I do not think I understood it when he used to tell us to overcome ourselves, not anyone else. The race should always be against one's ownself not with others. Now I do. Achievement is rising above the self. He never said that we have to give up materialistic stuff. But that we should know if we really need it. I like my comforts. I work for it. I suppose thats what he truly meant.
My dad had nothing. Not even his father to support him. He was a self-built man. Of course my grand mother supported despite being a widow soon after his birth. In India, being a widow was a curse (it still is). ( Another story for another time).