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The Magical Money Illusion

magic_hatBigg success is life on your own terms. There are five elements of bigg success – money, time, growth, work and play. Today we’ll focus on money.

Status – a high rank or standing within a group of people – is a good thing. It means prestige, importance and respect.

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But status also can work against us. Sometimes in our quest to show off our net worth, we lose our self-worth. We worry about our image instead of our essence.

We give off the illusion of money when often the money isn’t there. It’s the magical money illusion. Even though we make a lot of money, it all goes out the door trying to give off the illusion of wealth.

This is one of the lessons we’ve learned from recent history. Now we’re going back to timeless principles of saving money and using debt sparingly.

For some reason, there seems to be a natural human tendency to compare ourselves to others. We found a great article that describes two experiments that tested people’s desire for relative affluence.

Earn $2,000 more!

The first one was conducted in the early 1990s. Participants were presented with two job opportunities in the same industry.

With the first option, they would earn $35,000 a year while their colleagues earn $38,000. Under their second choice, they would earn $33,000 while colleagues earn $30,000.

Most people chose Option 1. However, here’s where it gets interesting:

Two-thirds said Option 2 would make them happier.

We think more money will make us happier. However, this research shows that, for a lot of people, making more than their peers is what really does the trick.

Half the money is just fine

Let’s look at a second study. Its participants were a very bright group – the faculty, staff and students at Harvard University.

They were also presented with two options. The researchers took special care to make it clear that the prices paid for goods and services would be the same in both cases. In other words, more money would mean more and/or better stuff.

Under Option 1, they were offered $50,000 per year while others were only making $25,000. With Option 2, they would earn $100,000 a year while everyone else earns $200,000.

56% of the participants chose Option 1! They gave up $50,000 in income in order to make more than their peers.

It’s the Jones Effect. They’re happier making more comparatively but less absolutely.

Isn’t it amazing that really bright people making choices that seem illogical?

How do you move past this natural inclination to compare yourself to others? How do you do what’s really best for you?

Change the focus of your comparison.

Instead of focusing on what you make or what you have compared to others, concentrate on what you need to live the life you desire.

When you live your life on your own terms, you’re liberated from all of that. You focus on what you make relative to you what you need to make. Others disappear from the calculation.

You focus on what you want relative to what you have. Who cares what anyone else has.

You focus on what you know, not on what other people think. You create the life you want and you make sure it’s sustainable. That’s financial freedom. That’s peace of mind. That’s bigg success!

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Thank you so much for checking in with us today. Please join us next time when we talk about horse jockeys and personal productivity. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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The Power of Imagination

J.K. Rowling, best known as the author of the Harry Potter series, recently delivered an exceptional speech for the Commencement Ceremony at Harvard University.

It’s an amazing discussion of the power of failure and imagination. It’s definitely worth your time to read the full text, or watch the video. She said,

“We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we
need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.”

Each of us has the power within us to change the world. Do you doubt it?

Steve Jobs didn’t doubt it.
He imagined a world where every person could have the same computing power that only large organizations had at that point. He dreamed of a world where computers were so user-friendly everybody could use them.

John F. Kennedy didn’t doubt it.
He had the vision that man could walk on the moon. He set forth his vision with the power of words to direct an entire country’s resources toward that mission. A short time later, Neil Armstrong uttered his famous words, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Martin Luther King didn’t doubt it.

He had a dream that people would be judged solely by the contributions they made to society, not by the color of their skin. His dream led to a movement to bring equal opportunity to all.

You may say that you don’t have …

… the imagination of JK Rowling. To create a world that can inspire millions of young people to read again at a time when everyone thought that only video games could attract them.

 … the creativity of Steve Jobs. To see the possibilities for individuals to have access to technology at their fingertips.

… the vision of John F. Kennedy. To see the impossible as possible and to inspire an entire nation to get behind the effort.

… the oratory skills of Martin Luther King. To put the need for change front and center on the agenda of his country and to move people to effect that change.

The unique power within you.
You do have the power to imagine a better world and make a difference in your own life and the life of others. Your imagination flows from your unique genetic make-up and your personal experiences.

No one else – who has ever walked on this earth, is here now, or ever will be – can duplicate what you have and who you are. You are one of a kind!

It’s up to you to live up to the potential that is within you … just imagine! How will you leave the world a better place? What are you doing now to make a difference in the lives of others?

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Are Good Looks an Advantage or a Disadvantage at Work?

A lot of attractive people complain that people assume things about them without getting to know them. It’s assumed that they’re unintelligent, superficial, and even arrogant.

You’ve been given the gift of physical attractiveness, which has to mean you’re lacking in other areas. In the social world, you’re just the pretty boy or girl.

But does that perception carry over into the professional world? Is there a bias against people who are good-looking?

 

Green Without Envy
Economists Markus Mobius of Harvard University and Tanya Rosenblat of Wesleyan University did a study to see how looks affected the hiring process. They divided participants into five groups:

  • Two of the groups never saw a photo of the candidate or the candidates themselves
  • The other three either saw the candidate’s photograph or in-person.

The groups who saw the candidates were much more likely to hire the more attractive candidate, even though the less attractive candidate was just as qualified.

These employers predicted that the attractive candidates would be more productive, and would be rewarded for it with higher pay.

Even Greener Pastures
Daniel Hamermesh, an economist at the University of Texas, is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the economics of beauty. Dr. Hamermesh has focused on how beauty effects financial success in the workplace.

His research confirms the results of the study we just referenced – that beauty gains an advantage because the doors of opportunity open more frequently. So they make connections, learn skills, and grow professionally. Then they’re able to leverage that first opportunity into many more opportunities, which results in even higher pay.

He also offers little hope for the unattractive. His research has shown that spending money on things to enhance your looks is a waste. You’ll only get back about 15 cents in pay for ever dollar you spend.

Our bigg quote today is by an unknown author:

“We could learn a lot from crayons; some are sharp, some are pretty,
some are dull, while others bright, some have weird names,
but they all have learned to live together in the same box.”

The more colors you have, the more colorful your world can be.


Questions for you

Socially, we often hear pretty people complain that they’re discriminated against. But research seems to show that it works to their favor in the workplace.

From your experiences, do you think good looks are an advantage or a disadvantage?

Is there a difference between men and women? Are good looks more important in the workplace for men or for women?

How about age? Is this something you think affects young people more than older workers or vice versa?

What do you think of Dr. Hamermesh’s finding that it doesn’t pay to try to package yourself better? Do you think it makes a difference?

Share your thoughts by leaving a Comment.

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