Or, I guess you could also add in the quote from Albert Einstein stating that continuing to do the same thing over and over but expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. Yeah, if we continue down the same path our society is on, we have some serious problems coming our way. Allow me to climb up on my soap box for a second and elaborate.
Social Media – there are some good things about it, no doubt. I use it; for entertainment, and to hopefully have exposure to the right people for promoting my speaking and consulting business. The Dalai Lama has a a Twitter account, and broadcasts messages of hope and spiritual instruction to the world. Kinda cool. However…there is a lot of crap out there that should be viewed as caramel-coated bullshit instead of a reflection of real life. How many times have you seen a posting of someone sitting on a bed next to a pile of cash? No one in there right mind leaves fat stacks of cash sitting around their home. Other than Floyd Mayweather carrying around his backpack of a million dollars cash, everyone else is smart enough to have a safe to hide the money in, or better yet invest it so your money is making more money. The fact that everyone knows Floyd has enough money to walk around with a mill on him means mission accomplished for him. We know, and he feels better about himself because of it.
Insecurity lies at the heart of any act such as this, and Floyd apparently does “believe in investing”, so whatever money he has, it is because he made it. No more, and no less.
Do you really think that Kim Kardashian walks around her house in those fabulous dresses, in full make up, at all times? Ridiculous. No one does. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, you still wake up looking less perfect than you could if you showered and put on some make up. It is called reality. The posting she does are not only paid for in many cases, but also staged, planned photos with a team of people assuring that everything looks perfect. NOT REAL. Your measuring stick is not the postings of rich celebrities, it is what you decide are your goals and dreams and lifestyle. At least she has had some socially redeeming qualities to share lately, including advocating for people wrongfully imprisoned. She has actually made some real progress in a few cases, helping people get released from prison after long sentences served for crimes they did not commit.
This topic has been beaten to death by lots of people, me included. I don’t need to continue down that same path again. But let’s look at the consequences of the idolization of people like this on the rest of society. “Rich at any cost” seems to be okay these days. You do remember how Kim K got famous in the first place, right? See here to refresh your memory if needed. I am all for second chances, and moving on from stupid shit you did in the past, but the fact that her mother was the one who oversaw distribution for that movie pretty much sets the tone for the mindset of that family. They have vaulted to super stardom since then, and do their best to have the world forget how they got there. Social Media has become the dreaded Hollywood casting couch in digital form.
Living beyond your means – This one ties right in with the above points on Social Media. When it appears that you have to drive a really nice car, go to Coachella every year, and head to Ibiza for Spring Break to fit in, there are a myriad of issues tied to this. As if leaving college with a mountain of debt isn’t bad enough, the world is flooded with millions of “Forty Thousand Dollar millionaires”. This is the less-than-affectionate term for someone living like a millionaire on a forty thousand dollar a year job salary. Credit card debt is at an all time high, despite so many getting kicked in the teeth just a decade ago. Collecting photos of you and friends at brunch on Sunday despite having $12.00 in your bank account somehow has more weigh to it than being fiscally responsible.
I like having brunch too, but I don’t do it for a couple of reasons:
1. Everyone else is doing it, which in my book typically means my anti-herd behavior kicks in and I shy away from those activities.
2. Because everyone else does it, now I have to wait for 90 minutes to get a table at a place that is serving Sunday brunch…no meal out is worth ninety minutes of my time. I have shit to do, and I don’t wait that long for anything.
3. I get sick of people at the tables around me posing for pics, having the waitress take pics, or worse yet, asking me to take a photo for them, all so they can post in on Instagram with the hashtag #SundayFunday Ugh.
Here’s an idea, how about getting your shit together and no longer worrying about what the rest of the world thinks about you? That shallow, micro moments of fame chasing, forget about you as soon as something else shiny pops up in the vicinity crowd, is not worth your time and effort. And yes, I probably DO sound like your mother, but she was right. She already lived through her own version of this crap, and she knows what’s up. Listen to her.
If you keep following the status quo, you are going to crash and burn. It is inevitable; there is plenty of track record to show that this plays out time and time again. Avoid what is the known end result, and get a jump on everyone else. Get your finances in order, live within or better yet below your means. Plan for the future, invest early and get compound interest working to have the most impact on your future life. With even just a little planning, you could retire at 50 and have money to do whatever you want. If you did these simple things, you would be ahead of 90% of the rest of the planet. Or, keep following the herd and wake up one day a hundred G’s in debt and no discernible way out of the other than personal bankruptcy. While that may wipe away a bunch of your debt, you are saddled with your student loans until they are paid off; they are not eligible for debt free. One decent economic downturn and all of those YouTube influencers are gonna be interviewing for jobs that they hate, just to get by. Take your pick…
Choose wisely, and I wish you luck in your endeavors.