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Thursday, November 07, 2013

Mailvox: where to find motivation

AL is seeking to get out of a rut:
Do you have any words of advice or inspiration for someone in their mid-20's that feels the drain of being stuck in a rut?  I've found myself and others around that age stuck in the same sort of endless downward spiral.  The stress of work and trying to "make it" simply makes it seem too hard to work on the things necessary to get out of the rut.

I'm not sure if you've ever been in a situation like that, but I am sure you've observed others that have been.  Hell, I get the impression more than a few of the Dread Ilk find themselves in such a mess.

I think that most people start to lose any sight of their dreams at this point in life, or when they are 35 or 40 always wished they had made a few moves to change their situation when they were 25 and still had time.

Is it the economy that's really making things hard?  Is it just a lack of motivation?  I don't know what it is, but I'm determined to get out of this and I'm sure others that read Vox Popoli feel the same.
It is always hard to separate the urgent from the important. My rule is to always devote at least 15 percent of my work time to things with long-term possibilities. Such as, for example, my fiction. It's not my job, it's not my career, and it's not a reliable way to make a living, but every book has upside potential, however remote the odds, whereas the average contract job that pays the bills does not.

It's so very easy for hard-working young men to simply put their heads down and think that by working hard, they will naturally get ahead. But we're not living in a Horatio Alger novel and it doesn't work that way anymore, in part due to the economy, in part due to the feminized workplace, and in part due to the increased societal imbalances of wealth distribution due to increased government intervention in the economy. Those who win, win bigger now, but fewer people win.

One of the factors in the mid-life crisis AL mentions is the realization that time is running out and one's options are increasingly limited. There is no more time for mistakes, for finding yourself, and for screwing around, what you do will dictate the way you will live for the rest of your life. And the sooner you understand that, the more time you have to actually do something, to take several chances, to fail, to fail again, and then to ultimately succeed.

Failure is the norm. I can't stress this enough! You're usually going to fail, so fail as fast and as often as you can, because failure is the seed for future success. By the same token, because it is the norm, it is nothing to fear. Nothing! And each time, you learn more and you learn how to go about the next opportunity more effectively.

I can't tell AL how to motivate himself because everyone is motivated differently. Motivation tends to be related to how we surmount our natural weaknesses. Because my primary weakness is laziness, I tend to be most effectively fueled by negativity and by competition. For example, I very much doubt I would have been driven to make VP a more popular blog than Whatever had the competitive comparison not been repeatedly waved in my face. There were days when I didn't feel like blogging, there are still days when I don't feel like it. But I do it every single time, and fortunately, the motivation will be there as long as Whatever is deemed to be a competitor of some kind.

It's the same motivation I draw upon on the soccer field when it's the second half, I'm worn out, I've just sprinted 50 yards down the sideline to be cut off by the sweeper, and I look back to see an opposing striker and the left midfielder marked by our right defender at midfield as the goalie punts the ball towards them. Part of me is arguing, quite logically, that I'm too old and too tired to run, and it's not as if the World Cup is on the line anyhow. And then I hear that snarling voice inside saying "that's my guy and that motherfucker isn't going to score on my fucking watch!" And then, somehow, the energy to run back magically appears. Which is why, in ten games this season, (five of them defeats), no left midfielder or outside defender has scored a single goal. I don't think I've even allowed a single uncontested shot from that side, with the exception of a free kick resulting from a defender's foul.

But that's my motivation. I know what it is and I know how to draw upon it. AL has to figure out what works for him. Maybe it is praise. Maybe it is money. Maybe it is a sense of serving others. Maybe it is social status or even just pure envy. It can be positive or negative, but it has to be identified before it can be purposefully utilized. If AL is determined to get out of the rut, he will get out, he simply has to determine what gives him the strength to run when he would rather walk.

Labels:

154 Comments:

Anonymous WaterBoy November 07, 2013 10:36 AM  

@ AL:

For me, the motivation has always come from my family.

When I was in my mid-20's, I yearned for the kind of tight-knit functioning family which I had seen in others but had lacked growing up. But that's where I found it, after I started looking in earnest toward achieving that goal.

I didn't see it specified in the bit that Vox posted whether or not you already have a family. If not, and that appeals to you, I would advise you to start looking now. Economically, it will be even harder. But the emotional/spiritual rejuvenation that one can experience with it can be priceless.

If you don't know for sure that is a road you want to go down, you can get involved in youth activities through church, sports, Big Brother/Big Sister, etc. Being around children part-time should give you an idea if it's something you would enjoy full-time.

Blogger Markku November 07, 2013 10:37 AM  

In the army, we had a "motivational pit". If the unit didn't seem motivated, we had to run up and down the nearby sand pit until everyone was adequately motivated. Seemed to have 100% efficiency rate in just a few hours.

Perhaps find your motivational pit and decide as an issue of honor, that you have to spend a few hours there whenever you get unmotivated thoughts. Your mind will soon catch on.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera November 07, 2013 10:46 AM  

Markku,

Ya know, that's not a bad idea in a microcosm. 25 year olds break easier than 18 year olds, but they're still pretty tough.

In real, adult life we also have to worry about the long-term effects of injuries and burnout, whereas armies are predicated on the idea of spending people. But these aren't impossible design problems.

Anyway, thanks for the brain fodder.

Blogger Markku November 07, 2013 10:49 AM  

In real, adult life we also have to worry about the long-term effects of injuries and burnout, whereas armies are predicated on the idea of spending people.

In a conscript army where you get the full spectrum of personalities instead of just the people already predisposed for it, you notice that the mind hardens just like the body, when it doesn't get "understanding" or "some slack" anymore. And the effect doesn't spend you, it is a clear improvement. The 18 year olds come out significantly more mature than they went in.

Anonymous dh November 07, 2013 10:50 AM  

AL, VD has given some really key advice, which is that working immensely hard is part of success, but not the only part. Or even the largest part. Good luck.

Anonymous Brother Thomas November 07, 2013 10:51 AM  

It is a fallen world. This world and those that rule it seek to crush you. They don't want you to have the ability to build wealth, they don't want you to marry, and they don't want you to have children. Let that be your motivation to do just that. Defiance is a great motivator.

Blogger JartStar November 07, 2013 10:51 AM  

AL – My first advice is to distance yourself from friends who are also stuck in a rut and find some new, more highly motivated friends. I’ve seen around me a number of Gen-Y men who are stuck in a general malaise and start slacking off at life in general as a group because they are caught in ostensibly dead-end jobs and surrounded by easy women. They tend to be the Hipster type, but I see more mainstream men sucked into the easy going, apathetic lifestyle which defines the nouveau poor.

The second and more important thing is to find someone to admire or a goal to shoot for instead of what to avoid. Dodging landmines is not a path to success, instead you must find inspiration as one Saint to emulate as an example is worth 10,000 words of what to avoid or hints of what to do.

