So my absolute favorite blogger on the whole internet wrote an entire post about my personal financial rebellion. Mr. Money Mustache published my “case study” after I sent him an email a few months back thanking him for the impact that he’s had on my life. (you should read it)
It got me thinking about extreme modesty as a liability as well as an asset. Which is certainly a difficult topic to write about while still staying modest…
As far as character flaws go, modesty doesn’t come up too often. Most Americans don’t have a problem flaunting their successes every chance they get. But I would argue that the small percentage of citizens that are too modest, tend to be the most successful.
Consider a bus-boy who has figured out how to clear dishes 1.3X faster by putting in a little extra work each day. Since he’s an especially ambitious bus-boy, he’s clearly going to use his quicker method that takes a little more work.
But how should he let his boss know? The average Joe might pull his boss aside and tell him about the future productivity savings he will expect. But an individual suffering from uncommon modesty might go about it a different way.
He’d just put in the extra work until his results became blatantly obvious. No early congratulations, just putting his nose to the grindstone until his handwork became apparent to everyone involved.
What’s the point?
The point is that modesty forces us to use our actions instead of our words to demonstrate our worth.
I started spending and saving my cash more intelligently back in January, but I didn’t tell anyone in the real world or on the internet. I didn’t talk about how I was going to increase my savings, because I hadn’t done it yet.
I finally emailed MMM once I saw cold hard results on the graph of my net worth. There’s no bragging in my email. It’s simply demonstrating the actual results of some real-life hard work.
The comments were incredibly encouraging. There were people from all over the internet congratulating me without actually knowing who I was. It was a modest individual’s dream!
If I haven’t mentioned it before, I really do credit MMM with launching me on my journey towards financial independence. I’m not their yet, and I don’t claim to be. But with a healthy does of modesty and hard work, I might just get there.