Just Do You.

You know those times when people look down at you for something? Or think you’re a complete and utter whack job? Or stare at you as if you’re going to murder their children just because your hair stands tall in spikes? ;)

Well, to those people we say: I’m gonna do me and you can suck it.

Nike may have popularized Just Do It, but I say Just Do YOU. Live your life on your own terms and stick to what makes you happy/successful/motivated! I don’t care if it’s collecting marbles to hawk or running barefoot to work every day to save a couple of bucks (though that would be something!). You do what you need to do to reach your goals and let the people ogle. What does it concern them?

Not to be Aesop’s #1 fan this month, but here’s another great story which captures this nicely:

A man and his son were once going to the market with their donkey. As they were walking along by its side, a countryman passed them and said: “You fools, what is a donkey for but to ride upon?”

So the man put the boy on the donkey and they went on their way. But soon they passed a group of men, one of whom said: “See that lazy youngster, he lets his father walk while he rides.”

So the man ordered his boy to get off, and got on himself. But they hadn’t gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other: “Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along.”

Well, the man didn’t know what to do, but at last he took his boy up before him on the donkey. By this time they had come to the town, and the passers-by began to jeer and point at them. The man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at. The men said:

“Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor donkey of yours and your hulking son?”

The man and boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and they thought, ’till at last they cut down a pole, tied the donkey’s feet to it, and raised the pole and the donkey to their shoulders.

They went along amid the laughter of all who met them ’till they came to a bridge, when the donkey, getting one of his feet loose, kicked out and caused the boy to drop his end of the pole. In the struggle, the donkey fell over the bridge and his fore-feet being tied together he was drowned.

“That will teach you,” said an old man who had followed them.

The moral, of course: Please all, and you will please none.

Or again, my version: I’m gonna do me and you can suck it.

People will hate and wonder and poke fun at you for the rest of your life. It’ll never change because people are just a$$holes sometimes. And while it can hurt and sting, do try your best to remember this story of the poor donkey and his carriers. You can’t please everyone, but you really don’t need to either – you just need to please yourself! (And, well, maybe your mother ;) Unless she’s the one doing the poking, in which case just smile and nod, haha…)

If either of these mantras are too long to remember, just go with: whatevs*. Brush that dirt off your shoulders and move along with your debt-kicking, wealth-growing, early-retirement-career-loving ways! This is your world! And yes, it’s possible to retire early and still have a career. A career in “doing as you please every day” that is – BOOM!

I doubt anyone would be making fun of you at that point… Who do you know that’s financially free among your circles? This blog and the online world excluded? No one, right? You’re the ones who should be pointing those fingers! You’ve figured it out and are on your way while the rest of the lazy asses are tied to the grind forever. And really it’s not that much of a sacrifice, is it? You’re still enjoying life while watching that money? It’s amazing how many first world problems there are these days. Thank God we know how to move around them now!

So the next time someone disapproves and gives you “the look,” just turn the other way and keep going with your bad self. Haters are gonna hate, but the hustlers get what they want out of life. And that’s really what you’re going after here – genuine happiness. Better to gain it for yourself than to conform and give it away to others.

*If this is your license plate, I LOVE YOU.

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  1. Kirsten June 3, 2015 at 5:39 AM

    Learning to not care what other people think has got to be the number one less parents should teach their kids. Caring what other people think gets wrapped up in bullying and it leads to peer pressure (which leads to unwise choices for young kids). Adults are not immune to its effects either. It’s just that, in adulthood, it causes us to keep up with the Joneses.

    I don’t care what people think. I’m pretty awesome. If you can’t see that, then you must be messed up.

    1. J. Money June 3, 2015 at 10:40 AM

      It’s def. a lot harder when you’re young to realize this :( It kills me to see people sad and bullied for stuff that doesn’t matter an ounce once you’re away from all that garbage and out of school. It doesn’t end when you become an adult, but it’s def. a lot better. And hopefully by then you become confident in yourself to just brush it on off and keep going strong!

  2. Jason@Islands of Investing June 3, 2015 at 5:55 AM

    What could be a better way to live than that! It’s an insanely powerful force for some of us to overcome, to have that confidence to believe in yourself and go against the pressures the rest of the world puts on you. But inspiring posts and stories like this are exactly what we need to keep us going, and to be proud of wanting to be a little bit different!

