It can be such as easy sell, especially to people with low self-esteem... if only you were rich, had a great body, had success with the opposite sex, etc., etc. And always underlying it, but never spoken of, is the vain and self centered attempt to compare yourself to others and come out on top.
When these goals are achieved, rarely does anyone publicly say that it wasn't worth it. It's like a bad marriage rotting from the inside. No one wants to admit to being a fool. So stuff like this propagate, it's a beautiful lie. Rather than think of how awesome your life will be if you just work a little harder and achieve success, you might as well be talking about how great heaven will be as long as you follow some arbitrary religious text.
It's like you think someone out there is keeping score, and it's all some type of game which you can win. We came from nature, and in nature, nobody keeps score. Animals live and die on the basis of stupid luck all the time. On your death bed you probably won't be looking over your life and decide whether it was worthwhile or not, and give yourself some report card on it. Instead you more likely won't even remember more than bits and pieces, and then eventually die and forget it all.
The hero in the story is an Israeli soldier who decided to risk his life over a few dollars in his pocket. To do what, prove he was macho? He was really stupid in my book. And we're supposed to, according to the author, look up to this man? Train all our lives as a knife fighter, so we, too, can take dumb risks and be lucky enough to not get killed doing so? What if it went the other way, and the soldier friend was hurt or killed? Would the author still be putting him on a pedestal as he does so?
I'm not saying don't try. Just make sure you are enjoying what you are doing, first and foremost. If you're not happy, either motivate yourself in a positive way, or let it go. It really isn't worth it.
If you are poor, no amount of book reading will convince you that you do not need money. What will convince you is not being poor. Only then will you feel like you are able to give others advice about how money is not important: and your advice will be as useless to them as similar advice was to you when you first heard it (and rightly so).
People with low self-esteem do not improve their condition by thinking themselves into happiness or forcing themselves to believe that everything is awesome. They improve it by actively working on those areas of their lives they feel bad about. If they are lucky and work hard enough - they might reach a stage where they realize how warped their thinking was, and many of the things they thought they wanted will no longer seem important. But you cannot "skip" this journey and go straight into the land of happiness simply because somebody who is already happy told you what the view is like from the other side. You have to get there yourself, even if part of your journey is based on a lie.
The point of getting rich is so that your life doesn't suck. Not to compare yourself to others.
Getting rich is necessarily hard, otherwise everyone would be on the road to becoming rich. People are unlikely to get rich by doing work which satisfies. But if they make it, then at least life won't suck anymore.
The logic doesn't follow here: having enough wealth to have a non-sucky life must be difficult enough to remain out of the reach of the majority of humanity? Why?
Let's take this to an extreme: all the wealthy people decide to employ robots for all of their needs to prevent their lives from sucking. All the poor people die because they can't afford food. Now the total population of the earth has a non-sucky life (except for the people who feel terrible about how they are responsible for the deaths of the 99%).
Some wealthy people see this coming and decide to make robots that provide for everyone's needs, regardless of how poor they are. Obviously we don't have an infinite supply of matter on this planet, so the robots have only one catch: if the robot provides for you, you have to consent to taking part of a population control plan (lowering the birth rate). Not popular, but preferable to a holocaust of the poor.
Either way, there's no reason that having enough wealth to avoid a sucky life is necessarily something that is restricted to a subset of the population, unless the definition of a sucky life is based on comparing your wealth to the wealth of others.
He's not discussing a theoretical world with robots (???); he's discussing the one we live in, where wealth inequality is a fact. Given the clear benefits of wealth, it's obvious that getting rich is not easy otherwise we'd expect to see less inequality.
Before anybody tries to tell me that getting rich might not be important to most people, think very carefully about whether you're qualified to comment. If you aren't, or haven't been, below the poverity line that a vast proportion of the world's population live below, it's easy to underestimate what it's like. And yes even moderately successful people with strong incomes may have legitimate desires for greater wealth.
I spent 20% of my PRE-TAX income on healthcare last year and that's not going to change; I'm better off than being completely poor but that's not going to console me when I consider that I spend most of my week working to pay those bills with little time to enjoy life; i.e. I have a significantly higher baseline for income than most people to extract the same basic quality of life they have, and in my particular case I have to jump to a completely different level to earn that income - I have to build a business.
I don't understand the obsession some people here have with trying to tell others how to live their lives. Everybody has different circumstances and experiences; we have absolute freedom in deciding, based on those circumstances and experiences, what's important to us.
Despite some tragedy and external pressures, I was always happy, or at least able to focus on the fact that those external pressures would go away someday. Now that I'm a decent earner, I just have another set of problems.
It might be from an economic standpoint if we understand capital as the ability to command labor.
Furthermore, you don't need to be rich to avoid the hardship of being poor, you just have to make a sufficient amount to afford quality housing, food, health insurance, and minor luxuries.
> All the money in the world won't prevent you or a loved one from passing due to an untreatable illness.
Death of a family member is much more likely to happen if you are poor. Too bad you can't afford that unreasonably expensive surgery.
> All the money in the world won't buy you friends or genuine respect.
This is such a first world concern. Boo hoo. Also, yes, money does buy friends. When my family went bankrupt most of our friends turned their backs on us. This is a common occurrence. Ask a homeless person what happened to their "friends" when push came to shove.
> It can't buy you love (though it can buy you sex).
Not being poor is more important than finding love. If you want love, have some kids, and love them.
> Furthermore, you don't need to be rich to avoid the hardship of being poor, you just have to make a sufficient amount to afford quality housing, food, health insurance, and minor luxuries.
