Why You Have To Succeed
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There is an interesting phenomenon that happens in American pop culture, and I’m sure in other parts of the world. But – many people probably don’t even realize it.
Could it be possible that you’re actually being taught to be mediocre? To be average?
Think about it.
Think about the TV shows you watch. Think about sitcoms. How do they portray people?
I find that typically the average blue collar families on TV are joyful and happy, while their rich in-laws are stern, serious, and often miserable. Who wants to be that way? Not me.
Society refers to wealthy people as “the rich” – as if they are a different species and separate from everyone else. An unattainable label for the ‘average’ person.
Money, in this country, is often vilified. If you appreciate material things you are often labeled as ‘shallow’ regardless of what your personality is truly like.
In school, you are expected to sit quietly, listen to your teacher, and wait for your turn to speak.
Gradually, as we pay attention, we actually start to want wealth and success less. If your friends or family dislike the rich, why would you want to be one of them?
You are taught what you need to know for a standardized test. This, creates standardized people who participate in standardized thinking.
Then, you are taught to get a job and know your place.
Is this the life you want to live? Is this the destiny you want to create for yourself? Do you want your innate dreams and creativity to be stifled by the beige-suit wearing drones in their beige Toyota Camrys who go home to their beige house and live their beige life?
You have to succeed because it shows that you will not stand in line to be lead one by one. You will not sacrifice your identity for a paycheck. You will not accept the future being handed to you by dealers who have no intention of letting you win the hand.
You have to succeed because it shows others that they can, too. You have to break the mold – but not just crack it a little bit. You have to demolish the mold because it shows we will not be silenced. If we want to succeed, then dammit, we’re going to succeed.
And most of all, you have to succeed because you can.
It’s an insult to yourself to settle for anything less.
There are more opportunities to make money today than ever before. What are you going to do with them?
Formal education will make you a living, self education will make you a fortune. – Jim Rohn
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I very much so agree that there is a plague surrounding society as we become more distracted and embraced with the idea that we are going to live as the “99%”. Mediocrity is two things..
1.) Opinion – What you think is “ordinary” is not necessarily everyone’s view. It is subjective.
2.) Choice – If you play into the very normal stereotypes of mediocre vs above average then it all comes down to your decision to take yourself from behind the line, to the line and beyond it. I have always lived in the mindset of choice that by performing not just a bit past the line but miles and miles above it, I can distinguish and build myself as an above average individual. There is no reason why anyone could not follow in the same footsteps. We are only limited by our own minds but what is it out there isn’t helping either.
Great article James. I’d love to bring you on as a writer on some upcoming projects of mine. Keep it up. I will be glad to continue to support your work.
I disagree to an extent.
I don’t think it’s anyone’s intention to “not succeed”. But if the measure of success is wealth, then that’s a bit faulty. Now me, I personally like money despite having very little of it. There’s places I want to go, experiences I want to have, things I want to buy…it all involves money. Does that mean I have to be a millionaire to afford the things I want in life? No. That sure would make it easier, but by no means would I have to be raking in the dough to do the things in life I want to do.
Success is a very personal thing. If I succeeded in becoming a millionaire in a way that made me unhappy and unfulfilled in life, then I would not be successful at all by my own personal definition of success. Though by your definition of success, I doubt I’d be “successful” making cutesy animal mascot costumes and drawing cute animals. There’s not a million dollar market for it. But it does bring me some happiness and fulfillment (despite me getting very frustrated with my art at times). Even you say it yourself…That we’re taught to sort of get these basic suit and tie sort of job. You go to work, earn and honest day’s pay. If you do well enough you can work your way up the ladder. We’re taught this in school. The one who complies the best succeeds more. You can work your way up the corporate ladder to positions with higher pay just by being the best at following orders. But you say this isn’t success. But then your measure of success (going by how you wrote this) is entirely based on monetary value. More money = more success. It’s a bit contradictory…
I understand the point you’re trying to make, but I just strongly disagree with it. I don’t think anyone is trying to be “mediocre” by just doing what they can to get by. I just think that people define success as more than earning tons and tons of money.