into fights takes energy. And who has time to try and change someone's already made up mind? I felt like I was becoming a nicer person after winning the lottery.

However, once I became a father in 2017, my tolerance for racism and general hate began to decline. The reason why is because I didn't want these types of attitudes to negatively affect my children.

Growing up in Virginia for high school and college got me used to the occasional racism. There were plenty of fights and uncomfortable situations I went through. On the other hand, living in more diverse cities such as New York and San Francisco since 1999 has largely inoculated me from racism.

The main way I experience racism or hate now is online. It's a tiny portion. Probably less than 0.01% of the readers. But it still comes up every so often.

A Surprise Apology Letter From An Ex-Hater

Recently, I got an out-of-the-blue apology e-mail from someone who used to hate a lot of the things I wrote about on money and family. Let's call her Veronica, a 34-year-old white woman with one child.

If Veronica wasn't leaving bitter comments on Financial Samurai as part of the Internet Retirement Police, she was joining a Twitter mob to trash something I had shared. Here's what she wrote,

Hi Sam,

I hope all is well. I just wanted to reach out and apologize for my behavior in the past. I've been doing a lot of reflecting since lockdown and I realized what I did was wrong.

I was in a bad place five years ago when I lost my ideal job. I had struggled for a long time to get to that point – dropped out of college, worked minimum wage jobs, accumulated a lot of debt – and I was feeling devastated at the time.

When you tweeted about making $1,000 a month as a high school tennis coach, it really set me off because I was barely making ends meet. I had finally got my net worth above $0 after years of being saddled with student loans and credit card debt. Further, my daughter was only two years old and I was a stressed-out mom!

I wanted to be the one known for struggling with money. And your tweet encroached on my space. I know that sounds silly to say, but I felt you had swerved into my internet lane, despite not struggling. I was annoyed.

But I'm in a better place now. I got a new job a couple of years ago. My daughter is in the 2nd grade and doing well. Also, my net worth hit the $200,000 mark this past summer!

Looking back, I know you were just trying to use your platform to help shine a light on how other educators make ends meet on a low salary. I shouldn't have pounced on you like I did.

– Peace

I wasn't even thinking about the incident from so long ago until she shot me the e-mail. But the conflict back then did make me even more cognizant about what I write.

I really appreciate what Veronica wrote. It takes a lot of courage to apologize to someone. I'm also positive you will feel a lot better if you let go of your hate for someone as well. Give it a try!

Your Upbringing Shapes Your Attitude Towards Other People

We traded a couple more e-mails back and forth and she shared with me a couple more details about herself. It was kind of like a therapy session. I always enjoy learning about the backgrounds of the people who dislike what I write.

1) Attended An Expensive Private University

She attended an expensive private university that today costs over $53,000 a year in tuition a year. Including room and board and other fees, the all-in cost to attend her college is over $70,000 a year.

She said she grew up in a middle-class household that didn't teach her much about money. As a result, she got into tremendous student loan debt and ultimately had to drop out. If she could have done it over again, she would have attended community college and then transferred to a state school.

Most of her college classmates came from wealthy households. So she grew up resenting them for being able to graduate college when she could not. This resentment built and probably caused her to look down on anybody who was about to achieve certain levels of financial freedom.

I've discussed in the past the pressures of being somebody great if you go to an expensive private university. However, I never thought about the mental letdown of attending an expensive private school, getting saddled with debt, dropping out, and not doing anything special.

This type of setback is far worse than having graduated from an expensive school and ended up working a regular job just like everybody else.

2) Grew Up In A Homogenous Environment

She grew up in an area where 94.5% of the population is white, 1.6% of the population was black, 1.33% of the population is multiracial, and 2.5% of the population is considered white Hispanic.

As a result, she had no non-white friends growing up. Until this day, all her friends are still white. She mentioned to me being Asian may have played a role in her agitation.

As a white woman in America, she said she wanted to be more conscious about how she treated others offline and online after so many reports of violence against Asians during the pandemic.

She didn't want to turn into one of those “Karens” she's seen on the news. This growing self-awareness is great because one's upbringing is all one knows.