Vox is correct that due to the difficulties of today’s economy and uncertain political times the young have little to no time for flights of fancy and must become focused even faster than Gen-X . Unfortunately, on a whole Boomer parents did a poor job of equipping their children for difficult times. I find that doing more than just keeping my head above water, and instead trying to do what is good and right and inspire those around me is motivating—in other words try to stand out by good actions.

As a side note, nearly 1/3rd of Gen-Y are still living at home and unemployed/underemployed as they approach their 30s which is arguably a larger drag on the economy going forward than their Boomer parents retiring. If Gen-Y as a group does not get more motivated to work a recovery will be nearly impossible regardless of economic policy and other externalities.


Anonymous Holmwood November 07, 2013 10:52 AM  

Most importantly, be a master of your own domain. No, not in the Seinfeld sense. Vox is right; the US (and to a similar degree the rest of the white Anglosphere) presents an exceedingly feminized workplace.

I decided in my early 20's that there was no way I wanted any part of academia (I'd previously thought seriously of doing a PhD in engineering), nor did I want any part of big corporate life. And government had always been anathema to me, apart from the military.

I set up in partnership with someone I met in grad school; we worked hard, taking every contract we could get, and doing our best to retain IP (intellectual property) in much of what we did.

After a half-dozen failed or walking dead prototypes on our own time, and hiring mostly from our networks, we hit on a product that was the perfect mix: new technology applied in a disruptive way to an old stable market.

It was some years of sweat equity (and the destruction of my partner's marriage and my long term relationship with a college sweetheart) and misery, but we achieved what we'd set out to do in the end.

My point is not that everyone should do a STEM degree and start his own business. No, it's simply that you should try to take active control of as much of your life as possible. That may simply be deciding that you'll accept being a cubicle drone 37.5 hours a week, but passionately focus on some other passion or activity (Vox has four good ones -- fiction, blogging, soccer, family).

My biggest regrets, which I've since mostly remedied, lead me to this advice. Don't neglect exercise; don't neglect male friendships outside of work and the professional domain. You might also want to avoid neglecting your marriage/LTR; that's all up to you.

You may feel invincibly healthy and trim in your 20's, but letting exercise slip is a huge mistake that you'll take some years to recover from.

Anonymous Ritchie Incognito November 07, 2013 10:56 AM  

If you would like, I could give AL a pep talk. I am good at it and my calendar is open right now.

Just warn him to keep his mouth closed.

Blogger Markku November 07, 2013 10:57 AM  

You do things by just doing them. Pretty much all of them.

The only problem is that the mind finds excuses for doing them later. This is really the only obstacle to destroy, but it requires some painful methods.

Anonymous Daniel November 07, 2013 11:00 AM  

It's so very easy for hard-working young men to simply put their heads down and think that by working hard, they will naturally get ahead.

This is, in fact, the Devil's speech inside the head of the industrious - the original blue pill. Well put. [Hard work is obviously important: Vox couldn't defend the wing if, for example, he learned soccer via Xbox...but all his hard work means nothing if he isn't motivated to unleash its rewards strategically and at full force.]

The hardworker pedestalizes hard work: his marriage fails because he "didn't work hard enough at it." He doesn't lead a company because he didn't "work hard enough at following" he falls into a rut because he's not digging it deep enough...etc. etc.

Anonymous Beau November 07, 2013 11:00 AM  

AL,

Ponder this;

Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature's night
Thine eye difused a quickening ray
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light
My chains fell off, my heart was free
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee


This will be my last post for a while. I'm driving to to coast to give away the hand of Lydia in matrimony. She is now established as an RN. She's done it right. Her goal is go with her husband to the mission field.

Serving the Lord with all your heart and all your might is never dull. May you, AL, find your calling and joy in life. Blessings

Anonymous korben November 07, 2013 11:02 AM  

I'm 23, and similarly to the OP, have gone through this lack of motivation. I have succeeded and am now doing very well. Vox's advice, like always, is on point. However, as a member of the younger generation I feel like I can contribute some good advice too. A big part of my success was a withdrawal from my peer group. I mean a total withdrawal. I spent a couple years just focused on building my money, I made a few investments, but I generally was just focused on saving and adding to my pile. It was lonely. No girlfriends, not too many fun nights, and a lot of hard-work. As I became more and more successful people started noticing. I started making friends with people older than me who were also successful. Eventually my social life came back, and women started to come easily, my status made game much much easier. My new friends are more real if that makes sense. I think its important to evaluate the relationships in your life and decide if some of these people are really your 'friends'. I think young people are caught up in this social networking world of bs and think there is no alternative. Sometimes ya gotta cut ties.

Blogger Crowhill November 07, 2013 11:05 AM  

Good thoughts, but if it's a "mid-life crisis" when you're in your mid-20s, I'm in really bad shape! :-)

Anonymous Anonymous November 07, 2013 11:05 AM  

Make sure you are placing the correct amount of value on the correct things.

Mixed up or worldly priorities will (IMHO) always lead to what you are feeling.

If you have bought into this world's values and are chasing what they are selling I think you are bound for disappointment.

I know some pretty high achieving people (by the world’s standards) that “have it all” and they are some of the most miserable people I know.

Nothing wrong with goals and pursuing your dreams, just make sure you have it in the right perspective.

Anonymous Steveo November 07, 2013 11:06 AM  

For most, the big failure is ahead - it's a trap caused by a wicked combination of political idiocy w/ insane governmental policy & societal changes that too few recognize. The Information Age brought with it new rules... and the Industrial Age thinking process is doomed to failure. Get good grades, get a degree, get a good job, retire rich; that's not going to happen as a rule. I see people with Masters degrees, Bachelor's degrees, yadda, yadda... coming into my business and asking if there is anything they can do. I can't hire anymore, so I won't hire anymore.

On the upside, there are options, but you must throw out the old in order to embrace what truly works. My business currently pays all the bills, but it will never make me financially free... so I'm doing something really different... and booyah baby.

AL, in whatever you do, I'd suggest you start by carefully defining the life you want to live (if money & time and resources were not an issue at all)... find someone that successfully lives that life - learn from them... then do what they did. You must learn to do the right things as quickly as possible. Additionally, your dreams of living that life must become well defined in your mind, that your visualization makes it real; deep inside where it counts... dreams & vision will carry you through the struggle to victory when other things might not. If you haven't read Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning", do it. Long story short - add Dreams/Vision to your list of motivations. Hope this helps & God bless!

Anonymous Sojourner November 07, 2013 11:13 AM  

Personally, as someone in their 30's who has gone through Mich the same thing (and add a divorce), I found motivation in entrepreneurship. My father has owned a nutritional brand for several years but until hard times hit I never had any interest. Now that I do it's like a whole new world has opened to me. I've been challenged mentally and spiritually like never before and have grown in ways I didn't know I could. Now the journey is long from finished but at least I know there is one.

