I live differently than most. What are some of the things that I do differently?
- I don’t watch cable TV.
- I don’t have a smart phone.
- I don’t have texting on my cell phone.
- My wife is a stay-at-home wife.
- I work an ordinary job.
- We run several online businesses.
- I’m currently in college.
- I’m 6′ 5″, yet I drive a Toyota Corolla.
- I’m 25, my wife is 24.
- We’ve been married for 4 years after dating for 3 years.
- We are SUPER HAPPY and SUPER IN LOVE.
Some of those things seem pretty ordinary until you compare me to many people in my age bracket. I’m married (and did so young), I’m happily married (yes, sitcoms have lied to you), I avoid many of the luxuries that people consider necessities, I manage my online business while working full-time & attending college, and I don’t go partying each night of the week.
In case you’re not in the loop, that isn’t how most twenty-somethings act now. So, why do I live so differently from my peers? It’s because of one word: observation.
I’ve Observed How Others Live
I’ve seen the heart-break and despair of foreclosure and repossession, I’ve seen the look of worry in peoples’ faces when they wonder how they’re going to pay their next bill, I’ve served at the soup kitchens and seen ordinary people (who look just like me) waiting in line.
I’ve seen the results of carelessness in marriage, I’ve seen the results of partying until you’re 40, I’ve seen the results of not managing your finances, and I’ve seen the results of being an employee with no other plans. I watched how others lived, and instead of saying “better them than me”, I considered it a warning shot across MY bow.
I Chose To Think Differently
I started to think differently, I looked at life differently and I sought out wisdom from people who lived differently. I learned discernment, and I learned control; although I have not perfected them. I realized the narrow path is the way I should be walking because the wide path doesn’t end so well.
The wide path is like a highway with signs that point to mediocrity, disappointment and worse. People (even family sometimes) disagree with me and my choices. They think I’m crazy that once I have my degree, I’m not going to run out and grab the next highest paying job.
People are surprised when they find out that I don’t think college is right for everyone, and it can even be a waste of money. Call me crazy, but I’ve seen plenty of people with their degrees and high paying jobs and they look as miserable as everyone else. I’ve also seen plenty of people with their degrees and no jobs.
People are surprised that I run a personal finance and entrepreneurship website, yet I don’t obsess about money, nor do I believe that I need to acquire as much as possible. I want to live deliberately, and that means living differently.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
– Walden, Henry Thoreau
This Is Your Warning Shot
Just as I created this website to help my family, and others learn more about finances, I’m calling you out. If you are truly happy doing what you do, then you’re probably doing alright. But- If there is something nagging at you, something pulling at you, then this is probably resonating with you.
It was Albert Einstein who said:
“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.“
Why should doing what others do be any different? How can I expect my result to be any different if I live my life exactly as someone else who is clearly miserable. If I follow a person on a walk, I will end up where they do, and I don’t believe life is any different. If I live as you do, I will end up where you end up.
Living differently is difficult. Few days go by where someone at work doesn’t poke a little fun at how I live, but I know it is for a purpose and with a purpose that I make my decisions the way I do. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.