Related: Three White Tenants, One Asian Landlord

Become Financially Independent And You Will Naturally Be Nicer

Post-pandemic, I think one of the main goals we should all have is to be nicer to others. We need to work on improving our personalities so we can build a stronger support network.

It's natural to stick to a community of similar people to feel safe and welcome. But I challenge you to diversify not only your thoughts but also your friends. If you do, I promise you will be nicer to people you don't know and more empathetic to the plight of others.

Maybe I'm weird because I grew up in a new country every 2-4 years while attending international schools. That's what foreign service life is like as a kid. Then I worked in international equities for another 13 years.

The Importance Of Diversification

However, I've also experienced a relatively homogenous environment while attending high school and college in Virginia for eight years. To me, it is so much better to live in a diverse environment. It is a joy to celebrate other cultures!

For example, if you are a writer or a movie producer, you can draw from many different experiences to tell a more dynamic story. If you're working on a product, you can better avoid blindspots if you have a diverse set of employees.

To be nicer, if you aren't willing to diversify the people you interact with, then get richer. Once you have enough money to feel secure, you will feel less jealous of others. You may even want to use your money to help other people and organizations. Go figure!

There's an insightful saying, “Hurt people hurt people.” If you can take care of your physical and mental health, I dare say you will stop being mean to others.

Self-reported life satisfaction (happiness) vs. GDP per capita (income)
Source: https://ourworldindata.org/happiness-and-life-satisfaction

More Thoughts On How To Naturally Be Nicer

We've already discussed how getting richer and diversifying the people you communicate with can help you become nicer. I've come up with several other points that I think may help as well.

1) Learn another language. Speaking another language forces you to understand a different culture. The more you can understand the way other people do things, the more understanding you will be of other people.

2) Live abroad. The same thing goes for living abroad. If you find yourself in a diverse community or a foreign community, you must be more careful and respectful of other people. You can't just be a bull in a China shop and do things your way. Instead, you must adopt local cultures to fit in.

3) Develop a minimum level of status. If you don't have money, you can try and get some status. To get status, you need to be good at something. Once you get some status, you will feel more secure. And more secure people tend to be less combative and nicer people.

4) Work on your health. Ideally, you will develop money and status and have great health. If you're constantly in pain or feeling unwell physically or mentally, it may naturally sour your mood. The worse mood you are in, the meaner you might be. The healthier you are, the better you will treat others.

5) Become a parent. Once you become a parent, you will constantly try to teach your children right from wrong. This in turn will make you reflect on your own actions in public and in front of them. After all, you must set a good example for your children if you want them to listen to what you teach.

6) Find your reason for being. If you can find your ikigai, a Japanese word for “reason for being,” you will naturally become nicer. There is no greater feeling than doing something you love, you're good at, the world needs, and what you can get paid for! It's one of the reasons why Financial Samurai has continued publishing 3X a week since 2009.

The Benefits Of Being Nicer

By now, you might wonder what's the point of being nicer, especially if you have a lot of money. With a lot of money, you don't need to be nicer. However, you still should for the following reasons:

1) Better for your mental health. The meaner you are, the more people will want to fight or argue with you. If they don't fight or argue with you, they'll speak poorly behind your back. No matter how impervious you think you are to insults, they still sting. Most people would rather be loved than be feared.

2) Better for business growth. If you own a business, being nice is important. The more people like you, the more people will share your work and recommend your product. If you're always making people feel bad, the last thing they'll want to do is recommend your work to others. The nicer you are, the more people will go to bat for you.

3) Better relationships with your family members. Perhaps the biggest benefit of being nicer is that your partner and children will love you more. You'll get into fewer fights and you may have more obedient children. Imagine never raising your voice when your child does something wrong. Instead, you empathize with their frustration and calmly explain a better solution. Now imagine always being more forgiving to your partner. More harmony!

4) Less lonely. More people are more lonely thanks to the pandemic and the internet. Lonelier people tend to be more angry and less happy. Therefore, the nicer you are and the more value you create, the less lonely and happier you will be.

Personally, I'm doing my best to work on #3. At five years old, my boy has endless energy and can sometimes test my patience.

