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IG (Day 528)

Ok, I admit, the title may be misleading. I'm not talking about "IG" as in
"Instagram"--as I rarely use social media these days--the "IG" on my mind is "Instant Gratification."

I struggled with IG when I was younger. While I was taught by mentors, friends (who are smarter than me), The Motley Fool, and financial planners that the keys to financial success are to live below the means and invest for the future.

IG is about satisfying the desires now, the exact opposite of the YOLO--"you only live once"--attitude of life.

That was hard for the young and restless version of me. I chased after the praises from peers; I believe my earning power could only increase; I thought my startup would generate 100x more return than investments.

And procrastination and laziness are part of the IG, too--focus on not spending efforts now, at the expense of the benefits of taking actions. I still remember working with a world-famous artist on a game, and his roommate was running Bitcoin ATM in Canada back in 2012 or 2013. I remember that I told myself, yeah, it could be a scam, but putting in a few hundred bucks should be fine. Then I found out how complicated it is to create an account, store public and private key pairs, etc. I still can remember vividly how I missed the biggest opportunity in our generation.

I also witnessed how my mom wanted a bigger house while my dad was at risk of getting laid off. But desire is something that drives people to the extreme to manipulate for the outcome. I can never forget the stress and worry shown on my dad's face when my mom forced my dad to pull the trigger to a bigger mortgage, while our small family--only 3 of us--didn't need that extra space. It took a toll on my dad's health and mental health since my dad was laid off not long after.

It took me years to learn how to curb my desires and make peace with myself not to take the bait from IG. While I'm getting smarter financially, I still fall victim to other temptations--I would grab ice cream when I feel tired; I still cheat on my diet and drink coke when I promised myself I won't.

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