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a tale of two men - a guest post

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Guest blogger Ryan Healy is gradually making changes in his own life. Read his story of debt reduction here and subscribe to his feed.

Consider this.

One man lives modestly. He contents himself with simple pleasures: reading, good food, and friendship.

He aspires to live a good life. So he finds fulfilling work and pursues those things he is passionate about.

In all this, he earns some money, spends some money, and saves some money. He avoids using credit.

Thirty years later, this man is healthy, happy, and content. He has saved enough to live comfortably and continue doing those things he loves.

Another man lives extravagantly. He indulges in luxury: fancy cars, big houses, and beautiful women.

He desires to be noticed. So he finds a high-profile corporate job and does not what he loves, but what will provide him with the biggest paycheck.

In all this, he earns a lot of money, spends even more, and saves nothing. He uses credit and carries a balance.

Thirty years later, this man is unhealthy, unhappy, and discontent. He has no savings. He continues working in a job he doesn’t like so he can keep his creditors at bay.

The lives of these two men are vastly different. What made the difference?

One man sought no public approval; only a life of simple pleasures. In the end, he found what he was looking for and was glad of it.

The other sought to be noticed. He filled himself on the fruit of pride. But pride was no easy master; it drove him to excess. In the end, he was financially and emotionally ruined.

The lives of these two men are instructive if you will but take a moment for self-reflection. You follow their patterns to one degree or another. And so you must ask yourself, “What master am I serving?”

How you answer that question will tell you much about your future and what changes you might need to make.

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9 comments for “a tale of two men - a guest post”

  1. I really enjoyed your tale. I think many of us fall right in the middle of these two men. Even those of us that do know what really makes us happy and content sometimes get caught up in “keeping up with the Joneses” even when we know that is not what makes us happy.

    It’s a continual process to keep your life consistent with your own values rather than those of others (or the media and the advertisers).

    Good lesson to be reminded of from time to time!

    Posted by Retired Syd | December 1, 2007, 6:36 pm
  2. Perfect! Ryan, you did a great job!

    I just stumbled this post. Everyone, make sure you give it a thumbs up!

    Posted by Aaron Stroud | December 1, 2007, 10:45 pm
  3. I have a third scenario, which I have witnessed myself. It goes as follows:

    The Guy 2; he is into high paying job, he switches over to such jobs which pays him high, and most of the times he doesn’t like that job.(but he is getting a hefty pay and with every switch he makes he adds different skills to his resume in such a changing world which makes him versatile)

    Now consider the case this person saves 50% as much as the Guy 1 (in percentage terms). Also he may/ may not(you have considered the extreme scenario that he ll be spending more just because he is earning more) not as extravagant as you mention in your scenario.
    at the end of 30 years this guy will still be ahead of the first guy.

    Numerically explaining:
    Guy 1: Yearly Income $40,000
    % yearly savings 40%
    dollar savins for a year $16000

    Guy 2: Yearly income 100,000
    % savings 20%
    Dollar savings $20,000

    Compund these amount for 30 years at an average interest rate of 8%. and you ll know the difference.

    Posted by The Chef | December 2, 2007, 10:10 am
  4. Syd - Glad you enjoyed the tale. Heck, I half wrote it as a reminder to myself. I need to be reminded of this lesson as well. And you’re right… most of us are not so extreme; we fall somewhere in the middle.

    Aaron - Thank you for the compliment! And thank you for stumbling this post. I’m sure Plonkee thanks you too. ;-)

    Chef - Thanks for the alternate scenario. I guess I was looking at more than just dollars, but overall satisfaction with life.

    Posted by Ryan Healy | December 2, 2007, 4:29 pm
  5. My mom used to tell us if someone looked like they made a lot of money, they probably weren’t keeping any of the money they making.

    Just another reminder that it’s not what you make, it’s what you keep.

    Thanks for the reminder!

    Posted by wealthy_1 | December 8, 2007, 1:59 pm
  6. Wealthy1 - Thanks for your comment. Like you said, you’ve got to spend money to create the appearance that you have money. But after all the spending you probably won’t have any money left!

    Posted by Ryan Healy | December 9, 2007, 7:50 pm
  7. I like it - makes you really think what your time and $$$ is worth… I visited your homepage too and “thumbs up” via StumbleUpon. :) Good luck!

    Posted by hank | December 22, 2007, 3:21 am

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