You are not your Choos’

Consumer culture has done a bang-up job programming us to believe that possessions make us happy. Well done consumerism – you’ve nailed it. On the other hand, we have failed miserably in our attempt to measure “success”. We have got the formula all wrong. We simply define “success” as the ability to publicly display wealth. There is little attention paid to – community involvement, family life, or just generally being a good human.

Example: “Hey! Look it’s The Money Runner, I heard that he is really successful.”

Be honest, what is the very first thing that pops in your mind? Was it thoughts of volunteering to help orphaned children in Congo? Was it his perfect attendance at the kids’ soccer games? Or was it visions of a high paying job, stacks of cash in the bank, a Benz and an eight seat home theater room in the basement?

In a perfect world (if success was truly about how many gold bars that you’ve manged to accumulate) everyone would just walk around with a floating net worth number above their heads. Problem solved – No BMW required.

This is a $2,500 Jimmy Choo – You have to buy another one @ $2,500 to get a pair of choos’

Unfortunately, this type of net worth info is impossible to obtain in real life. So instead we judge people not using any sort of facts but by the things that they put on display. Cars, houses, bling, bling, bling and even what school district you live in matters.

And the crazy thing is that we generally are not doing this for ourselves. We consume so other people can perceive us as being successful. It’s called conspicuous consumption, but I like to call it consuming for the sake of consumption.

Spending money on Jimmy Choos is your “success” on public display. To the average consumer, such a display of economic power blatant wastefulness is not always about the thing itself but in achieving the perceived economic status required to obtain it. I am my choos’, therefore I am a success.

You are more than what you consume, and you can change the formula. There is a famous quote from the author of Fight Club that sums up the idea nicely “You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. And you are not your fucking khakis.” – Chuck Palahniuk

Keep on running, optimize your life and stay frugal my friends.

Author: The Money Runner

Husband, father, runner, personal finance enthusiast and computer geek. Thanks for visiting. Please check out my other posts and follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

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5 Comments

  1. Fight Club is deeper than one may think. Maybe before its time but everyone needs a philosophy of life.

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  2. Holy. WTF. A pair of shoes for 5K. That’s liek 10X what I paid for my first car.

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  3. Interesting topic. What is old is new again. It’s crazy to think that as the whole human race is concerned – we still haven’t figure this out.

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