Originally Posted by AntiHero
Wealth begets wealth. Poverty propagates poverty. And the middle class vacillate between the two, touching the fringes. Right or wrong, that’s just the way it goes. And the 99% hate the 1% due to a total misunderstanding of how one becomes a 1%-er. There are all kinds of theories explaining why this is. But every now and then someone at the poverty end of the spectrum rises up. Sociologists would probably explain it as an aberration that would allow them to protect their social/political views, but it’s actually pretty simple (at least in America): work hard, work smart, be educated—oh yes, also have a “FUCK ADVERSITY” attitude.
Basically we are creatures of appetite. We want. But we also have aversions and fears. The end result of the battle between the two determines the course of action we take. In simple terms it can best be summarized by the ‘I want to see every second of this movie, but I’m going to piss my pants if I don’t get to the lavatory now!” Most people know when to bum-rush the urinals.
The appetite/aversion account as applied to finances can easily be distilled into the following formula: when your desire for a Ferrari is greater than your aversion to saving/working hard/getting an education, you will own a Ferrari. Now, if this was a verbal, one-on-one conversation right about now the person I just said that to would protest with a “but!....” And that’s where self-sabotage comes into it. Excuses. There are a bunch of them. (“I’m too old to go back to school, I don’t have the time, I wouldn’t want to give up my soul to work on Wall St., etc. “) And when excuses win, you lose. Simple as that. And the fucked up thing about being human is we have this special gift of being able to lie to ourselves in very, very convincing ways. We do it very, very well. The implications go way beyond wealth and poverty. Weight loss, staying in a bad relationship, why we’re afraid of spiders—basically excuses are the things that keep us mired in the shit we shat. The newsflash?: excuses don’t exist in the real world. That is correct, my dear reader. Take any excuse you have and attack it. Test it. You’ll be surprised at how thin these excuses are and how easily destroyed they can be. And you’ll be surprised at how resilient and strong you are.
And this all ties into Dr. J. Most people who see a guy driving a flash car tend to think that somehow it was acquired easily. Underestimating the effort others had to expend makes it convenient for the rest of us to dismiss acquiring skills or objects as a possibility. But this guy lived a hard life. He wasn’t given shit. He, in fact, has every excuse in the world to have never achieved anything. I won’t get into his personal details, but it’s safe to say he’s lived a rougher, more difficult childhood or adolescence than most. So how’d he get from where he was to where he is? Hard work and no fucking excuses. I’ll repeat that again, because as simple as it is I don’t think most people really understand: Hard work, no excuses. And through it all this guy has maintained this superhuman level of modesty and an unbelievable sense of generosity and kindness. Blows my mind.
The Dr. J lesson: let fear be the deciding factor in deliberation and you’ll end up living in inescapable conditions. But pursue your appetites, follow your dreams, work hard and confront both real and imagined adversity and you’ll live a life you wouldn’t trade anything for.