“When you live your life by poor standards, you inflict damage on everyone who crosses your path, especially those you love.”
– Jordan Belfort
Every time people talk about winners and losers they like to exaggerate. Winners jump out of bed at 4:45 every morning, go for a jog, save a baby from a burning building, and then start their day. Losers wake up inside a trashcan at noon and then spend the day playing video games and ogling their waifu.
While there’s nothing wrong with this idea, it’s hard to visualize it in real life. No one in my social circle is winning a triathlon 15 minutes before they rush off to synthesis a cure for cancer. Likewise, I don’t know anyone who is 700 pounds and plays World of Warcraft all day.
When you’re looking for people to listen to, or avoid, it can be difficult. Everyone thinks that they are an expert and will gladly tell you what you should and shouldn’t do. According to an article that I recently read in The Week, a magazine owned by the great Felix Dennis, 96% of Americans believe that they are in the top-tier of intelligence. Since the average American reads six books a year, saves less than 10% of his money, and is an all around schlub; the bar for genius must be pretty low these days.
On top of doing a plethora of obviously stupid things, like not saving money, over 80% of all Americans exhibit symptoms of clinical depression. Statistically speaking, if someone tries to give you advice they probably won’t be practicing what they preach. Additionally these people tend to breed negativity. If you tell them that you’re starting a business they aren’t going to say “Cool, a lot of people who are stupider than you have done it. I’m sure you’ll do great!” Instead they’ll suddenly become experts on the economy and cite a million different reasons for you not to do anything different.
While it would be tempting to rip into these people, a lot of them are fairly decent human beings. As long as they are in their comfort zone they’ll be pleasant to deal with. Instead of fighting them you should ask yourself one question: “Do I want to be like them?” The majority of people, while perfectly nice, don’t have anything that I’d ever want. They have lame jobs, live in a boring town, are out of shape, and have to “check in with the boss” before they can go to poker night. As Benjamin Franklin once observed “Most people die at 25 and aren’t buried until they’re 75.”
I’m 21 right now. I’ll probably be dead by 90 if not sooner. That gives me 69 years to have fun and enjoy myself. There’s no sense in wasting it on being miserable.