I should also say that running a business isn't only a brick and mortar concept. Look up the Tropical MBA podcast about traveling while running a business. Or look up the Smart Passive Income one where it talks about earning a passive income through niche marketing on the web. And finally listen to Entrepreneur on Fire for examples of people who started all kinds of businesses and what they went through, all 7 days of the week. The examples are there, you just have to find them and then learn from them. It isn't easy but it sure can lead to fulfillment.

Anonymous aaaaturkey November 07, 2013 11:14 AM  

Good post Vox. Thank you.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera November 07, 2013 11:14 AM  

Markku,

Please allow me to retreat into some abstractions.

Discipline is good for you up until it begins to be bad for you. The point at which it isn't good is determined by the lifestyle to which you're disciplined. The virtue of discipline itself, the ability to set your mind to something and complete it, is a good thing without qualification.

The latter point is the facet of discipline you're praising. But say you decide to train for a hot dog eating contest by eating one the first day, two the next day, and so on. There is a point at which it would be silly to fight through the pain. It would be better to discipline yourself to a more sensible training regimen.

And the last point, which is hopefully obvious, is that you can become a rich and famous celebrity by eating lots of hot dogs (and be the very best at it!) and still have wasted your life. Unless you're an atheist. If you're an atheist then hey, nothing matters, go nuts man.

Anonymous Aeoli Pera November 07, 2013 11:18 AM  

"And the last point" ought to read "and my last point". (It doesn't reference the first paragraph.) Sorry for any confusion.

Anonymous Noah B. November 07, 2013 11:19 AM  

One thing that isn't quite clear from this email is whether AL doesn't know what he wants to do or simply doesn't know how to go about pursuing his dreams. There's a big difference.

And it's supremely important to not be so focused on the future that you forget to enjoy the moment. Every step you take toward reaching your goals, every bit of progress you make, should be its own reward.

Anonymous DaveD November 07, 2013 11:29 AM  

How do you stay motivated when you've failed at virtually everything in your life for 40 years? Played baseball & soccer for 10 years. Only 1 team was ever over .500. Worked hard, sacrificed friends & my love life for 15 years. The harder I work, the more tired I am when it blows up in my face & I end up with the same or less than I started with.

You get used to losing after awhile. How do you break out of that?

Anonymous Cryan Ryan November 07, 2013 11:32 AM  

AL,

One thing that helped me years ago was to avoid the unhealthy habit of consuming bread & pasta, processed foods, soda, etc.

Hitting the gym, juicing (veggies, not steroids) and cutting out late stimulation (tv, computer) and reading before bedtime are important.

You need a good night's sleep, and you need to have a clear brain.

Now go get em! Good luck to you.

Blogger ThatWouldBeTelling November 07, 2013 11:34 AM  

Failure is the norm. I can't stress this enough! You're usually going to fail, so fail as fast and as often as you can, because failure is the seed for future success.

There's one potential trap here I'd like to address, the fallacy of sunk costs. You may find yourself failing after investing immense time and effort in something, and find it impossible to "fail fast" by not being able admit to yourself the sunk costs are now irrelevant to your situation.

I guess my only advice is to cultivate the self-awareness and emotional stability needed to throw it all away. And echoing korben, it can be absolutely vital that you totally disconnect yourself from the people involved in those sunk costs, who will likely be encouraging you to futilely persevere. Out of guilt, to validate their advice and past support, or all the way to playing Lucy and the football in Peanuts.

(You won't be surprised to hear I speak of this from bitter, nearly life destroying experience: a bit over a decade of investment, a bit less futilely trying to succeed anyway, and a few years to commit to a new path.)

Anonymous cryan ryan November 07, 2013 11:34 AM  

oops.

Didn't mean to say cutting out reading before bedtime.

Meant, read before sleeping, rather than watching tv, etc,

Anonymous NorthernHamlet November 07, 2013 11:35 AM  

AL,

Jartstar offers some good additions to Vox's advice.

I would add, when you find yourself thinking these thoughts, bite your tongue the first time and clear your mind of them. Refocus and ask yourself what's important to you. Then go for it. Make the time. Sleep less. Whatever.

The next time it happens, you'll find biting your tongue easier. You'll naturally move toward less defeatist attitudes. Over time, they'll fall away.

You'll still fail sometimes, as Vox notes, and you may even get hurt sometimes. But shit. Your going after what's important to you, aren't you?

It wouldn't be worth it if you could just roll through the gates of Mordor.

Anonymous Huckleberry - est. 1977 November 07, 2013 11:37 AM  

I've learned more (and incidentally have made more money) from the projects that fail initially or altogether than from the ones that go smoothly from the outset.

If you don't know what you want to do, figure it out, then figure out three other things. Foster all four things to the best of your ability.

Marry well. Choose your mate with absolute precision.

Realize that motivation is rarely a thing that happens to you, it is something that you must cultivate and develop.

If your primary gig is white collar, learn a physical trade, learn to create and/or repair things. Take up carpentry, metalcraft, auto restoration; learn to plumb and wire.

Marry well. This bears repeating.

Develop a short-term plan with near-immediate goals, develop a long-term plan with overarching goals, then figure out a strategy for bridging the two.

Seek out those who have secured the types of success and motivation that you want to achieve, and investigate the ways you may be able to emulate that success.

Exercise regularly. With free weights. I can't stress this enough.

Anonymous NorthernHamlet November 07, 2013 11:37 AM  

Oh, and definitely get around some men who are so busy, it makes your head spin at how fast they get shit done and how much they do regularly without quitting.

It'll put "busy" into perspective for you.

Blogger JartStar November 07, 2013 11:42 AM  

Oh, and definitely get around some men who are so busy, it makes your head spin at how fast they get shit done and how much they do regularly without quitting.

If he works out, start hanging out in the free weight section and being helpful spotting someone if they need it. Besides getting a good workout himself, hanging out with people in good shape is motivating and in today's obese world someone who is clearly ripped shows incredible dedication and focus. They may be a trainwreck elsewhere in life, but people who make an effort to stay in tip top shape generally aren't a slacker in every other aspect of their life.

Blogger rycamor November 07, 2013 11:44 AM  

From someone who went through exactly that in his 20s:

Like Vox said, focus a certain percentage of your time on future possibilities. Young people tend to place too much importance on short-term negatives and not enough on long-term positives. Find something that you love, that you don't mind spending time on without getting paid, and just decide that every day/week (however best you organize your time) you will put some effort into it.