  3. Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way June 3, 2015 at 6:05 AM

    As what Taylor sings “haters gonna hate, hate, hate” :) For me, I really don’t care as long as I know that I’m doing the right thing.

  4. Brian @ Debt Discipline June 3, 2015 at 6:41 AM

    It’s one of the things I talked to my children about when they have been upset by something someone said or did to them. I asked them why does that person matter so much to you? Who are they to you? Don’t let them have that control over you. They are not that important.

    1. J. Money June 3, 2015 at 10:41 AM

      I like that :) Unless the other person upsetting them is their own brother, haha… “who are they to you?” (My brother!)

  5. Sylvia @Professional Girl June 3, 2015 at 7:47 AM

    It has taken me a long time to realize that what others think about me doesn’t matter. I feel like they criticize because they wish they were doing what you were doing or because they want to be a part of the “in” crowd.

  6. Elise @ Simply Scaled Down June 3, 2015 at 8:25 AM

    I love this! Lately we have been very focused on early retirement which means some extreme money saving tactics (like “no spend June” and eating down our pantry), and a lot of people have an opinion about how we are ‘depriving ourselves’. Now I feel justified in just thinking ‘Suck it! I’m going to be retired at 45 and then they will be the deprived ones”.

    1. J. Money June 3, 2015 at 10:43 AM

      Exactly! I said that to someone the other month actually – “I’d love to join you in this $100 event this weekend, but I prefer to be retired in about 10 years so I’m going to choose that instead.” The questions then switched from “why wont’ you just come with us? it’s a once in a lifetime thing” to “what the what??” And that’s a much more fun question to talk about :)

  7. Chenell @ Bright Cents June 3, 2015 at 8:28 AM

    Mic drop! Cheers to this post, J – you rock.

    PS – I feel old. I didn’t understand that license plate until I read to the bottom of the post. I guess my abbreviation skills are getting rusty. ;)

    1. J. Money June 3, 2015 at 10:44 AM

      Don’t worry, I had some emails from people asking me what it means too :) I think you guys are just more refined than us others, haha…

  8. Chris @ Flipping A Dollar June 3, 2015 at 8:31 AM

    Lol that’s a pretty depressing story. I remember hearing it before but forgot the part where the donkey died falling over a bridge.

    When someone is judging you for something, I love just repeating it back to them like a question. Generally they’ll back down or trip over themselves trying to appease the situation.

    It’s neat to compare yourself to others to see where you can improve but you can’t use that as a measuring stick. One I always see is young couples who expect to have their house in great shape and perfectly clean and all that since their parents houses are like that. Dude, it took them 20+ years to get that good! You can take some time too.

    1. J. Money June 3, 2015 at 10:56 AM

      Hah! That’s exactly my reasoning for asking the elderly about their thoughts on life, love, history, money/etc. They’ve got a wealth of knowledge buried in their heads yet for some reason people like to ignore them! As if things are really that different now vs “back in the day.”

  9. John @ Frugal Rules June 3, 2015 at 8:45 AM

    Excellent post J$ – could not agree more! As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized one thing – it’s just a waste of time to try and please everyone. Like you said, it’ll just never happen. I’d much rather live the life I and my family want as opposed to chasing what would make someone else happy. I’d much rather have the happiness we want rather than some artificial version of someone else’s.

    1. J. Money June 3, 2015 at 10:57 AM

      And look what it brings you – meetings with Warren Buffett and Mark Cuban! You dirty bastard!! :)

  10. Kate@GoodnightDebt June 3, 2015 at 8:46 AM

    I had the mentality growing up that I didn’t care what people thought of me, so long as their information was correct. If I was being judged based on false information, that bothered me.

    Now that I’m old and wise (lol!) I’m getting closer and closer to “I really don’t care.” I’ve had a few moments recently when I’ve been shocked by the criteria people use to judge me. E.g. I recently had someone laugh in my face because I use the library. Jokes on them! I’m the one not spending money on books, movies, CDs and museum passes! My bank account is bigger and my house has less clutter. They can just suck it!!

