I don’t want to be a killjoy, but let’s be honest, most people aren’t going to be hugely successful and famous. I saw an interview with Kinga the ‘bottle girl’ from Big Brother the other day, in which she said “I’m going to be a success, I know it”.
Now while ambition is great, this ‘belief over talent’ mentality is rather worrying. This isn’t some snobbish rant. Actually it comes from seeing people time and time again planning based on a belief that they will be successful, when a rational look makes it obvious it’s unlikely.
In a money makeover I did a week ago, I met a man seriously in debt and hideously overspending… Why? “Because I’m going to get my dream job in TV so I know it’s alright.”
To dissuade him of this was a very tough process and draining. Of course he may get the job, but it’s relatively unlikely and he MUSTN’T plan his finances around it. Sadly he’d struggle even with that dream job.
Unsurprisingly he’s also a lottery player, spending hundreds of pounds a year. It’s more ‘selling the dream’. To me this ‘aspirational society’ is dangerous. In the old days royalty and celebrity were distant images people never hoped to aspire to. These days we see inside their homes and their lives so they appear to be normal people. This gives the public the misguided belief ‘I can be rich and famous too’.
Yet the numbers say different. Not everyone can be famous. If they were there’d be no fame. Not everyone can be rich, or it wouldn’t be rich. Perhaps being happy with our lot, being ambitious but realistic, would leave less debt and more contentment.