Victim Mentality and the Personal Finance Community

I’ve found a lot of value in seeking out opinions I disagree with and working to understand them better. I have learned a lot more from this approach than from standard debates where both sides are dug in and defensive.

Lately I’ve also used this approach to inform my writing. I’ve reached out for opinions on privilege, charity, and shaming in an effort to have more fully fleshed out ideas.

Given this background, I decided to take a similar approach to something that is often discussed among personal finance bloggers in a broad and vague manner: victim mentality.

Especially on Twitter, personal finance bloggers regularly complain about other bloggers encouraging a victim mentality. These comments are generally met with likes and agreement.

But I didn’t understand. How could this be so prevalent in the personal finance community without me even noticing? Do we just have different definitions of victim mentality? Are we just running in different circles?

I reached out and asked folks to name names and explain their rationale to get a better understanding. Continue reading “Victim Mentality and the Personal Finance Community”

The Philosophy of Happiness

We’ve already reviewed a couple of months focused on happiness.

First, we looked at the science of happiness. Then we dove into the intersection of money and happiness.

Both of these journeys took us deep into the world of studies and statistics. But not all of happiness can be summed up in numbers.

While I tend to favor statistics and studies, sometimes it is worth venturing into more abstract territory. That is what we did in July when we explored happiness through the lens of philosophy. Continue reading “The Philosophy of Happiness”

Thinking About Death

When we learned about the science of happiness back in April, we ended the month discussing the meaning of life.

Now that we are discussing philosophy and happiness, we will get just as heavy. But at the other end of the spectrum.

We’re going to end our philosophy and happiness month by discussing the importance of death. Continue reading “Thinking About Death”

Lead With Love

Our look at happiness through philosophy has led us to spend a lot of time with the ancient Stoic philosophers and today will be no different.

However, today we’re visiting a topic that is widely covered in all sorts of philosophies and even (or especially) religions.

Today’s topic is the idea that we are all connected, so we must lead with love and be kind to others. Continue reading “Lead With Love”

There is Always a Choice

You always have a choice.

This is not an empty maxim. Not an inspirational quote.

It is a fact of life. And recognizing this fact will make you happier and allow you to live a better life.

While there are times when things happen to us that are outside of our control, it is always our choice how we respond to them. Continue reading “There is Always a Choice”

Stop Reacting. Start Responding.

We’ve been spending the month of July exploring what we can learn from philosophy to live a better life.

Much of what we’ve learned so far has been about adjusting our outlook and mindset in order to get more out of whatever situation we happen to be in at any given time. I want to stick with that theme today, but I’d like to zoom in on one particular issue that tends to be problematic for people.

If we want to live a happier life, we need to recognize the difference between responding and reacting. Continue reading “Stop Reacting. Start Responding.”

Avoiding Disappointment and Recovering From Loss

Last week our journey into happiness and philosophy took us into the question of why bad things happen to good people. We learned that these bad things are a chance for us to overcome adversity and become stronger.

Which is all well and good, but doesn’t necessarily help us deal with the sense of loss or disappointment that can often accompany the bad things that happen to us.

For advice on that front, we’ll return to the Stoic philosopher Seneca. Continue reading “Avoiding Disappointment and Recovering From Loss”

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

We are continuing our exploration of happiness and philosophy today with a topic that cannot be addressed with science and data.

Why do bad things happen to good people?

This is a question that is asked often and one that is sometimes used as a suggestion that life is not fair

Seneca, who was a Roman Stoic philosopher, playwright, and politician had a different interpretation. Continue reading “When Bad Things Happen to Good People”

Finding Serenity

We’re spending the month of July looking for keys to happiness in philosophy. Today, we’re going to explore one specific quote.

There is often a great power in quotes.

When someone can distill an idea or a philosophy into a short, memorable collection of words, it can become a kind of mantra for people. It can be a reminder of how they want to live their life and how to be their best selves.

One example of this is the Serenity Prayer. Continue reading “Finding Serenity”

Feeling Less Negative

In our quest to explore a new topic for improving our lives every month this year, we’ve already touched on happiness twice.

First, we looked at the science of happiness. Building upon that foundation, we then looked at the intersection of money and happiness.

These dives into the world of happiness were based on analyses of statistics and studies. But not all of happiness can be summed up with numbers.

So this month we’re going to move into the more esoteric world of happiness and philosophy. Continue reading “Feeling Less Negative”