Every year of my life from the age of 20 - 26 I felt as if "Oh crap... I've already blown it, and any additional mistake will just be the end of me." Even worse, I began to fall into the "why bother?" line of thinking. Yes, it's true that many successful people have their defining moment sometime in their late teens or early 20s, and I didn't have mine. It's also true that not everyone can live their dream. It's just a fact. But, life can provide some very interesting alternatives if you apply mental kung-fu. Redirect the force of your failures rather than let them hit you head-on with destructive effect. Think of it as an adventure rather than a destination. My poorly-thought-out Plan A fell apart, and I had never really thought of a Plan B, so I wandered through a long list of jobs until I found something that stuck with me, but I figured "Hell... let's see what happens?". Honestly, it wasn't until the end of my 20s and into my 30s that I figured out some sort of a long-term plan. But, once I got there, I did as Vox says and focused a certain amount of my time on the future rather than the present. Some of that did not directly pay off until my mid-40s, but it did pay off.

BTW, I can't stress enough the value of exercise and good diet. As a young man, what brought me out of the depressive spiral was to work at a hard labor job for a couple years. There I was, with a college degree and a triple-niner I.Q. sanding yacht hulls with a long board, day after day, working with drifters and alcoholics. But, I was the guy who brought good home-cooked food for his meals instead of relying on McDonalds on lunch break.

And, as a middle-aged guy, what brought me out of another spiral of depression was again to get back on my feet and lift weights every day, and cut back on the carbs and junk. And the results showed up fairly quickly in my career, too. I know that some people can be very successful while having horrid health and fitness habits, but I had to realize that I am just not one of them. I have a tendency to get despondent if I go more tan 48 hours without exercise. Know your weaknesses and turn them into strengths.

Blogger Crowhill November 07, 2013 11:49 AM  

Failure is the norm. I can't stress this enough! You're usually going to fail, so fail as fast and as often as you can, because failure is the seed for future success.

This is very good and important advice. In my career in professional publishing it's been very obvious to me that people who have a "fail fast" mentality are the ones who succeed. People who have a fear of failure don't.

Anonymous Josh November 07, 2013 11:50 AM  

Being in my late 20's, I've struggled with those same thoughts and feelings in the past.

Life after college didn't turn out exactly as I thought it would: I graduated at the height the recession when no one was hiring, was fortunate to get a job with a large company, then my entire division of the company (all 14,000 people) was eliminated.

It's a very unnerving experience to be on a conference call with your division vice president when she announces that your division won't exist in 60 days. After that call, I decided to make getting laid off the best thing that ever happened to me. I got a job in a related field with another company and it's worked out quite well so far.

Determination is important. Also important is making a decision. Part of being a man is getting shit town. Because that's what men do. So I decided to start getting shit done.

Blogger James Dixon November 07, 2013 11:53 AM  

> Marry well. This bears repeating.

Many, many times. It's probably the most important thing to a "successful" life.

Blogger Gareth November 07, 2013 11:56 AM  

Al,

My first motivation came from the birth of my Boy. Before then, i was lazy, after that, i was the same person but i didnt give myself permission to be lazy anymore because my boy was depending on me. I felt that viscerally.

After 2 and a bit years i walked out on my ex and my kid. I see my kid every week, but walked on my ex as she was a proper loon. I put up with so much - pearls before swine - but in the end i walked out of the house, had a cigarette and a drink (I gave up cigarettes just before my boy was born) and thought, no, i wont go back to those old ways. I was at a crossroads and decided to put myself first. So i went back home to plan and shortly after left.

My motivation then changed from my Boy, to My boy and I. Over further time it has become Me and my Boy in that order. And my motivation has become a habit in the same way my laziness was. I'm now running a modest business that employs 2, and am looking for my second van, when i used to be on the benefits, smoking my life away.

One last point that's really true; If you want to win a game, first you have to play it. Expect to fail like Vox says but failure is not permanent, quitting is. As well as aiming for the skies, control the downside of the dice you throw. Anticipate both success and failure and you can win at both.

Gareth.

Side note - Vox, you have been the single biggest male contributor to my growth over the last 8 or 9 years, God help me.

Anonymous Josh November 07, 2013 11:59 AM  

I'll echo those who have already stated the importance of exercising, especially with free weights. It'll make you healthier, stronger, and more disciplined, and it will also give you something you can make consistent progress in.

Work sucked? Well you just added another ten pounds to your squat. Date went poorly? Well you just did one more rep. Small victories are good for morale and motivation.

Also, marrying the right woman will help you to focus. Because now it's not just about you. You're responsible for someone else. It changes you. And you have a much more powerful vision for what the life you want to build together looks like.

For us, we're creating a vision of where we want to be and how we want to get there. We know we want to buy a house within a certain time frame. We know we want to start having kids by a certain time. So now we have to figure out what we need to do to make that happen.

Anonymous Jack Amok November 07, 2013 12:02 PM  

You're usually going to fail, so fail as fast and as often as you can

Absolutely great advice. You really have to be both smart and lucky to get it right. Whatever you're trying to do, it'll probably take multiple tries before it works. So move fast, avoid getting stuck on sunk costs like hga says, but also know what success looks like before it's obvious. That part gets forgotten a lot - you're going to have to abandon failing plans before they sink you, but you don't want to bail out on a plan that's working, so you have to figure out how to judge your progress.

And Holmwood's right too. If you're not currently an owner or partner in your own profitable business, put together a plan to get there.

And beware of overloading your boat. Don't take on more things, possessions, projects and responsibilities than you can devote time to. Everything you bring into your life is going to require some maintenance. Account for that, and If you need to streamline, throw some lumber overboard.

But... best of luck to you!

Anonymous Josh November 07, 2013 12:04 PM  

And Holmwood's right too. If you're not currently an owner or partner in your own profitable business, put together a plan to get there.

I really really need to work on this.

Anonymous Vidad November 07, 2013 12:06 PM  

After over a decade of making a name for myself in the rarefied air of Christian radio production, I reinvented myself as a garden writer a year and a half ago.

I started a blog, forcing myself to post one post every weekday for a year. Half-way through that year, I started to get opportunities. A gig writing for Mother Earth News... a position at a survivalist site... a column in a local magazine... stuff that I never would've nailed down without a solid backlog of interesting articles already in place.

I'm currently working with someone on a series of survival gardening webinars, plus I'm going to start as a columnist for a national magazine within the next couple of months.

When I was younger, my problem was inconsistency. It's still a battle, but now that I've seen what incremental daily work can do, I'm sold.

I have no doubt I could reinvent myself as a painter or a musician via the same process.

Do something every day. Network. Talk to sharp people. Sell yourself. Repeat.

Blogger RobertT November 07, 2013 12:07 PM  

All good advice ... but I recommend something else when i get that question. This is advice I give even to my successful professional clients. As long as you're dependent on your personal efforts for your income, your income is limited. And so is your future. If your income ends if you put the shovel down and crawl out of the ditch, that is exactly the situation i'm talking about avoiding. Try to find something that keeps paying even when you're sitting on the ditch bank smoking a cigarette.

