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SALARY - A financial drug

“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” - Nicholas Nassim Taleb

I spent many years working full-time (FTE) in a well-established large group and never thought that money was a different kind of drug until I felt the strain when I changed to a new, higher paying job in a smaller company than my prior one.

When I switched to job of higher salary without working on my interpersonal and communication skills, I started suffering in many fronts mostly human instead of tech. These weaknesses were never exposed since my previous company was quite comfortable due to culture, acceptance for failures and resources.

Actually, I achieved certain number popping up in my mental scoreboard as a growth factor. It’s not widely acceptable to talk about but lots of people wrongly use their salary as a mental scoreboard as a sign of growth and prosperity. This is famously called “Salary Trap” on internet, which I called Financial Drug. When you accept a job solely because of large pay increase without working on your hidden weaknesses because they were never encountered due to stable culture.

Salary is a financial drug because it appears amazing because of money worth, status, and lifestyle inflation, but once you become hooked on it, it’s difficult to get out. Dark side of constant firefighting and pressure is mental stress and physical health decline.

Corporate Hedonic Treadmill — Lifestyle Inflation
Corporate Hedonic Treadmill — Lifestyle Inflation

Ideally, I should’ve ranked opportunities on the learning potential first, it’s painful in the short term but there’s so much gain in the long term. When you focus on learning over earning, it brings a sense of fulfilment and achievement. Believe me, in an ever-changing digital world, you’ll likely end up with more opportunities.

Why Salary is a financial drug?

So, lets break down it more:

• Because of your comfort zone and experience in handling things in certain way which worked in the past for fixed amount paid monthly/weekly.

• Due to lack of energy due, working longer hours or high-pressure environment reduce your mental capability.

“A salary is the drug they give you to forget your dreams.” — Kevin O leary

• Because of lifestyle inflation, status and show-off culture having car and real estates on debt.

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” — Upton Sinclair

• When you keep running on Hedonic treadmill without realizing that salary is just one step ahead of becoming poor.

“Salary is for expenses. Equity is wealth.” — Vala Afshar

• Loss of focus on building bigger things and comfort zone of lifestyle.

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” — Bill Gates

Salary A financial drug
Salary A financial drug

• Our service mentality is so deeply ingrained into us that right from childhood, we are taught to work hard and get a good job, only to become sophisticated slaves throughout our lives. It’s not that I am against salary but salary with the comfort bubble and false sense of security it brings along is dangerous.

When these ingredients are added to our deep rooted ‘safe playing’ mentality, a delicious poisonous potion is brewed.

  1. Has any school or college taught us the financial literacy? — No!!

  2. Has any of us inculcated an entrepreneur mindset or setup a source of income which makes money for us in our absence? -Perhaps Few

This does not mean that I am against education. In fact, being financially educated is the most important weapon that most of us lack in our armoury.

What to do then?

This question has an elaborate answer, which is not possible to explain fully here. I can briefly outline the points and you can learn more about them.

• Learn about more ways you can Save Tax

• Buy Assets (Things that appreciate in value) before Liabilities (Things that depreciate in value,including cars, clothes, furniture,etc.)

• Stop investing only in safe sources like Fixed Deposits,which make you poor every passing year (considering the average Rate of infation, which is higher than the Returns offered on deposits)

• Start investing in stock markets and mutual funds (Make Sure you read enough before jumping into it and invest for a long term)

• Inculcate a strong work ethic (It’s NOW or NEVER)

• Sharpen your creative skills or develop new ones (In the world of pandemic, the biggest careers are being made Online with platforms like Youtube producing superstars every day in every field)

“You can learn anything for free” - Elon Musk

• Read Books, the one solution for all your problems, be it changing your mindset, developing a business, learning new skills or investment methods or anything else you can imagine.

Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki
Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki

Whenever anyone asks Elon Musk how he learned to build space-traveling rockets, this is his three-word answer: “I read books.”

“Use courage and wisdom, not labour, to make money.” — Nicholas Nassim Taleb

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