My mission in life has become much clearer over the past few months. At first, I thought my mission was to be a writer. Now? I see my writing as a needed part of the cultural conversation. Mainly, an antidote to outrage.
In this outraged society we’re living in, somehow the world is simultaneously prosperous and abundant while lacking in self-esteem and confidence. The psyche of the nation and the world is hurting.
How do we fix it? How can I fix it? On the whole, I can’t, but I can try to change the perception of one person at a time. If they can do it for others, and then those others can do it for even more people, a positive ripple effect can occur.
Sadly, I think the culture war is already over. The outage pornographers, the politically correct mob, and the masses of the learned helpless are winning. And they’re starting to get what they want, so we’ll see how that pans out for them. I have some ideas, but I won’t share them.
What does this mean for you?
It’s time for you to secede from the psyche of society. We just have to break apart from the outrage machine mentally, do our own thing, and hope they’ll just leave us the hell alone.
If you want to break free, you’ll have to re-wire your mind to counteract the negativity and focus on the upside. If there doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of upside right now, that’s proof you’ve been brainwashed.
You have reasons to be confident. You have reason to be optimistic about the future (but only for those with the right mindset). And you definitely have reasons to hold out hope.
Let’s talk about them.
“Don’t try out for the NBA if you are 5’2″ tall. To find a circle of competence, compete against idiots.” – Charlie Munger
The good thing about society collectively getting dumber, more apathetic, and more helpless, is that there’s less competition. Learn to compete with idiots and you’ll win in life. Now more than ever, idiots are in high supply.
I’ve seen it happening with writing — other writers, especially ‘self-improvement’ writers, are buckling and dropping like flies (except for the outrage peddlers who are profiting off the negativity of the world who make a killing talking about the ills of capitalism).
In a society as a whole, people are becoming more pessimistic about the world as the opportunities, for a certain subset of careers, increase.
We’re currently in the largest wealth transfer in the history of society and almost everyone is going to be on the wrong side of it — Jeff Bezos is cackling in his lair while Amazon posts #blacklivesmatter on their homepage.
How do you get on the right side of it? As the great Wayne Gretsky said, “go where the puck is going to be.” Where’s the puck going right now?
The upside is going to be extremely high for internet savvy, optimistic, self-directed learners with entrepreneurial tendencies. Everyone else is in for a rough next few decades.
They will continue to complain about wealth inequality when it has never been easier to make money. They will continue to beg the system for help when there’s never been more opportunity to be sovereign.
Politics, outrage culture, PC-thuggery, and the like will continue to infect the minds of the masses at scale, while the elites and the individuals who choose to circumvent the system, like me, will laugh all the way to the bank.
I want to help as many people join the right side of history as they can. This means you. But, yes, the collective is collectively screwed.
Don’t feel guilty for trying to be successful right now. Those other people can’t be saved. They are lost. Forget about them because none of your ‘help’ will work for them. They. Are. Done. Focus on yourself and build the life you want amidst contrived chaos.
“I am sometimes taken aback by how people can have a miserable day or get angry because they feel cheated by a bad meal, cold coffee, a social rebuff or a rude reception. We are quick to forget that just being alive is an extraordinary piece of good luck, a remote event, a chance of occurrence of monstrous proportions.” – Nassim Taleb
Some people would argue that I could get pulled over and shot any day now because I’m black. Maybe they’re right. Do I walk outside in fear? No. I’ll cross the bridges in my life as I get to them.
Why? Because I know life is inherently dangerous, racism or no racism, and I’m so thankful to be alive that spending my time worrying about death doesn’t seem to be a good use of my time.
You’re alive, my friend.
Co-vid hasn’t killed you. At least not yet. So maybe you should get to work, eh? I mention the lens of death in so many of my articles because we’re so quick to forget how blessed we are to not only be alive right now but even to exist in the first place.
There’s a graveyard of people wishing they could trade places with you. Wishing they could have crappy circumstances. Now, I don’t know what your circumstances are, but I’m pretty sure they’re better than being dead. I’m pretty sure, for most of you, they’re a lot better.
Forget about the outrage machine. Aren’t you tired of it? Aren’t you tired of being mentally drained and exhausted on the news?
Focus on life.
Go for a damn walk, see nature, get drunk with your best friend on the porch and talk until 5 a.m., anything to enjoy life instead of letting it just go by in negativity.
People are saying “2020 is a wash” as if they know they’ll live to see 2021. Are you one of these people calling a mulligan on 2020 already? Don’t worry about the election just yet because you might not be able to vote, friend. Perspective.