    1. J. Money June 3, 2015 at 11:01 AM

      HAH! They obviously weren’t hipsters as the library is now getting a cooler rep ;)

      Funny about the info being real vs false with people judging you.. I tend to be the opposite – I get more offended when it’s real but I think it’s hilarious when it’s wrong. And more often than not it’s all wrong so I laugh quite a bit :)

  11. Jon @ Money Smart Guides June 3, 2015 at 8:47 AM

    This sort of thing happened to me this past weekend. I am doing a detox to learn how to eat fruits and veggies – something I’ve always been bad at doing – and part of this is no alcohol. I was at a wedding and people kept putting me down for not having a drink, even after I went into detail about why this is important to me. Really made me mad and made me question things. Who cares if I have a drink or not? I can still have fun – I don’t need to be sloshed to have fun and if I did, I think I have a problem!

    1. J. Money June 3, 2015 at 11:03 AM

      The drinking one is a bad one, yeah :( Especially when it involves drunk people as there’s no way they’re going to understand after a few drinks, haha… The trick is telling them all in the BEGINNING before getting to that point! :) Or just lying and saying you got dared and you want to see if you can do it like a “challenge.” I don’t know why, but people always seem okay with that and will actually give you respect for it and try to help you vs if it’s trying to be a better/healthier person. Humans are weird.

  12. John C @ Action Economics June 3, 2015 at 8:56 AM

    This is a great statement right here ” Who do you know that’s financially free among your circles? This blog and the online world excluded? No one, right?” From time to time I catch myself comparing where Mrs. C. and I are to where some of my blogger friends are at, which really isn’t a realistic comparison. These people are an extremely small subset of the population, and overall we are doing well for US and the unique challenges and opportunities we have. Some of our friends think we are crazy for putting so much into savings, but in 15 years when we are free and they have another 20 years of work left, they might ‘get it’.

    1. J. Money June 3, 2015 at 11:07 AM

      Yeah! Not only are we a small subset, but we live and breathe this stuff online and think about it all the time compared to more “normal” people! Haha… So a great place to get ideas and tips and to stay on track, but not for comparing to the rest of the world :) Though it is fun here online, isn’t it?

  13. Mr. SSC June 3, 2015 at 8:57 AM

    Good post, and a nice take on keeping perspective. I had the “need to be cool” mentality younger, as most of us did, but now, I’m just me.

    For everyone that wants to judge or put me down, I generally let it roll off my back. Inwardly, I think, “Suck it monkey!” and carry on my way. That phrase makes me smile so win, win!

    1. J. Money June 3, 2015 at 11:28 AM

      Good addition with “monkey” ;)

  14. Lisa O June 3, 2015 at 9:06 AM

    Perfect article for the times we live in! We were just discussing the Bruce Jenner situation and how much hate is out there towards what he has done to change his life. It is his life let him live it his way…It really doesn’t affect my direct day to day life so I have no opinion :) I cannot image living a life where I didn’t feel good about being me :)

    1. J. Money June 3, 2015 at 11:32 AM

      Hah! Me too! My wife and I were talking about it an hour ago, though more about “being yourself without need/care/etc for the camera” vs “sharing it to the world.” Though from what I understand he’s trying to shed light on it and get people talking/thinking about this stuff to better help others in the same boat, so I do admire him for that. That takes some major guts.

  15. Jacquelyn June 3, 2015 at 9:18 AM

    This is relevant across so many different spectrums of life. Always has been the hardest thing for me to grasp as I have been a self-proclaimed people pleaser. My aim to be the projected perfection ended up making me awfully miserable.

    Workin’ on doin’ me and working toward a net worth that doesn’t have a negative in front of it!

    Thanks, J$ keep spiking the world!

  16. Arizona Slim June 3, 2015 at 11:24 AM

    True story: I get around by bike. Never owned a car.

    While I worked full-time for others, many of my bosses and coworkers thought my commute-to-work-by-bicycle habit was pretty strange. I quit my last FT job almost 20 years ago. Nowadays, riding to work is considered hip and trendy. And the government is encouraging it.

    On occasion, I ride to meetings with clients. I figure that if they don’t like my bike, then we’re not going to do business together. And I have yet to lose a client over the bicycling issue — how ’bout that!