The Natural Evolution Of Demeanor

What's great about being around online since 2009 is that I'm able to notice the evolution of some readers. Dare I say you've collectively become nicer over the years!

In the past, I received so many angry comments on posts such as:

A lot of people were irate and said I was out of touch with reality, among other things.

10 years later, many have come back and told me they are either at or above my net worth guide. Amazing what consistent saving and investing can do during a bull market!

Other readers during this time period have started families. They've acknowledged, gosh damn, how expensive it is to take care of kids in a big city. Then they discuss the perpetual conflict they feel about how much to spend on their children since they want what's best for them.

Even Vanguard came around to significantly lowering their return expectations, thereby recommending a much lower safe withdrawal rate in retirement. But I'm still waiting for folks who beat me over the head about my lower safe withdrawal rate to say something nice.

Increased Awareness And Apathy

Over the years, I’ve also written less opinionated posts over time because I've become more aware and apathetic. I used to write what I strongly believed in, even if what I wrote would require uncomfortable change. Now, sadly, I don't care as much.

I've listened to so many stories from people with different backgrounds that I'm wary about making absolute statements. So I don't. I also don't want to force my thoughts on anybody. Feel free to do what you want in this free country of ours!

In conclusion, I say the richer you become, the nicer you will naturally be. It's doubtful Veronica would have ever sent her apology e-mail if her net worth hadn't grown to over $200,000.

Becoming financially secure is a powerful motivator for kindness. Give it a try and let me know your results!

Related posts:

The Differences Between Public School And Private School Folks

Solving The Happiness Conundrum In Five Moves Or Less

The Smartest Countries In The World Are Not The Happiest


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About The Author

42 thoughts on “If You Want To Be Nicer, Get Richer: A Surprise Apology Letter”

  1. Money isn’t necessary for one to be nice and kind. In my experiences both in the United States and abroad, some of the nicest people I’ve met are poor. And some of the nastiest I’be encountered here back home clearly were well off.

  2. Ms.Conviviality

    It’s so coincidental that this article was recently posted. I haven’t been reading FS in a while due to working 100 hours a week hustling but just yesterday a kindness that was shown months ago was returned. Three months ago I was out in the field doing some training with a group of new trainees. We each had to compete to get 10 enrollments done before we would be released with inventory. Some of us were better than others at getting potential customers to listen to our pitch and sign up. There was another trainee, Richard, that was friendly but not as aggressive at getting customers’ attention so I gave him one of my customers. I haven’t been in touch with Richard since the training. Out of the blue, he calls my husband to tell us of an opportunity where we could be making 3 times as much doing the same work but cutting out the middle man. Now, the current hustle is earning us $2,300 per week so getting 3X that is absolutely amazing! Richard said he stumbled onto the information and really liked my husband and I when he met us so he wanted to share the information. He is getting no financial benefit for sharing the information with us; no referral fees, enrollment overrides, etc. Of course, we expressed our excitement and thankfulness for his kindness.

  3. And there are megamillionaires that commit suicide, so money isn’t the answer to everything, but I would suggest it is difficult for a responsible person to be entirely happy when they are living paycheck to paycheck, are unemployed, or have no idea how they are going to support themselves once they can no longer work (in retirement, for example).

    Those things being taken care of, they should have a much better chance of being happy and I would expect happy people to live longer, feel less pressured by others, be nicer to others, and even more generous . . . on average, never in every case.

    Of course, money doesn’t yet make you and your loved ones immune to cancer, disease, accidents, violence, or a variety of mental and personality disorders (although it can improve your odds of surviving them) so no, it can’t buy happiness, but it may be prerequisite.

  4. I cringe whenever I hear someone say “Money can’t buy happiness.” Of course it can! If you think otherwise you fundamentally misunderstand what money is – it’s a medium of exchange. Its purpose is to be able to buy ANYTHING.

    What money doesn’t do is GUARANTEE happiness. It is a tool. Tools don’t guarantee success; they have to be used to be beneficial, and they can be misused. Money can only improve your happiness if you know what you want and how to get it. For example, if obesity is making you unhappy, you need to improve your diet and exercise. Money can fund those efforts. On the other hand, if you’re unhappy for lack of a significant other, there’s a good chance that you don’t know HOW to find or attract the person you’re looking for or how to acquire those skills. Money alone won’t improve that situation.