People talk about how much physicians make, but their income is dependent on their personal services, their labor. When they're out of the office, their income stops dead. Writing books is one good alternative. Network marketing is another. Owning your own business is another. Aim that direction.

I have an accounting practice. You can practice in two ways. Most of the firms I'm aware of are all a conglomeration of individual practices practicing under a partnership form of business. But my practice is wholly owned by me and follows the management form of business. This year I didn't prepare a single tax return (other than my own) and did absolutely no accounting. I don't even know how to get into many of the programs we use, and that's intentional. But my clients love me and I take home quite a nice income. But I don't have to be in the office, although I generally am because I love my profession, and I love my life. Life is completely agreeable to me.

Anonymous Vidad November 07, 2013 12:07 PM  

"We know we want to start having kids by a certain time. So now we have to figure out what we need to do to make that happen."

Well, you see Josh... when a man loves a woman very much...

Anonymous RC November 07, 2013 12:11 PM  

1) Live on a mission
2) Marry well or don't marry

My vocation is running technology companies. My avocation is mentoring younger guys around mission and marriage. Based upon over 20 years of marriage and divorce recovery counseling, believe me when I state that marrying poorly is by far the worst mistake common among men. Divorce slavery sucks the very life out of a man and utterly destroys his children.

As you're contemplating marrying the pretty little crazy girl, keep in mind that you won't be having sex with your ex-wife (usually), but someone else will and you'll likely be paying for his meals with your child support.

Anonymous Josh November 07, 2013 12:11 PM  

Well, you see Josh... when a man loves a woman very much...

Hehehe.

Obviously I'm taking about putting us in a position professionally and financially for her to stay home with the kids.

Anonymous Carlotta November 07, 2013 12:14 PM  

Congrats Beau. Prayers with you.

Anonymous RC November 07, 2013 12:19 PM  

My advice is to avoid partnerships unless you simply cannot start a business on your own. There is lots of downside to having partners.

Blogger LibertyPortraits November 07, 2013 12:19 PM  

Another great post by Vox. Vox, how are you able to continually craft good content for us voracious readers? Do you think your consistent high volume of book reading has anything to do with it? I've been striving to read 50+ books per year, and I think it's giving me a natural tendency to have better things to say as my mind has formed differently than it would have without the books, I'm curious if you have felt similar to that. I'm trying to write a blog post per day, and it's tough to come up with anything after your initial stint, but you've hit the nail on producing high quality content day after day. It's very impressive, to say the least.

Anonymous J November 07, 2013 12:23 PM  

Eliminate distractions.

Get rid of cable TV, get rid of the internet, get rid of the XBox.

Keep a daily log of things you have done today to work towards your long-term goals.

Give yourself achievable short-term milestones, with penalties for not achieving them. For example, if you were a writer, you could say, "if I do not write ten pages this week, then on Sunday I will donate $100 to an organization I hate."

Blogger Tank November 07, 2013 12:28 PM  

Respectfully, I offer this advice (which worked for me long ago).

The first thing to do is get OUT of the rut. That can be the hardest part. So don't aim high at first. Pick a small, attainable goal that takes you out of what you are doing (even if it's not what you'll end up doing). By attaining that goal, taking the first step, you are out of the rut and gain confidence that you can take a next step. Each step builds on the last.

Be a doer. Doing leads to more doing. The hardest step is the first one.

Blogger Revelation Means Hope November 07, 2013 12:29 PM  

Crud, my response got swallowed. Here we go a second time.

One: if God isn't priority one in your life, all this great advice is just Dust in the Wind. So, make sure that He is, and if He isn't, make it so.
Two: Get to bed earlier. I'm a nightowl, but am able to "force it" and the gains in productivity are very nice (you do have to get up earlier though). Ben Franklin's advice on early to bed, early to rise is very good advice.
Three: Are your motivators external (what you think other people think you should do) or internal (self-developed and owned goals)? Type one is a lousy motivator, long-term.
Four: Sit yourself down this evening, and write 3 obituaries. One written for you by your colleagues (career), one by your family, and one by your friends. What do you want them to say about your long life? Are you on the path to enable them to truthfully say those things about you someday? If not, figure out the changes you need to make to start getting there. This only takes 30-60 minutes but is a powerful way of focusing yourself on your fundamental motivators.

Anonymous Thales November 07, 2013 12:29 PM  

Not knowing anything else about this young man, my advice, if he's looking to "make it", in generic fashion is this: don't get comfortable. When you land a job, start looking for the next one. This can be the 15% of your time VD mentioned, but it should be looking. Do not chase passions or fits of fancy -- discover your strengths and leverage them. If you don't know what they are, use your experiences to uncover them. It can take months, if not years, to find the next better job, so do it while you're working. Always be on the hunt. Do not "push" yourself -- let your ambition pull you.

Blogger Crowhill November 07, 2013 12:29 PM  

J said Get rid of cable TV, get rid of the internet, get rid of the XBox.

Absolutely. And get rid of the porn too.

Anonymous J November 07, 2013 12:29 PM  

Another thing -- within reasonable limits, announce your goals to people you respect.

Telling someone you respect that you're going to do something is very motivational, because you don't want to lose face by failing to do whatever it is.

Anonymous Vidad November 07, 2013 12:30 PM  

"I'm taking about putting us in a position professionally and financially for her to stay home with the kids."

Yeah. My wife and I did that at the beginning of our marriage and had our first child that same year. At points, people thought we were poverty stricken - but I'm so glad we made the "sacrifice."

Blogger Revelation Means Hope November 07, 2013 12:31 PM  

Also, don't lose your friends, even the unmotivated ones. Instead, eliminate the distractions, the time wasters, such as Television, excessive video games, trash reading, and so forth.
I've never met anyone in real life who said that any of the above helped them get ahead in life. Quite the opposite.

Blogger Revelation Means Hope November 07, 2013 12:32 PM  

I second J's advice above. Tell someone you respect your goals, and what you're doing right now to make them happen is very motivating.
Just make sure you actually check in with them now and then, and also offer to do the same thing for them (and you can have a friendly competition with them too).

Anonymous patrick kelly November 07, 2013 12:39 PM  

I have to find some fundamental values or goals to motivate me out of the dark abyss of meaningless despair.

Be honest, brave, and diligent. Don't be a dishonest lazy coward. Failing these is the root of all my sin and its consequence, my current life.

Every decision, short or long term, brings these values into play. With every failure turn back toward light exposing these three, get back up, and fight again.

Anonymous NorthernHamlet November 07, 2013 12:44 PM  

Jartstar

Besides getting a good workout himself, hanging out with people in good shape is motivating and in today's obese world someone who is clearly ripped shows incredible dedication and focus.

Very true. But while working out provides many benefits, AL's request made me think there was more to it with "the drain of the rut" and "the stress of work". An overworked guy gets home and can't find the time to recharge.