    1. J. Money June 3, 2015 at 11:33 AM

      You are a bad ass! Haha… And you’re right, it is trendy these days so it’s about time it took off ;)

  17. Tawcan June 3, 2015 at 12:01 PM

    I’ve learned a few years ago to not care what people think about me. When I come to that realization life becomes easier. You can never please other people. Why wasting time worrying about pleasing other people? You should focus on pleasing yourself.

  18. The Professor June 3, 2015 at 12:36 PM

    Read somewhere that one of the traits of financially independent people and millionaires is that they just don’t care what other people think about them. It’s what got them to be successful. I’ve had that attitude for a long time.

    And while I’m not as hard core as Arizona slim I bike where I can, even putting my youngest on a attached trail-a-bike to bring her to school. She’s the most bad ass kid and all the other kids are envious. She rings her bell and waves as we pass all those clown car SUV’s stuck in traffic.

    1. J. Money June 4, 2015 at 4:04 PM

      Hahahaha…. that is all kinds of awesome.

  19. maria@moneyprinciple June 3, 2015 at 12:42 PM

    Oh, Jay; have you had tough time? You see, people don’t take kindly to difference. Most of us think that difference is bad (threatening) when in fact it is only different. You’ve heard my accent (I know you like it, yeah). Do you know how many times people start talking to me loudly, thinking I don’t understand them. I’ve had someone (the partner of the friend of a friend) refusing my offer of a coffee because she thought I’m the nanny (I have Easter European accent, you see; I can’t be leaving where I do): her loss because I make a really heavenly cup of coffee :).

    Like you, I occasionally send people to…play with themselves. More often, I just don’t give a damn – what people assume about me is about them, not me. Add my guiding rule of asking for forgiveness not permission and you get a genuine hustler (vagabond in the best sense of the word).

    Oh, and I love the number plate. I’ll post a picture of our number plate and you’ll roll over laughing (it is not even intentional).

    1. J. Money June 4, 2015 at 4:06 PM

      “I occasionally send people to…play with themselves.” – Took me a while to get that one :)

      Yes – shoot a pic of your “number plate” over here – hah.

    2. superbien December 22, 2015 at 6:41 AM

      Maria, they refused your offer of coffee because they thought you were a nanny? Ok, so I get that the point is that they made an offensive assumption based on accent… but I don’t get the logic of refusing coffee from a nanny. Do nannies make bad coffee? Do they only accept coffee from someone of a certain socioeconomic status? Or — oh! Were you offering to go out together and socialize together, at a coffee place, and she thought you were lower status and so refused?

  20. Mrs. Frugalwoods June 3, 2015 at 1:12 PM

    My sentiments exactly! Learning not to care what other people think was a key aspect in ramping our frugality up to 11. We’re frugal weirdos and we don’t care! It’s liberating to live how we want to live and not in accordance with what anyone else thinks we should be doing. I feel like I wasn’t able to really figure out what I want out of life until I stopped worrying about other people’s judgements and expectations.

  21. Hannah June 3, 2015 at 2:10 PM

    My moral: When considering things from all perspectives, don’t forget your goal. I mean, why were the walking around with an unburdened donkey anyhow?

    1. J. Money June 4, 2015 at 4:07 PM

      Oh jeez, haha… if only Aesop were still around to tell us :)

  22. Tonya@Budget and the Beach June 3, 2015 at 3:44 PM

    I love this J! You should make a t-shirt. :) I was thinking this this morning when I was at my gym. There is an instructor there who has always looked at me like I’m an alien. He is friendly with all these other people and kind of meh towards me. I remember ruminating a bit before thinking, “why doesn’t he like me?” Today when I was there and he was the same way I was thinking, “what he thinks of me is not my problem.” Boom! Progress! :)

    1. J. Money June 4, 2015 at 4:08 PM

      That is weird? Why doesn’t he like you? Or maybe he actually has a CRUSH on you and ignoring you as us boys do in middle school in such cases :)

    2. superbien December 22, 2015 at 6:43 AM

      Another interpretation – he may be one of those slimy guys who has learned how effective it can be to be mean to a woman, in order to make her turn herself inside out for him, and thus end up wanting him. So I agree with J, he may like you, and be a manipulative bastid. Stay far far away!

