I recently came across this article on Cracked (warning, it is quite inflammatory and contains a lot of strong language, as well as some offensive videos). As the name implies, it is a criticism of people’s unwillingness to admit the reality of how the world works. It’s targeted at my generation: the Millennials, which has been characterized by a sense of entitlement, aloofness, and a rejection of traditional notions of consumption and wealth (because we’re poor, we’ve made wealth into a sin).
You should definitely read the entire article, but here’s a breakdown:
- The world only cares what you can do for it.
- The more needs you can fill, and the better you do, the greater your rewards (not necessarily money).
- Your ‘character’ is only as good as the actions it motivates.
- You will resist change.
I basically agree with all these points.
I was fascinated with the author’s comment that so many people assume they deserve money and rewards because they are “good people who work hard.” When things don’t go their way, they blame a broken system, calling it unjust or claiming they were never interested in the first place (sour grapes!).
I found this whole analysis riveting because, as I read it, I heard the echo of my own negative internal dialogue: “I am a kind, moral person. I buy local, even when I can’t really afford to. I don’t consume junk media or junk food. I get up early and take care of my health. I’m a GOOD PERSON.”
“So, why doesn’t the world get it and take care of me? Why am I so poor? The system must be corrupt, or it’s just luck of the draw. Apparently, the only way to be successful is to compromise my integrity! Well, in that case, I’d rather be poor and right! HA!”
I never spelled all that out, and seeing it, I can see how obviously whiny it is.
Thanks to the writing and thinking I do for Warrior Spirit, this dialogue hasn’t become dominant because I do know better on a conscious level, but these psychological scripts were going under the radar. When we have these mental frameworks, they become so much a part of the way we see the world, we don’t even notice that they are operating…until someone smacks us over the head with them.
But it’s not all about money. This principle operates in love too.
One of the examples in the article was the classic, “I’m such a nice guy so why don’t girls like me, or even notice me?”
The answer: you can’t just BE a nice guy, you have to DO something that actually benefits or pleases a girl. You have to provide her with witty conversation, laughs, good sex, access to a new and exciting lifestyle, something! Don’t just sit there dreaming and getting frustrated while some other guy goes up and actually talks to her! (Of course, you’re too nice to interrupt without permission. You know she must be pissed to be pulled out of that Russian novel, so you just sit smugly waiting for her to blow this ‘brah’ off…oh wait, she just left with him….)
So, the question becomes, what do you DO to meet people’s needs? It’s not enough that you might fill a need, or that you have the potential to do it. The world cannot see into your soul. All it can see is what you put out there.
And you know what? Put anything out there, good or bad, and people will notice (check page 2 of that article for a particularly unpleasant example that makes this point). It’s better to create, to do, something less than perfect than to do nothing at all.
Do you humor people, inspire them, provide them with cheap replica watches? People–all living things–want what they need (or what they think they need). Depending on what need you fill, people will support you, follow you, give you money, or just seek you out.
So take a good look at your life and figure out the ratio of time you spend dreaming about how you’re going to rock and the time you actually spend rocking. If that ratio is too heavily weighting in the dreaming direction, it’s time to make some changes.
A Warrior’s true worth is proven not in boasts around the fire, nor in training with other tribe members, but on the plain of battle, where the stakes matter and the defense of the tribe is elevated from an ideal to a concrete outcome.
Get out there!
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Photo credit: SweetOnVeg on Flickr