I've known a lot of men in this position that can't seem to get up and even workout when they feel that way. Often they've adopted an odd criteria for the word "busy."

So what to do when all you can think of is, I'll never meet that goal? I don't have the energy? Bite your tongue and meet it because it's important to you. You very well do have the energy.

Not to disagree with you; working out provides a sense of accomplishment that can easily spill over into other aspects of life.

Anonymous Barko Ramius November 07, 2013 12:49 PM  

A nice fat joint does wonders. Not for everyone but it works for me...,until it doesn't.. still I wonder

Anonymous map November 07, 2013 12:52 PM  

Sorry, I don't agree with any of the advice given here. What AL needs to do is work on raising his status and signaling that increase in status.

The reason why he is in a rut is because there is an incongruity between his status and the status of people around him. He does not match up with them in some way and that is causing a rut that "working harder" does not fulfill.

Look at Vox, for example. The activities that he engages in outside of his job are not merely self-fulfilling objectives. They are status-raising activities. His soccer playing keeps him in shape and looking good, so his appearance raises his status. His book-writing and game developing raises his status because, well, those activities are cool. The same goes for his blogging and political notoriety.

In life, status counts for everything. Keep an eye on building that and you will be fine.

Let's take your work environment for a moment. How do you stack up status-wise compared to your co-workers? Are you the lone overweight guy with a group of thin people? Are you the lone single male where everyone else is married and in a relationship? Well, you have some work cut out for you to even out these status imbalances.

Anonymous patrick kelly November 07, 2013 12:53 PM  

" working out provides a sense of accomplishment that can easily spill over into other aspects of life."

The small changes with me started with diet and exercise. Small changes first, building up to more consistent, substantial ones. I really believe this helps my attitude, focus, and mood regarding everything else.

Blogger James Dixon November 07, 2013 12:53 PM  

Josh, I've been told by many many people that if you wait till you're ready to have kids, you'll never have them. Don't put it off too long waiting for the right time.

Anonymous VD November 07, 2013 12:57 PM  

Vox, how are you able to continually craft good content for us voracious readers? Do you think your consistent high volume of book reading has anything to do with it?

I just throw it out there. To be honest, I'm usually disappointed with the content, and when I do feel really good about it, most of the time it is readily apparent that no one gives a damn about the subject. So I don't worry about it anymore.

And yes, absolutely. I have FAR more ideas I'd like to blog about and discuss from the books I'm reading, but I don't get to even one-tenth of them because it would take too much time. There are dozens of ideas from Taleb, from Kuhn, and from Cantillon that I'll probably forget before I ever get to them.

Anonymous Josh November 07, 2013 12:58 PM  

Josh, I've been told by many many people that if you wait till you're ready to have kids, you'll never have them. Don't put it off too long waiting for the right time.

Thanks. It's a pretty short timeframe, two more years at the most.

Blogger Res Ipsa November 07, 2013 12:59 PM  

AL,

Come up with an idea for a business. Try it out. If it works great! if not come up with another idea and try again. Or brain storm a bunch of ideas and pick the best ones. This is basically what Vox said. It's true keep at it.

james altucher has written a bunch of stuff online you might find some of it useful.

Failure is not finial or fatal. Not trying is.

Good luck. You can make it.

Anonymous Josh November 07, 2013 12:59 PM  

There are dozens of ideas from Taleb

I'm probably not the only one who would be highly interested in this.

Blogger Res Ipsa November 07, 2013 1:03 PM  

AL,

One thing I almost forgot:

DON'T waste a ton of time on the web looking for motivation or "weird tricks" to make you successful. Pull your head out of your ass and get to work on doing at least one hour of honest to god work each day on some project that has potential of making your life better.

Anonymous Vidad November 07, 2013 1:07 PM  

"Thanks. It's a pretty short timeframe, two more years at the most."

Screw that... go make babies NOW!

Anonymous FUBAR Nation Ben November 07, 2013 1:13 PM  

Great advice, Vox and everyone else. For some reason it reminds me of the scene in Glenngary Glen Ross where Alex Baldwin gives the speech.

ABC. Always. Be. Closing.


I am 26 and don't see myself as a coporate drone. Everyone in my graduating class (Master's in Accounting) wanted to work for the big corporate accounting firms, which are hell. The problem is that HR is staffed by 24 year old girls and that they really don't care if you're willing to put in the hours. You are judged like it's a date.
Also, the money is not much over minimum wage when you account for the fact that they work you around 85 hours a week when it gets busy. There's no reason anymore to endure that abusive environment.

I want to become self-employed, especially after reading Anti-fragile by Taleb.

Any ideas for combining accounting and IT? I don't have the time to go back to school full time and don't want to take out any more debt.

Anonymous Anonymous November 07, 2013 1:24 PM  

Philippians 4:8
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4:13
13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Micah 6:8
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Blogger rycamor November 07, 2013 1:25 PM  

map November 07, 2013 12:52 PM

Sorry, I don't agree with any of the advice given here. What AL needs to do is work on raising his status and signaling that increase in status.


Map, you're an idiot. Every single thing discussed here has the effect of raising one's status. What you are discussing is to a certain extent Style over Substance. Nothing wrong with style, but it should only be a part of the picture. During my most depressed early 20s I became obsessed with "status signals" and concentrated on dressing and acting the part of young upper-middle-class gentleman. I found I could easily fool people on first meeting, even though my family was penniless at the time and I was struggling at various catch-as-catch-can jobs. It helped get me in some doors, but it also contributed an edge of paranoia to my depression. In the end I had to choose to actually DO something of substance and stop worrying so much about status.

Blogger Chiva November 07, 2013 1:26 PM  

For me the motivation came from being accountable to a friend. Feeling that I was in a "rut" and not generating enough enthusiasm to get out of it I asked a friend for help. We set a couple of goals that would stretch me (but were achievable).

He then lovingly berated, beat, and cajoled me to finish those goals.

Anonymous Brother Thomas November 07, 2013 1:39 PM  

Realize it's a fallen world and face it like a man. Raise your children. Love and protect your family. Sacrifice your needs for theirs. Do the right thing even if you lack the motivation to do so. Do the right thing even if the whole world stands against it. Look to the cross for inspiration. A mother would sacrifice her life for her child. You should do no less for your wife and children. Be a man. That supplies its own motivation.

Blogger IM2L844 November 07, 2013 1:41 PM  

Developing discipline for it's own sake is the key. It creates a self perpetuating feedback loop that will provide all the motivation you need if you stick with it as a hobby long enough for it to become a habit.