    The guy who says “Money can’t buy happiness” is usually making a self-defeating excuse for his refusal to take steps to improve his life.

    1. I see money an an expression of your will and ability to do things. It is a form to quantify energy.

  5. GetRichSlowly

    Speaking of FU money.
    I received a phone call from a product manager
    of a large national retail chain that my company was selling product to.
    The product manager was not used to the word NO when asking for
    quicker delivery dates, marketing funds, lower pricing, etc…
    Anyways I said no on a marketing fund request and his immediate dare response was you will never , ever sell product to us again.
    My reply: you don’t know my financial situation and
    hung up the phone….
    Yes- it took them a year to replace our product but i still chuckle on that conversation five years ago because I am one of the few vendors that stood up to them and could back up my statement.

  6. Yes I find people with greater wealth to be nicer simply because they prefer to mind their own business and don’t feel the need to bother or convince other people of their thoughts or actions if they don’t necessarily need to.

    They have secured and are continuing to work on their personal finances and have kind of a “to each his own” belief. But for many of us who aren’t there yet, we should use the knowledge and wisdom of these people to help us achieve our own goals.

    1. It is curious why some of us feel a need to force our strong opinions on others. Please call me out if you ever see this on FS.

      Most of us have the freedoms to make our own choices and live our lives as we please. If we don’t like something, we’ll make a change.

  7. My experience confirms what you are saying. Some of my friends are wealthy and they do tend to be much nicer than average and more generous than average. I think the level of stress that goes hand in hand with inadequate financial resources can cause people to lash out at others who seem to be living on easy street. When I was the boss of a manufacturing complex with employees at a lot of different pay grades I received hostile vibes sometimes from employees who were stressed out about money problems. While I live in a totally different world and don’t always understand what life in a HCOL area is like, since I’ve never lived it, I’ve always thought you maintained a very civil and polite conversation in your posts and with commenters, even with people who disagree on an idea.

    1. Thanks Steve. I try my best to keep things civil. It’s only when the attacks are multiple or get racial where I’ll go on the offensive. I just can’t have any of that type of hate in my community, especially as I think about my children.

      Hope your health is OK!

      1. I’m on the road to Denver for the procedure right now. Two day trip, should be no problem after that, but admit I’m a little anxious. Thanks! Steve

  8. I’m also a reformed hater! I couldn’t stand other women making good money while also having a family. But once I found someone and had my own family, I felt much more at ease.

    No longer did baby announcements on Facebook make me cringe.

    Thanks for sharing this insightful exchange. There’s nobody on the internet that writes such interesting and pertinent topics as you.

    1. I hear you. Until this day, I feel emotions of happiness for the new parents and also sadness for those babies who never made it :(

      Thank you for sharing your perspective.

  9. A very healthy and helpful article. The phrase you mentioned, “hurt people hurt people” is very true. Some people are steeped in hate, and all you can do is wish them well and hope they heal.

    I wanted you to know this article was a nice start to my day, and even though we still disagree on your safe withdrawal scenario, I like that you’ve found a very inspiring topic that got me moving forward today.

  10. You’re totally on to something. All of the people I can think of that I’ve had negative encounters with were all suffering financially and/or mentally. Money certainly can’t buy everything, but I do think it can reduce stress, which can improve mental health, and all that in turn influence someone to be nicer to others.

  11. I get her point about Asians. I’m Asian; even more so since my mother was born/raised there.

    I went to a top university and law school. I’m now a lawyer married to a lawyer. We have two kids and we’re very comfortable in Orange County. I know I’m lucky; but frankly, it was expected and the norm (even though I didn’t grow up affluent). Thus, I often say things about education, income, and status that almost all Asians would relate with. It’s part of the culture we were raised in. And I think it’s merely the norm and logical. But often it comes across to non-Asians (particularly white people who were raised in homogeneous settings) as condescending to those who aren’t accustomed to the culture.