Over time, I’ve just learned to become more optimistic about everything because the nature of life itself seems to justify that attitude. Maybe this doesn’t apply to someone in a war-torn country starving to death, but like I always say, if you’re not one of those people, be extra grateful.
You have zero reasons to complain. Well, actually, you do have reasons to complain. You have plenty of justifiable reasons to be sad, negative, and angry. But always remember you choose the feelings you have.
Me? I choose life.
“The internet has massively broadened the space of possible careers. Most people don’t understand this.” – Naval Ravikant
Kind of a corollary to the first point, but you should be confident and hopeful about the future because you have the internet.
You have a computer the size of a credit card in your pocket. A computer that was probably built in a sweatshop by the way, with resources mined from slave labor in Africa by the way. You’re complicit in Western supremacy. Just like to throw those little jabs for the self-righteous folks out there. It’s fun.
Anyway, thanks to the internet you can at least attempt to have any type of career you want and the barriers to entry are insanely low. Let’s say you are just dead broke right now living paycheck to paycheck, but you have that slave-labor iPhone.
You could watch videos on YouTube for free to learn a skill and start an entire business from your phone. No one is stopping you from doing that. You could eventually make a tiny bit of money from that business and pour it into investments. No one is stopping you from doing that.
Give yourself a half-decade or so and you can radically transform your mind, bank account, and general disposition using the internet. That’s what I did. And that’s what you can do, too. Nobody is stopping you. The internet is the great equalizer for the vast majority of people in society.
Just learn how to use it. You don’t have a choice. I don’t care how old you are. You have to ‘become a tech person.’ You don’t have to become an influencer, but you should know how to play the online game to a degree.
Because of the internet, I have no sympathy for middle-class colleges educated people. None. Working-class and poor? Ok, that’s a different story that requires a higher degree of difficulty to pull off, but again, I’ve seen it done so many times by so many people that I believe it’s possible for you.
The thing about this internet stuff? It’s tedious and time-consuming. That’s it. Putting together tech is annoying at first, but then it gets easier, and then it builds a path to your dreams.
“Our job in this life is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.” – Steven Pressfield
I try to inject confidence into people without pandering to them either. Let me attempt to do this for you.
I don’t know you, but I’m guessing you’re not a total idiot. Why do I say total idiot? Because if you’re not a total idiot you have more than a shot at a successful life. You can develop discipline. I used to have none. You can go from lacking in motivation to having an abundance of it. I’ve done it.
Just start with the base understanding that all you need is really an average level of intelligence and a slightly above average level of work ethic directed in the correct direction to be successful.
Most people are smart and they work hard, but they just work on the wrong things — mainly jobs that don’t pay them nearly what they’re worth.
You trade away your income potential and sovereignty to your employer because you don’t believe in yourself. But you believe in yourself to do the job because of the structure and implied security it provides.
You can create a similar frame and context in your mind by working on your dreams slowly, gradually, and on the side. What I do now is the same as having a job except I rely on myself to be the boss. That’s it.
Then, in terms of your general self-confidence, barrage yourself with questions that make your self-doubts seem trivial. So you, yes you, are you really so hopelessly limited and oppressed that you can carve out some tiny modicum of a successful life?
Why? Explain it. Why is your life so hard? Has anyone with similar circumstances thrived? Ok, so why not you? Are you actually that bad at life? Or are you lying to yourself? The man is out to get you personally? How? What specifically is he doing directly to you?
Who’s putting a gun to your head forcing you to do what you do for a living and engage in the behaviors you engage in after work? Who’s forcing you to watch Netflix 5 nights a week and drink on weekends?
See the process? Use it.
“Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.”
Last, I’d say that you should be confident because you made it to the end of this article. In a society of increasingly decreasing attention spans, that’s a win. Also, you’re still looking for reasons to be hopeful. You’re reading a self-improvement article. You’re seeking.
Self-improvement can definitely be a futile exercise in mental masturbation or a form of slightly-better-than-Netflix form of entertainment.
But, hell, it’s the best shot you have, isn’t it?
That’s the way I look at life, period. Where’s the best shot at a better life, even if it’s not the highest?
You will become successful in life for a few reasons, some of which include luck. The main reason, though, is that somewhere along the line you’ll look to yourself as the exception to the rule.
You’ll just decide you’re going to be the one who doesn’t quit, who doesn’t succumb to the outrage, and who escapes the system. I won’t guarantee you’ll do it but you do have a shot at doing it. And you probably have a higher shot because you’re still seeking. Most people have given up, permanently and totally.
Want to live a better life? Just don’t become one of these people.