Please do not underestimate how hard it is for those who are actually poor to "make a sufficient amount."
This seems like a good enough time as any to point out that there are like six empty houses for every homeless person in America. Or, in techie terms, "you thought domain squatting was bad..."
These moments of clarity probably won't end up being worth enough to justify the misery of the ordeal that prompted them, and I'm not sure living through something terrible makes you stronger. It's probably more likely to do psychological damage that makes you weaker. But the experience itself is not something you can buy, and while the stories you gain are usually no compensation to you, they are the kinds of stories that can be of great value to other people.
This applies in the US, rather less so in many other countries. (UK resident here.)
Here's some newspaper articles giving some confusingly different numbers.
Poor people die sooner, and also live longer with a disability (17 years) http://www.theguardian.com/society/2010/feb/10/equality-pove...
Ditto, 20 years http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10699077/Rich-will-...
Life expectancy gap for London is 25 years and growing http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/a-25-year-gap-be...
Life expectancy differences between rich and poor getting better http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/a-25-year-gap-be...
Not to be a smartass here, but that's probably false. Money buys you social recognition, something that is an important part of your mate valuation. Rich folks will generally have a better time finding 'love' than the poor. The richer you are, the better your chances, more or less.
Money really is very important in the modern day. I wish it weren't this way -- I don't want to be doing selfish things, but sadly this just is the way it is.
Financial and career success is definitely one way to up your mate value, though it has more resonance once women get out of their twenties. It's not the only way. When you're young, particularly, it may not even be the best way. Vide all the fairly intelligent guys with steady, well-paying jobs (very much so, by the standards of median American household income) that nobody pays attention to, really. The broke dudes that know how to put out their plumage and leverage some other, more conspicuous cultural archetype get much more play.
I'm not a washed-up, embittered MRA or PUA guy, btw. Just playing Devil's Advocate. :-)
The real issue for most men is time. A 20 something working 60 hour weeks spends far less time 'playing the game' than a DJ etc. Also, relationships take time if your doing a start-up 'on the side' it's going to play hell with most relationships.
There's something called the Matthew Effect that isn't too well known, but it has a wikipedia page. Basically, things just get more unfair over time.
But then again, "socially successful" is a very relative thing. You will find that women "fall in love" with you all the time in third-world countries, even if you are only on unemployment benefits back home where women may snub you over that.
Furthermore, the appearance of success is probably much more important to women than any real success. The ability to pretend that they caught a fish who could have money, is often enough.
Going from poverty to middle class is definitely an improvement, but there comes a point where more money doesn't help. Diminishing returns.
This is a false dichotomy. The path to getting rich involves being moderately successful and then being willing to risk entering poverty again. If your goal is to not be poor then your best odds are to try to be moderately successful and then reinforce that position rather than playing double or nothing forever.
The whole point of an economy is to make it easier and easier to become wealthier and wealthier.
Statistics I've seen in the past, which would fit with my experience, suggest that a 3-in-4 chance is the best you'll ever do in a knife-on-knife conflict.
Knife-on-unarmed is even worse odds. I've never encountered a single martial artist - and I've encountered a lot - who would recommend fighting unarmed against a knife unless you have no other option. "Give the guy your wallet" is absolutely SOP in this situation, and by far the choice with the highest chance to get you out alive.
This can't be stressed enough. Please, don't ever try to fight against a knife. You've got much better chance of surviving an unarmed fight against a gun.
It may be a good illustration though - getting out alive from such a situation is probably even less likely than building a successful startup on your first try.
This was a risky situation but much different than someone willingly coming at you with a knife, the fact that he could dodge him easily is proof of that.
He was probably kicking himself afterward for not being that skilled at something more lucrative. lol
I was first introduced to this from one of the Indic texts - perhaps one of the Vedas - where people are told to do work and not worry about it's reward.
This is a good way to protect yourself from the folly that the parent poster describes.
Not sure if it is in the vedas or not but it is in Gita. Any way yeah I think it is a good principle to follow in life. Happiness should come from the act of doing work which is in our control not from it's reward which we can not control.
I've seen that blog posted here before. I'm pretty sure that in the original, the follow up post mentioned offhandedly, "Sadly, Ofer was killed by a robber..." without any reflection on his self defense philosophy.
I have meet a lot of wealthy/successful people and trust me, they are way more happy than the poorer people I have meet. They've achieved their dream and can continue doing so. They have traveled, they given back, they create things, they are loved and they're happy.
>On your death bed you probably won't be looking over your life and decide whether it was worthwhile or not, and give yourself some report card on it. Instead you more likely won't even remember more than bits and pieces, and then eventually die and forget it all.
You're wrong about this one. The biggest regret for people on their death beds were having gone through life with goals unfulfilled. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/01/top-five....
I've always found it funny how others like you label rich people as having a shit life. That they can't find true love and have to hire escorts etc.
Success is what makes you happy. That could be making a billion dollars or milking cows.
Most of people have huge dreams and goals they want to achieve, its just that most don't care and don't try.
Well yes, of course. Your ambition is the engine of the elite's profits.
This entire viewpoint is based on the false premise that we are born and grow up unaffected by any financial, physical or psychological stress, living in a nice cushioned bubble, free to live our lives and to shape our future as we please. Unfortunately it doesn't always work out like that.
For everybody else (people who have been through difficult times in their lives, e.g. poverty, having suffered great losses, bullied in school, bad family etc..) success, as in being wealthy, influencial and attractive, is pretty much the only way to deal with life. Let's not forget that.