  12. David @ Filled With Money

    Did they seriously say that Partner MD Goldman is when you’ll really start making FU money? Are they really that financially illiterate?

    I bet once someone makes Partner MD Goldman, the same people will say “naw, that’s not FU Money, being CEO of Goldman is FU Money!”

  13. The Alchemist

    While I’m not exactly there myself, I know that a sense of calm definitely descends upon those for whom the stress of making ends meet has departed.

    I reckon it’s similar to the shift I experienced in my athletic career when I reached a point of feeling I no longer needed to “prove” myself. Earlier on I would always show up at races wearing a t-shirt from some other, more impressive event to make it clear that I belonged and was competent.

    At some point it occurred to me that I had nothing to prove and no one to impress but myself. I sheepishly realized that making myself a walking billboard of my athletic “prowess” (such as it was) was just silly. So I stopped. From that point on, I showed up at races just wearing whatever generic t-shirt was clean that day.

    I wish that a similar serene self-assurance of financial certainty was mine! Oh sure, my net worth is “up there” relative to the rest of the country; however, I’m in the Bay Area and don’t work for one of the tech money machines, so getting to that financial zen state is tough.

    But I don’t think the challenges have made me a mean person. I will admit, however, to steaming internally from time to time at all the “techies” who have turned my home into one really wacked out place. Those of us who grew up in Silicon Valley before it officially BECAME “Silicon Valley” frequently mourn what has become of the place. But I’m also a realist; I accept that if I wasn’t able to take full advantage of the tech revolution and make serious bank, that’s all on me.

    So yeah— FU money sure would be nice. But it makes sense that a real grown-up, upon actually achieving that pinnacle, would be struck by how pointless actually executing on the “FU” would be. As Sam says, it would just waste energy better spent actively enjoying the fruits of your labor! Wise men exercise gratitude, fools go for revenge.

    1. Funny you should mention the t-shirt! A good friend of mine who is about 65, really humble, and has about a $5 million net worth was rocking a 2017 Boston Marathon t-shirt while playing tennis with me one day.

      A couple people at my club mentioned it and marveled. And he instantly admitted he bought it at the local flea market!

      He really couldn’t give two craps about signaling his athletic prowess. I had no idea wearing prestigious athletic event tshirts was a thing LOL.

      And I totally hear you on not being able to ride the tech boom. I tried, but I failed To get a tech job. But at least our investments have done well!


      1. The Alchemist

        And THAT’s why the good fellow has $5m! Because he buys his clothes at the flea market. :D That’s awesome!

        1. This is a very interesting situation. I’ve read about this in self-help books like B. Tracy and others. It often states that self-made millionaires are very practical people. The story under discussion confirms this!)))

  14. If low income and excessive debt make you into an angry, hateful person, then I can understand your thesis. Simply being out of debt can be a great relief, even if you live very simply on a small income. On the other hand, I don’t find that FIRE has made me any nicer than I was while I was fully employed. In fact, I like the FI part and I dislike the RE part. I was definitely attached to my work and find it difficult to feel as good about myself now that I’m not actively impacting the lives of others as much. I don’t find low-intellectual-stimulation volunteer work or me-oriented leisure time activities to be all that rewarding. I guess I’m one of those “die with your boots on” kind of people. I derived as much enjoyment from the work as I did income. Now I’m working hard to find the ideal “encore career” to replace the attaboys I found everywhere in the last one.

    1. Sounds good to me! What was your previous job that gave you so much purpose? And what type of job do you plan to do now?

      What is your retirement target that you achieved?

      You might actually be nicer and you don’t even know it. What is your partner or family member say?

  15. “In the past, I received so many angry comments on posts such as:”


    You left out the endless complaints about your 1/10 car buying rule. Some people are so committed to blowing money on new cars (or “constant” new cars) that they don’t want to consider there is another way.

    I knew a pharmacist who once casually mentioned that she bought a new car every year. I was puzzled by this, because I said “you will be in debt forever” and she said it didn’t matter because she budgeted a car payment in her monthly budget in perpetuity. I hope she took inflation into account (and/or lifestyle creep).