  23. Shannon @ Financially Blonde June 3, 2015 at 5:52 PM

    As I have gotten financially more responsible, I have literally lost a handful of “friends” and it sucks that we apparently didn’t have a strong enough relationship to withstand financial responsibility, but I’m okay with their disproval of my life choices and I just feel bad for them that they are still clueless and I am clueless no longer.

  24. Vicki June 3, 2015 at 8:09 PM

    Hi J.

    I think people judge, scorn and ridicule what they do not know. They FEAR those who do not conform or fit the mold. When this happens you will find behaviors like bullying, judging and putting down those who choose another path. I honestly give not one iota about what others think of the way I live and I pay no mind to how others operate ( though I will admit to judging people in my head for ludicrous spending habits, hoarding crap they do not need and ostentatious lifestyles they usually cannot afford). As you know if you put yourself out there in the blog-o-sphere you will get your fair share of put downs and opposition, it comes with the territory but at the end of the day your life, your rules, your choices and your money. Can’t recall is you have Netflix but over here is OZ we have a great show on Netflix I just watched called “Unplanned America”. Check it out to see a whole bunch of people, sub cultures living life on their own terms. I see some room in your blog for readers to send in pics of license plates they come across with a money theme, I am sure there would be some doozys out there.

    1. J. Money June 4, 2015 at 4:11 PM

      Great idea! :)

      And I’ll have to look for that show too – we did just get Netflix actually and I’m LOVING it. Catching up on old shows that I never saw (like Friday Night Lights!) and love that no one can spoil it for me on social media, haha… That Unplanned America one though sounds right up my alley.

      1. superbien December 22, 2015 at 6:44 AM

        Check out Fringe, Jane the Virgin, 30 Rock, iZombie, and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Oh, and to lull you to sleep, the Barefoot Contessa, she’s lovely.

        1. J. Money December 24, 2015 at 1:57 PM

          I just started watching the Netflix original documentary – “Making a Murderer” – pretty incredible so far!

  25. Kayla @ Hello Pre Nurse June 3, 2015 at 8:29 PM

    Not caring what others think is a lot harder than I thought, but I’m working on it and it’s getting easier all the time. It’s a work in progress I guess.

  26. Chris June 3, 2015 at 11:18 PM

    J. Money!
    Boom! Who cares what your broke friends think about you?! If you want to be broke, do broke people stuff. If you want to be rich, do rich people stuff. Why does this take us (myself included) so long to figure out? Haters going to hate – thank you Taylor swift – and People are Crazy – thank you Billy Currington. Taking advice from broke people is like taking marriage advice from Larry King. Do what works, what makes sense, and what makes your money work for you. If I was close by, I would buy you a beer J. Cheers

    1. J. Money June 4, 2015 at 4:11 PM

      And I would gladly accept it, good sir!

  27. Travis @enemyofdebt June 4, 2015 at 9:57 AM

    Saw a great post on Facebook recently that I’ve adopted as my mantra – “What other people think of me is none of my business.” Truth.

    1. J. Money June 4, 2015 at 4:16 PM

      Haha… That’s a good one :)

  28. Mary June 4, 2015 at 11:48 AM

    Small world…I actually see that license plate a couple of mornings a week driving to work.

    1. J. Money June 4, 2015 at 4:18 PM

      You are serious??? If that’s literally the same one that’s pretty incredible. You’ll have to stop them one day and tell ’em they’re famous :)

  29. Christina @ Embracing Simple June 4, 2015 at 12:51 PM

    I love this! I have really put in more effort to try to care less about what others think of me these last few years and have definitely noticed an increased sense of happiness and contentment as a result.

  30. Millennial Money Man June 4, 2015 at 8:21 PM

    Dude, you nailed it. I caught a bunch of that when I quit my job to work for myself. Maybe jealousy?? Who knows.

  31. Grayson @ iMark Interactive June 4, 2015 at 10:15 PM

    Good one J! I used to care what people thought of me, but it wasn’t until High School when I said “F this, I’m going to do me!” That changed my life. I had more friends after I decided to be myself. It’s defined my drive and my career in the same way. Some still might not like it, but I don’t care!

