“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
– Pablo Picasso
Being an adult is overrated
Yesterday I took a boat out on the ocean. The day was spent swimming with sea loins, playing with penguins, and getting a really bad sunburn. It was great.
Being at sea and frolicking with all the crazy animals was an awesome experience. Although it wasn’t “deep” or “profound” and most serious people wouldn’t get it, I enjoyed myself. Getting in a splash fight with a sea lion is just goofy old-fashion fun. You can’t help but smile and laugh.
Your 20’s are a weird time. Most of the people I grew up with are embarking on “the quest for adulthood” as I like to call it. Some of them are preparing to get married, others are getting 9 to 5 jobs. Stuff that mature and responsible people do.
And none of them seem happy about this.
Several months ago I got bored asked some of my peers what they were looking forward to. “Retirement” was one response. It got me thinking:
“Here you are in your early 20’s and the only thing you’re looking forward to won’t arrive for another 40 years.”
That’s pretty depressing.
How to enjoy your childhood forever
People love to knock get rich quick schemes. “There’s no evidence that they work” is a common complaint. A guy could say he makes $100,000 a year off affiliate marketing, but without evidence he’ll be labelled as a fraud.
Men spend hundreds of hours arguing about the validity of Tim Ferriss or Pat Flynn. Yet they blindly accept advice from authority figures in their daily life. People with zero evidence of any sort of success. Most authority figures have nothing to back their words up with.
With the exception of three professors, I’ve never met an academic who I’d want to trade places with. I don’t care if you’re an expert on early colonial social movements, you’re still a f*cking loser. Same goes for a lot businessmen. Being CEO of some tractor factory in Nebraska isn’t something I’d want.
Most of the advice that people will try to give you is just as flawed and fraudulent as those get rich quick schemes. Work 40 years and then retire on the company’s dime is just a slower and less polished version of “passive income.”
If you want to be able to enjoy yourself you’re going to need to put in some serious work and lay a foundation. I basically spent an entire year locked up in my room figuring out the best ways to make money. It sucked. My friends were out drinking and getting laid and I was staying up all night experimenting with different businesses. That’s not fun.
Living with your parents at the age of 21 is embarrassing. But all that blood and sweat paid off. I went from my childhood bedroom to seeing the world.
Although I’m not actually retired, I can pretty much travel around doing whatever I want. Spending a Tuesday in the ocean, going out on a weeknight isn’t something that most people can do.
Between economic instability and health issues, no one can guarantee that you’ll be able to retire. Unless you have the talent to get a good corporate job right off the bat, and if you want advice on that check out Wall Street Playboys, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll be stuck with mediocre prospects.
From personal experience I can say that you’re better off going down your own route. If you have to choose between being a data entry clerk in Des Moines Iowa or being a data entry clerk on oDesk, pick oDesk. Both jobs are just as soul-crushing, but the later allows you to work from anywhere.
Men stuck with limited options need to realize that they can carve their own path. Being an office drone isn’t the only choice out there.