    1. Ah, how could I forget! There have been so many posts over the years that have gone against conventional wisdom that it’s hard to keep track.

      I do think everything is rational though. People choose to spend a lot of money on a car do you enjoy things more now the defer until later. And they are willing to take the risk.

      YOLO baby!

      1. I simply dont understand that kind of mindset. I kwow far too many guys that have a very nice and yet rent because they dont have a house. it boogles my mind.

  16. I’m definitely nicer as I got richer (net worth is ~$12M, not including home) – However, I was already nice when I was worth nothing, and looking back I believe being nice is what got me to where I am today (got strong referrals from previous coworkers to join FAANG).

    However, I still occasionally have coworkers today who are so cynical, they just don’t believe you’re rich, or you’re genuinely nice (like, hey, if you really rich why are you still working, or why do you have to be nice to us?).

    I only realized recently (after being backstabbed by a cynical coworker and my boss, both are new to my company and relatively poor) that no matter how rich you are, you still need to use the silver rule: “be nice first, then tic-for-tac”. After all, that’s what FU money is for.

    1. Hopefully, having a $12 million net worth makes getting stabbed in the back feel a little better?

      Do you have a net worth target before you leave work? I personally find a difficult to work for anybody else after about $10 million. I would rather just be an investor or start my own business.

      But of course everybody is different. And I must imagine that working around other decamillionaires keeps the competitive drive alive.

      1. My target was $5M, but now with $12M i’m still working – my main excuse is my current work in AI is very exciting, almost as exciting as when Internet first started in late 1990s, so I don’t feel bored at work. I do have one idea I’d like to start a company if I’m fired tomorrow, but at 55 I know it’d take a lot of hard work (I started a company in my 30s and it was a young person’s game). As an investor? Maybe when I get to $20M because retiring at $12M means I can barely withdraw $240K per year (pre-tax) to maintain our current lifestyle (I agree with you 4% rule no longer applies). Also $12M was the result of recent fed policy since pandemic, before 2020 it was ~$8M? and $8M could be my 2022 net worth again.

        Work place politics stink much less now, it can feel funny because it does remind me why am I still here, however, I do have many coworkers like me (some with even more zeros) and still innovating for the future. That’s the main difference between tech and investment banks I guess (GS would have a much harder time convincing employees they are doing God’s work).

        1. Sounds good. And if God’s work is doing AI, then more power to you guys!

          Good luck on getting to $20 million. I would say try and shoot for $23.4 million if you are a couple, given that is the current estate tax threshold. Then spend aggressively any money after that.

  17. Hurt people hurt people is a great summation. In theory, one of the big motivators for me to reach FI is the ability to help others from a position of power. That doesn’t preclude me from helping others in the meantime, though I hope I stay true to my own word and increase my charitable contributions and efforts in general when the time comes. Money can’t buy happiness is a wise piece of advice for those seeking inner peace, but the truth is, it sure can. Or at least, it can put you in a better position to find contentment in your life.

    1. It really is the best saying that makes the most amount of sense as to why some people are so belligerent. Once I heard that saying, it really all made sense. And it made me want to understand the backgrounds of those who were hateful.

      1. Christine Minasian

        I have told that saying to my daughters over the years many times! It is so wise and true. We for sure are way kinder and less stressed since we’ve reached a huge financial milestone. The jealousy towards people that were just given money went away. Earning it means WAY more so there’s no more ill feelings. Plus why not put out into the universe happiness and joy?!?!

  18. Hi Sam, great post. I went through a similar path as your reformed hater in that in my 20s I was insecure and jealous of people who got promoted quicker than me or whom I thought had it easier in life (including siblings). Fast forward a decade, I’ve tried out being a manager and quickly found that the politics and headaches of continuously advancing isn’t for me. I don’t envy people who manage or have high-powered careers even if they get paid more-it’s just not worth the headache to me. Furthermore, losing a parent and then having our first child further opened my eyes that outward success isn’t everything. Odd-at times I feel I’ve become more selfish in that I think about my childs happiness first but it makes me less jealous and resentful since it takes too much effort to get worked up about petty things.

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