    1. J. Money June 8, 2015 at 10:21 AM

      Wow, that’s pretty good figuring it out in high school! It took me at least midway through college to start getting real comfortable with myself.

  32. Dawn June 5, 2015 at 1:06 AM

    Hell yes! And your right about looking at my $$ circle, I still try but so far have only found other online bloggers. Maybe when they see me debt free they’ll come around…….

  33. Cedes June 5, 2015 at 3:14 PM

    Thankfully I’ve been pretty good most of my life of doing me and not caring what others think (I used to have short spiked green/purple/red/blue hair and wore spiked collars and bad ass steel toed Doc Martens, of course Mum didn’t like that too much and boy was high school a bitch to get through some days!) Then I went through the phase of wanting to fit in and dress like everyone else and get in line like everyone else, but thankfully in my “old” age (over 30 is old right?) I’ve given up on that and do what makes me happiest. It may not be the most popular, and I may be the only one doing it, but you know what? if people don’t like it, I don’t need them in my life. My best friends take me as I am, and understand my quirks and that all I need! :)

    P.S. – if you are into the fun vanity plates, a gal I went to high school with has an entire website dedicated to plates that she and her friends/followers find on cars in the DMV. Check it out at Vanityvamp.com

    1. J. Money June 8, 2015 at 10:22 AM

      hah! you and I would have gotten along well in high school then :) though I didn’t start dying my hair until senor year…

      And BAD ASS site! I love that! I should submit this pic, haha…

  34. Even Steven June 5, 2015 at 7:31 PM

    Really like the article, the FI talk is so true, I have one friend who I’m pretty sure is and just goes to the Baja and eats and drinks all the time, guess that’s his FI. Otherwise everyone is in the rat race of it all.

  35. Chella June 6, 2015 at 4:15 AM

    Hahaha! i love that part where they both were carrying the donkey it really cracked me up. But truth be told, why would you really care so much about what everyone around you thinks? just do your thing and be yourself and the rest will come to you automatically. Thank you J. Money for this article.

  36. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank June 6, 2015 at 7:49 PM

    I like this line of yours “Haters are gonna hate, but the hustlers get what they want out of life.” Let them hate us, as long as we’re not affected and still pushing forward to aim our goals. That is what matters, J Money.

  37. Adam @ AdamChudy.com June 9, 2015 at 11:51 PM

    Anybody reading and posting in the FIRE community is probably a weirdo anyway. Keep doing your thing everybody.

    1. J. Money June 10, 2015 at 3:59 PM

      HAH – amen.

  38. Chris Muller June 13, 2015 at 2:46 PM

    Well said. Not surprisingly, I’m loving the Aesop quote too. We waste so much time trying to impress others or show others what we’ve accomplished or have, that we lose sight of what’s really important – ourselves, our families, etc. At the end of the race, nobody is going to give a sh#t where you finished, they’ll be worried about themselves. A college professor of mine used to say, “whoever dies with the most stuff wins.” Now I’m wondering which side of this argument he was really on… aaaand now I have a headache.

  39. Ms. Montana April 27, 2016 at 5:54 PM

    Ah, this cracks me up! It’s so true. The whole time we were saving, investing and hustling, there were those people who thought it was ‘stupid’. Like driving a beater car, packing our lunch or renovation homes would never add up. BUT then those same exact people after we hit financial freedom, now just think it’s ‘weird’. Whatever. They can drive to work in their 40k SUV and order take out to make themselves feel better about the 9 hours they have to spend at a job they hate. I’m going to the lake today. Or hiking.

    My sweet mom said after the Hubs quite this year. “You know, honey, it’s weird. People will think it’s weird. You don’t take a year off of work when you have 5 kids. No one does that! Maybe at 22.” She is absolutely right. It’s weird. And freaking awesome.

    1. J. Money April 28, 2016 at 7:56 AM

      Yeah it is! Haha…. And it’s pretty crazy because if you asked *any* of them if they’d rather stop working or continue working for X # of years, they’re gonna tell you they’d rather stop and have the freedom! Yet no one asks you how you did it so they can learn and copy you??? It’s like we’re too brainwashed to going after the “normal” thing that people just cast aside all other routes… And I was probably the same until it dawned on me how ridiculous it is, haha..

      Have fun on that lake! :)