Anonymous CLK November 07, 2013 1:43 PM  

Midlife crisis at 25 yo ...ha ha ... try being 50 if you want a real crisis... try waking up in the morning being sore somewhere new when the only thing you did was sleep :). Try having your wife change into some type of hormonal Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde -- only Dr Jekyll never shows up... try wanting to leave it all for a cabin in the woods but you cant because your the father and a man is supposed to take care of their families.. Try reaching the peak of your career at 45 and having nowhere to go from there; making lots of money still having no enjoyment.

At 25 there are no mistakes that you can make that are unrecoverable (except perhaps getting married or having a kid with the wrong woman)... go out enjoy your selves -- midlife and then death will come soon enough.

Anonymous dh November 07, 2013 1:45 PM  

Any ideas for combining accounting and IT? I don't have the time to go back to school full time and don't want to take out any more debt.

Yes. SSAE16 audits. It is a huge and profitable business. They are a series of data and control system standards. Compliant organizations spend time every year documenting their businesses and then a CPA comes in and makes a judgement about whether the controls in place can support the claims made by the organization. In the real world now, most of hte controls are actually about IT systems. It is stable, profitalbe, repeat business.

Happy to lend any more knowledge I have on the topic. Email VD for my private e-mail address if I can help.

Blogger Captain Capitalism November 07, 2013 1:48 PM  

Here's my two cents.

Realize you're going to die. It will get you off your ass.
Do something completely different. If what you're doing now puts you in a malaise you need to do something different.
Acknowledge and accept what you do and do not control.

May I suggest these two items:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bR4tBTe4U0E
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1480284769

cpt.

Anonymous Vidad November 07, 2013 1:54 PM  

Here's another fellow that agrees with Vox:

"Mental Lock: To Err Is Wrong"

"It's the old story of the guy who has 100% record and does five things right versus the guy who does 100 things but only gets 60% right. If I can keep the mistakes from being dangerous, then I've done 60 right things and the other guy has only done five. If you're not failing occasionally, then you're not reaching out as far as you can."

-Nolan Bushnell

Anonymous Meh November 07, 2013 1:55 PM  

At 25 there are no mistakes that you can make that are unrecoverable (except perhaps getting married or having a kid with the wrong woman)

Meh, either one is recoverable. The latter one is harder to recover from than the former - it's just a matter of how far you're willing to go, e.g., a buddy of mine way back when moved to Central America rather than pay alimony and child support.

Along the same lines, you can "recover" from going to a crappy school / flunking out / getting fired from a succession of jobs. But the recovery will be challenging, and many options will be closed to you.

Going to prison is unrecoverable. No way to get that time back or erase that stain.

Anonymous Meh November 07, 2013 1:58 PM  

Realize you're going to die. It will get you off your ass.

Yeah but it doesn't really focus your mind until you realize you're going to die soon. Few 25 year olds will die soon. Even at age 50 you can still hope that it is decades in the future and thus put it out of your mind.

Blogger James Dixon November 07, 2013 2:10 PM  

> Even at age 50 you can still hope that it is decades in the future and thus put it out of your mind.

20 years seems like a fairly short time when you're 50.

Anonymous scoobius dubious November 07, 2013 2:12 PM  

VD is right that "failure is the norm" so get used to it, even revel in it: it's always instructive to fail in an interesting or beautiful way, and it has the tendency to increase the swing radius of yer balls. I've done several projects in the past which I chalked up to "interesting failure" only to find out years later that they were talked about avidly behind my back in the community I worked in, and were the inspiration for several people's projects which I considered successes. Sharp thinking and applied talent are seldom wasted, even if you think they are; try your best, and the universe will reward you when you aren't looking.

That said, it's important to get the taste in your mouth of success and victory, even little ones. It's like a predatory animal awakened by the taste of blood: trust me, success tastes good, and even if you get a little, it makes you want MOAR!!!

Start out by going for little victories. When I was a young man (pre-internet Stone Age print monopoly days) I was broke and destitute and down-and-out in ways you youngsters can scarcely imagine. One day, when I was really trapped at the bottom of the well, I wrote a nasty, brutally funny, very witty letter to the editor of a major magazine, and lo and behold it was accepted and printed. Friends I hadn't spoken with for months called me up out of the blue and said, "I read your letter and I couldn't stop laughing -- you're completely right!" Emboldened, I wrote a few more in the same acid-tongued voice to different places, and within a few weeks I had nasty very funny letters to the editor running in about half a dozen national magazines. I had no intention of making a career of such a thing, but the tiny taste of victory gave me the boost I needed to persevere in my main projects, which eventually bore fruit. And there was much rejoicing.

Get that little win, wherever you find it. It'll give you a taste for an even bigger win.

Anonymous patrick kelly November 07, 2013 2:15 PM  

@Meh: "Even at age 50 you can still hope that it is decades in the future and thus put it out of your mind."

Are you over 50 or even 40? This is the time when you become painfully aware your health, energy, mental focus etc. are peaking or on the declined. Death may be decades away, but time is quickly running out on realistic expectations about major changes or improvements in life. Some people are more ahead or behind the curve, but the trend is the same.

Yes, you can put it out of your mind, or just go out of your mind contemplating some justification for your existence.

It's not the approaching death that motivates me, its just wanted to live a better life, be a better man, every moment of everyday. I really want my life to suk less.

If you're one of the 90 year old, billionaire Nobel Prize winning marathon runners who power-lift everyday before consulting with the NSA about advance cryptography and then go home to service your super model harem, never mind.......

Anonymous GreyS November 07, 2013 2:15 PM  

Clean up your diet. Zero fast food. Zero soda. Don't get drunk. Concentrate on clean (no hormones, no chemicals) meats, vegetables, and water. All the crap you put in your body leads to tiredness and tiredness leads to putting things off and letting things go.

Throw away your TV. Many people get home and immediately turn the TV on and get lost in it until bedtime. Then it becomes habit and most eat all sorts of junk while they watch and then sleep poorly because of all that. Then they wake up tired and have to compensate by pouring caffeine, wheat, and sugar into their bodies-- leading to more of the same cycle.

Don't smoke pot. Pot brings everything to a standstill. You can look up and it will be fifteen years later.

Don't watch porn. Porn sucks the life out of you and affects the way you think much more than you know.

Challenge yourself in bothersome ways. Refuse to let yourself do certain things which you have grown accustomed to-- such as--

--Don't listen to ANY music for 30 days, in the car, at home, at work. Walk out of any place or room which has music in it.

--Drop all time spent doing spectator sports. Don't watch them, don't read about them, don't listen to them on the radio. If you can't handle that then cut it down to only the NFL or whatever your favorite is.

--For two or three months, while driving don't let yourself turn on your radio-- not even talk radio, and don't listen to any CDs including excellent recordings of A Magic Broken or any other book. Talk to yourself. Listen to yourself.

--Go find a place outdoors with few people. Sit down. No food. No music. No books. Let yourself THINK without interference.

