Last week I came across an article from Paul Graham that I read many years ago. In it, he argues that all cities (especially large ones) subtly encourage certain ambitions.
Think of it as "social currency" or status. You can find out what your city whispers by asking the question, "What makes you high or low status in this city?"
Here's an example from Twitter:
This seems like a broad-scale application of the quote, "You're the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with."
Here's my point: Your city, your neighborhood, your family, your church, and of course, your friends all subtly whisper things to you. The question is, are they whispering things that are helpful for you? Are they whispering things that encourage the habits you want to build?
James clear says, "The quickest way to build a new habit is to surround yourself with a community where that habit is normal behavior."
So if you're wanting to improve your money habits, surround yourself with people who care about being fiscally responsible. This means thinking about the city you live in, the neighborhood within that city, and the people you surround yourself with daily. Can you place yourself into a community where the values you hold high are what brings you status instead of who's driving the biggest and newest SUV?
If you're surrounding yourself with people who want to "keep up with the Joneses," you're going to be even more influenced to do so than usual.
Hanna and I are still trying to figure out what Knoxville whispers, and what neighborhood will be a good fit for us long-term. But we're doing our best to place ourselves into communities that place high-status on the values we want to prioritize - whether it's the church we choose, the tenants we rent offices to, or the friends we prioritize spending time with.
What do you think your city whispers? What about your neighborhood? Your family, friends, or church? Where do they place status?
Hope you have a great rest of your week,
Nick & Hanna
PS: If you're interested in intentionally surrounding yourself with a community of folks who value wise financial decisions and healthy money habits, sign-up here to get on the waitlist for Ahead In 100. This is our program to help you get ahead with your money in 100 days. We'll be opening up enrollment for our next group in a couple of weeks.