Why You Should Stop Waiting for the Day You Can Say “I Made It.”
A group of business leaders and rich businessmen met in Chicago in 1923. Among them were Charles Schwab, head of the largest independent steel company; Samuel Insull, president of the world’s largest utility: Howard Hopson, head of the largest gas company; Ivar Kreuger, president of International Match Co., one of the world’s largest companies at that time; Leon Frazier, president of the Bank of International Settlement; Richard Whitney, president of the New York Stock Exchange; Arthur Cotton and Jesse Livermore, two of the biggest stock speculators; and Albert Fall, a member of President Harding’s cabinet. Twenty-five years later, nine of these titans ended their lives as follows: Schwab died penniless after living for five years on borrowed money. Insull died broke in a foreign land, and Kreuger and Cotton also died broke. Hopson went insane. Whitney and Albert Fall were released from prison, and Fraser and Livermore committed suicide.
There’s this day every American is waiting for. Some people know it as the American Dream, characterizing with a lot of money, a big house, and a beautiful family. The day when you can finally say “I made it.”
Put simply, this day is a lie.
Growing up in a neighborhood of cops and firemen where a good amount of people are discharged from work with 3/4 salary I had the chance to see a lot of people “retire” between 40 and 50 with a steady stream of income. Some of these people became gym teachers at my school, took on security jobs, or just retired from all work together. Of these people who took different paths, I would say the least happy is the person who just sat around collecting paychecks.
I cannot explain the psychology of it but people just need to work. I think it is because it gives people a certain purpose in life but being content leads to a loss of purpose. If you’re not taking on any new challenges, then you have acknowledged that your life work is complete.
We live in a system where winning is everything such as getting the best grades, nicest car, and fattest paycheck. But college kids like myself need to be more concerned about learning. Although winning is nice, you learn more when you lose. Eventually all of these learning experiences pile up and you become ready to take on the world. But it starts by changing our thinking of winning and losing.
There is nobody who epitomizes financial intelligence better than Warren Buffet because of how modest he has lived despite accumulating mass wealth. He didn’t get caught up in the materialism that so many people fall victim by buying the nicest car or biggest house. He still lives in Omaha, Nebraska in a modest home.
Therefore, stop imagining this fantasy where you think you will stop working hard and miraculously feel fulfilled because the people who love what they do keep doing it even after they have made large sums of money.