Unfortunately, I learned first hand about the expression "cutting off your nose to spite your face". When I was in my 20s, I started working for a local restaurant as a cook, and the boss asked me to consider going into management. I had other plans for my life, and they didn't include working 14 hour days in a hot kitchen for relatively low pay. I decided to turn down the opportunity, despite my wife telling me I was cutting off my nose to spite my face.
I found other places to work, but none of them were especially satisfying. Several years later, that restaurant became a popular regional franchise. The man who took the job I was offered became the regional supervisor, with a nice salary and corner office. I turned down that job for selfish reasons, and it came back to bite me.