Everywhere I look I see the ideas and paradigms, from which I have tried to break away, being projected in front of my face, as though teachers were standing over me with a stick, pointing out the ways I am failing by not conforming to the norm, I feel pressured to put off, even abandon, this foolhardy crusade. Discouragement sets in as I apparently stand still while everyone around me continues to work normal jobs, provide adequate means for themselves, and move forward in life. Months have gone by and I haven’t earned a cent. I haven’t even settled on a decent plan of action. What would make my situation attractive to anyone? What have I to offer society? Am I really working towards something or have I just stepped out of the stream, letting everyone go on ahead? I have no proof that I am going in the right direction to reach what I would call success. As I listen to certain messages coming up all around me, I begin to feel like this pursuit isn’t quite as important as I had imagined. I can’t tell if this is just me losing focus on my original vision or whether I am beginning to see things in a clearer light. What does the word of the Lord say? Trust not in the arm of the flesh. The rich cannot enter the Kingdom of God… Do these scriptures say that to have riches is bad? Job had quite the fortune, and after all was said and done, ended up with several times what he had before. Lehi was a respected and wealthy man. King Solomon was at one point the richest man in the world. Abraham, Joseph, were these men poor in the eyes of men? No. These examples trump the deduction that those who have material wealth are evil and will be damned. Of course, neither is wealth necessary for salvation. The world is full of people who find joy in life even though poverty afflicts them every day of their life. Will money make me happy? Not in itself, or I would do anything for money. Can I buy happiness and success? No. Why then is money important to me? I don’t want to have to stress and worry about paying bills. I want to be able to be there for my spouse and children, to teach and help and play with them instead of existing solely to bring groceries. They might as well be on food stamps if that were all I was good for. I want to be able to make a difference in people’s lives. I feel like I cannot do that as an average Joe. Why do I feel like this is too easy and too hard at the same time? I had decided to not follow the 97%. I will not go out to get a job to support myself. It’s not that I can’t. I feel confidant that I could get a job most anywhere on minimum wage. There are places that take just about anyone, I am able-bodied and plenty qualified. I feel like I could even get a job without a resume, but so far I haven’t felt it necessary to attempt. I will work for someone to help them out. I guess the real test is whether I can work for others without monetary compensation.


Third World Living

I like to read books that make me think. I always have a notebook or a scrap of paper handy so that I can capture any ideas that come to me. On one of these moments I thought about how someone from a middle class lifestyle would react if he were to be placed in a third world situation. I wrote out a situation with which I was familiar from my two years serving a mission in Mexico.

Here is the situation and what follows is a collection of responses.

Suppose there was a person who had a family of four, a job that earned minimum wages for a third-world country, a house of cinder-block with no finish and no paint, tile floor. The doors consist of blankets held up by nails, the bathroom is a toilet without a seat, a bucket of water is used to flush, and the shower is another bucket of water next to a bare cement floor with a drain. You do have television and a few amenities such as a stove and a refrigerator. Minimum wage is 60 pesos per day, which is about $1.00 per hour.
Knowing what you know now and having the experience and mind-set of your current self, what would you do if you suddenly woke up and found that this was your life? Would you change it? If so, what would you do?

Am I Crazy?

My goal is to make 100,000 dollars in under two years. Is this crazy?

Is this impossible? No. But is it plausible?

             …why not?

I believe that wealth does come in direct proportion to effort. I just need to find where to apply the effort. Just like a boulder can be moved when we apply the right kind of leverage.

100,000 dollars is a lot of money. But what is it, really, that impedes an individual from making that kind of money? I believe that time, effort and education are essential ingredients for monetary success, however, I don’t believe that there is only one recipe.

I am taught that I should be getting a job and going to school so that I can support myself. I agree that this method works, however, I feel like this is not how I will reach my goals in life or realize my potential. I know there is another way. Not because I’m a cop-out, I am no stranger to hard work. But because I feel that there is another way to accomplish the same thing that will bring more than just monetary gain. I don’t believe in working only for the money. I have done plenty of that, the returns are hardly worth the effort. I say that because I have no obligations to provide yet. If I had a family to feed then the returns would be very different. But since I am still very flexible I plan to get myself to a more advantageous position so that when I do have that responsibility I won’t have to live that way. It is a leap of faith. I am leaving the known and recommended path for one that offers no promises.

This is not some get rich quick scheme. This is an assertion of freedom as well as an experiment. Though it has been done before I pioneer the way for myself and leave a journal for others who feel as I do.

No, Fair Systems are Not Fair

Sometimes I wonder just how valuable a college education really is.

a flock of crows

Another week in the world of education, and another teenager, Ms Suzy Lee Weiss, has gone through the epiphany after several university rejections that university admissions systems are not fair. Well, no crap Sherlock.

Yes, yes, her writing is satire. Yes, it’s tongue-in-cheek and self-deprecating; she’s got so much wit and cleverness that she’ll go far…yada yada yada yawn. That she’s smart enough to write a piece of social commentary and not appear stupid on television isn’t really that amazing. There are many teenagers, all across the world, at many different ages, who are capable of the same things. It’s not a magic Midas touch, it’s simply a matter of temperament. Yes, she’s clever, but she really shouldn’t be afforded some special attention just because she’s pointed out what most people have known for ages:

Fair systems are not really fair.

Actually, I can’t think of a system that

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Make it happen

Step one: Dream

Step two: Turn your dream into a goal by writing it down

Step three: Make a timeline of your life, including into the future

Step four: Enter the achievement of your dream on your timeline (deadline or date)

Step five: Don’t just let, or hope it will happen, Make it happen.

How to make it happen:

  1. clearly define your goal in writing
  2. ask yourself what you need to do to make it happen
  3. record your brainstorm
  4. recognize the impact that will be made on your life by taking such actions, evaluate worth.
  5. set a date of accomplishment.
  6. Be accountable to yourself. At the end of each day report to yourself what you have done to reach your goal.

I want to make 100,000 dollars.

I will put that on my timeline. The deadline will be January 1 2015.

That is my goal. Now instead of just hoping that this will occur I will figure out how to make it happen. My future is in my hands and if that is so then I can do this, regardless of the obstacles.

What will this imply? I will need to dedicate lots of time and energy to pull it off. Is it worth the effort and sacrifice that must be made? Yes. Why? Because I will have to spend so much time working anyway, I cannot sleep or play all year. I must have a dream and be dedicated to its realization.

 Brainstorm. How will I make it happen?

Sell my time? (find a job that pays that much, get the job, hold it for one year)

start a business

write a book, sell it for at least 10 dollars and get at least 10,000 sold

buy something which brings in passive income (vending machine, rent out items, etc.)

become an expert in something and teach it to people

create a craft and sell it for so much

create many crafts and sell them for so much

turn over sales

Sell real estate?

Solve problems!

Who do I want to serve?

Outdoors enthusiasts, families, youth, non-conformists like myself…

What do they want?

Freedom, money (more income, less expense), peace of mind (family well-being, less risk to self, family and career), more control over their lives, security for the future, self-fulfillment, entertainment/distraction, solutions to problems

What problems do they have?

Government intervention, lack of time, lack of money, insecure income, disrepair of assets, too many expenses, not enough income for lifestyle, lack of education, irritations…