Being tamak

Yesterday, on the way getting coffee, Syam introduced a new way of thinking about money that he got from the members from BoC. And it’s: Making more money simply because for the sake of having more money. And what you want to do with that money is secondary.

Initially I disagreed. But then I agreed.

And I also understood maybe why I didn’t get the RM25,000 income I’m trying to get. I’ve always known there’s still some blocks even though I’ve opened up a lot of the ways. It’s because I’m justifying why I need that money. Like I’m trying to reason out why I need that much money, which somehow, unconsciously, is making me reason with myself that I probably don’t need that much money.

I have a list of things that I WANT to get when I get RM25,000. And that’s either making me think that I probably don’t need the stuff or/and making me already mentally spending the money before actually getting it (or even mentally getting it).

So the conclusion is to be tamak. And I’m not using that word with a negative connotation. Tamak / greedy: Wanting something excessively.

And the reason is, being tamak (in a neutral sense, not from a negative context like we’re used to), is self-deserving. Think about it. You have money, but you want more, and it’s not out of need. I’m not explaining it correctly here.

What I mean is, when you want money because you want to buy a house because you don’t have a house of your own, you are justifying and assuring yourself that’s it’s OK to want the money. And in a way, it makes you feel like you’re not 100% deserving of getting the money. Like, “Oh I have a legit reason to want this money, people can’t think bad about me”. It’s as if I need approval from other people to own the money. And this stems from our childhood beliefs of money. Because we think, having a lot of money is bad and we should give it away to people who needs it more and we should just be grateful for what we have now.

And also, when you want the money for the reason of something you don’t have, you’re putting light on the thing you don’t have. And you’ll unintentionally think about that.

So that is my take on it.

And with that, my perspective on my goal has shifted and I feel kind of lighter.

And touching a bit on our childhood beliefs that money is bad:

Yes, we should be grateful for what we have. But not at the expense that it affects our quality of life. If I have 5 children and I live in a 2 bedroom house, that’s not OK. Yes, I’m grateful that I have a roof on my head, but it’s not exactly a good place to raise 5 children.

Sometimes people use “being grateful” as a “be lazy” card. Actually, most of the time.

You’re supposed to be grateful for what you have, and strive for better. And it’s works even better that way. Because when you’re genuinely grateful, you’re happy, you’re lighter, your conscious is clear.

But most of the time, people are just using “be grateful” to get away from trying, and to justify it’s fine being stuck with where they are even if they’re not happy. They’re using “be grateful” to resign. And they end up NOT genuinely grateful. They’re thinking, “Oh this is where I am now, there’s nothing much I can do”.

And I see a lot of Malays are like this. Because we’re always being told to bersyukur with what we have. But sometimes what we have is not good for ourselves. Sometimes what we have is a motivation or a reason to get something better.

But, you also should know when is it enough. That’s when the “be grateful” comes into play. When you already have a 6-room house for all your 5 kids to stay in. When you all have a good life. And you know it’s enough, and you’re genuinely grateful.

What do you think?

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