Don’t Get Trapped by Golden Handcuffs

Dear friend,

I’m currently working on a print edition of my book, “SUITS“, and one of the main images in the book is a photo of a man in a suit with golden handcuffs. But what are golden handcuffs?


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The symbolism of Gold Rolex Handcuffs

My interpretation of golden handcuffs:

You become chained and trapped inside a certain lifestyle, based on your (high) salary and social prestige. Once you’re trapped in a “Golden Rolex Handcuff” lifestyle, it is very hard to escape.

For example, let’s say you work at a bank or any other profession with long and grueling hours, yet you get paid well. As your income and salary goes up, you allow “lifestyle creep” to increase your expenditures in life. You upgrade your Honda to a BMW, you upgrade your studio apartment to a bigger 1-2 bedroom apartment, you upgrade groceries from Trader Joe’s to Whole Foods, and you start wearing Zara or Club Monaco instead of H&M or uniqlo.

You no longer use Android devices or PC laptops, all Apple everything.

Your income increases, but so does your expenses. So all things considered, your net profit is the same as it was before. For example if before you earned $3,000 a month but now you earn $5,000 a month, your expenses go from $2,500 a month to $4,500 a month. In both cases you still save $500 a month.

Money is useful; being trapped is bad.

Now the danger of golden handcuffs is this:

You keep working at a job you hate, because your expenses are so much higher now!

The stuff you end up buying and owning, now owns you.

Your golden Rolex watches are now handcuffs, keeping you trapped inside the golden cage of 401k, stock benefits, and retirement matching by your company.

Why are companies so generous?

If you’re a company, it’s in your best interest to keep your employees. It’s expensive to recruit and train your workers. So how do you keep them from running away? Offer them benefits, perhaps a free company phone or car, and send their kids to private school (this is why a lot of expats get stuck in Dubai, because the benefits are so good).

Live your life according to how you desire to live your life!

Ultimately you can and should live your life according to your own standards. Don’t let nobody dictate to you, how you “should” live your life. Ignore ERIC KIM and everyone else (of course, listen to yourself).

Never let the golden handcuffs lure you, or trap you from flying high.



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