Vincent van Gogh was one of the greatest painters of all time. He also spent most of his life destitute. The one woman he loved rejected him. Almost everyone who saw his paintings found very little value in them and he was never seen as a talented painter.
Historians have characterised van Gogh as somebody struggling with self-doubt and physical and mental challenges. They also depict a person with passion and drive and a sense that he was doing the right thing, even if the people around him didn’t believe in him.
Why am I writing about his life story in the Friday Minute? As you probably know, I always try and learn from successful people (success is not determined by how much money you have) and then apply their lessons to my life. Van Gogh was not financially free or a real estate investor. In fact, he had no money and was dependant on his brother. However, I have gleaned many lessons from his life that I continue to apply today:
Don’t make choices just to please other people.Don’t buy stuff just because other people want you to buy stuff. Don’t spend money just because other people want you to spend money. Let them spend their own money if they want.
Make your own decisions and don’t feel bad about making a different choice. If you find that your values are deviating from that crowd, don’t be afraid to start seeking new people to spend your time with, or accept that you’re not going to be in sync with your existing crowd on everything and just maximize what you do have in common.
Life is a marathon not a sprint. The people that succeed are the people that keep going and going and going towards their goal or towards whatever drives them. If you want to findfinancial success, you need to be willing to accept that it won’t happen tomorrow or the day after that.
For most people real financial success will take years to find. The same is true for career situations, entrepreneurial situations, and even relationship situations. A Band-Aid quick fix solution is rarely the one that will build long-term success.
Doubting yourself is normal.Everyone doubts themselves. Even people who seem extremely confident are often just wearing a public face. There will be times where you feel as though you’re not doing the right thing.
When you feel that way, return to the things that caused you to choose this path in the first place. For me, it’s a small handful of personal finance books. For you, it could be anything. Go back to the basics and you’ll begin to feel the confidence and motivation again.
You don’t need lots of material stuff to have a successful life. Yes, van Gogh’s example is an extreme one, but there’s still something to be learned there. He didn’t live a life filled with possessions, yet he lived a life that changed the world.