--Find one subject or field you are interested in-- preferably something you might want to do for the rest of your life. Delve into that subject completely for one or two months. Do almost nothing else with your free time except this subject. While at work or home and with computer time, instead of doing your normal reading and websites, do more and more research into that subject.

--Don't wallow in your inertia by reading motivational book after motivational book. But DO read Stephen Pressfield's 'The War Of Art' and 'Do The Work'.

-- Learn a language.

--Randomly pick a country and plan a trip to that place. Or put ten choices on paper slips, put them in a hat, and commit to going to whichever place you draw within one year no matter what.



Anonymous joe doakes November 07, 2013 2:19 PM  

AL, everybody feels that way at some point. I agree with Noah B that it's critical to know what's bothering you. Are you unsatisfied because you have no job, not rising the company ladder fast enough, not making enough money for that new boat, too busy working to paint still lifes? The solutions differ. "Know theyself" is so ancient it's now trite, but still true.

Oh, and working two jobs to get out of debt and save money so you can enjoy life - that's not a rut. That's just life.

Anonymous scoobius dubious November 07, 2013 2:25 PM  

GreyS gives some excellent advice. I'd add one more thing.

Walk a mile every day, slowly -- a half mile out and a half mile back. During the walk, look around you, and notice your surroundings. Make mental notes of details of things. At some point during your walk, stop, stand still, and look at some object in your sightline, uninterrupted, for five full minutes, ten if you can stand it. I mean really LOOK at something. Look at all its lines and details, what their functions are, what it's doing in the place where it is, why it is there.

Do this every day, a different route every day, look at a different object every day, then start to repeat the routes but look at other objects on that route, then eventually go back again and look at an object you've already looked at before. Things will start to surprise you.

Anonymous Stilicho November 07, 2013 2:29 PM  

Any ideas for combining accounting and IT? I don't have the time to go back to school full time and don't want to take out any more debt.

Start your own tax return preparation business. Most of the chains are crap and hire retired truck drivers and the like to prepare most of the returns (and the Service is starting to get persnickety about who is allowed to prepare returns). You don't even have to branch out into bean counting if you don't want to. Remember, MPAI. This creates a large pool of people who have to file a return and aren't competent to do it themselves. Let me know if you want to know more.

Anonymous Josh November 07, 2013 2:36 PM  

Any ideas for combining accounting and IT? I don't have the time to go back to school full time and don't want to take out any more debt.

Provide accounting services for IT freelancers.

Blogger John Williams November 07, 2013 2:45 PM  

Like the Nike ad says, Just Do It! You probably have an idea, or two, that you'd like to try. Take a run at one of them. Don't let fear of failure stop you. You will find it's harder than you thought, that there's more details than you could have imagined, but you will overcome more than you think you can.

The first self made millionaire I ever knew had his first 5 businesses go belly up. Each time he learned a bit more. There's a lesson there.

Blogger crazyivan498 November 07, 2013 3:36 PM  

Does AL have a family? If I could go back before wife and kids, I would become stateless. Refuse to pay taxes, and get off the grid. I really admire what Ann Barnhart has done with herself. I think there is another guy in yugoslavia too that lives stateless. I would "feel" so much better about myself.

Anonymous Athor Pel November 07, 2013 3:51 PM  

"Meh November 07, 2013 1:58 PM

Realize you're going to die. It will get you off your ass.

Yeah but it doesn't really focus your mind until you realize you're going to die soon. Few 25 year olds will die soon. Even at age 50 you can still hope that it is decades in the future and thus put it out of your mind."





When I was a kid I calculated how old I would be in the year 2000. Time passed and one day I found myself 34 years old in the year 2000 and I remembered that day years earlier when I imagined what it would be like on that very day. What did I imagine? Let's just say my ability to forecast the future is poor and I was underwhelmed with what the future brought in regards to the world around me. I mean, where's the flying cars? I'm still waiting by the way.

Some time after that I began looking to the future again. I calculated how many days there would be until I was 75 years old. I got a nice rounded number of 15,000 days. Hey, look at that, it's a finite number of only five digits. Then I had another thought, turn those days into dollars and imagine how quickly 15,000 dollars can be spent. That one exercise was sobering.

Blogger Brad Andrews November 07, 2013 3:52 PM  

J, if you gave up the Internet you wouldn't be posting here!

DaveD,

That is why I will never focus on sports as one of my achievements. Physical coordination is not at the top of my abilities. I am debating about getting back into lifting, especially since I have a good base physique for that from my father already. I just don't know if it is worth joining a club for that or if I will just waste my money.

Anonymous Logan November 07, 2013 3:57 PM  

I feel like I'm in a similar rut. I'm 33, can't work at my present job due to a herniated disc in my back. I need surgery, but I'm on a waiting list. Haven't worked in months and don't know when I'll get it. I'll need a new job after surgery but don't know what I want to do or where to look. Did I mention I'm 33?

Blogger crazyivan498 November 07, 2013 4:00 PM  

@ VD "most of the time it is readily apparent that no one gives a damn about the subject. So I don't worry about it anymore."

Your still a little bitter over the the reaction people had to the steve keen book, perhaps? Good for you if you truly don't worry about it. No doubt your too intelligent even with your own readers, who mostly agree with you. I loved reading rothbard's "history of econmic thought". I would be interested in some histrocial posts and ideas from them.
It does get a little repeative and easy reading "obama bad", "police bad", "leftists bad" everyday. It all needs to be said, but I think a switch up would be nice.

Anonymous VD November 07, 2013 4:21 PM  

It does get a little repeative and easy reading "obama bad", "police bad", "leftists bad" everyday. It all needs to be said, but I think a switch up would be nice.

Like the Francis Bacon two days ago? Or the Euler before that? That's my point. I do switch it up, but it takes more time and effort to go deeper and few find it interesting.

Anonymous Josh November 07, 2013 4:41 PM  

Well there's always resuming the existence of God debate...

Blogger Hacked acctount 2018/19? hcaacked! November 07, 2013 4:53 PM  

Helpful words regrading fear, failure, etc. Thank you.

Didn't disturbed have a mid life crisis song, love that stuff.

The power of negative thinking strikes here and there. Just today on ttb.org was a message regarding Ephesians that spoke of the neins and no's.

In 2013, under tightening austerity measures, my reality is homelessness, suicide or ______. 3rd options and contingency plans are all foiled, ruined. But sovereign citizens would rather die than accept help from the system let alone vote or participate in it. I mean, what for? Never mind that drivel, bad week.

My hobbies or art never seem to be out of ideas or time for them when each day I get the requirements or chores done. Anyways, each season, moment etc., usually has something interesting enough to throw on canvas or on my acer with painting software on it. Overall, its sub par commercial art lacking...heart or something.

Blogger Hacked acctount 2018/19? hcaacked! November 07, 2013 4:54 PM  

I suppose responsibilities and love of one's craft or love of the family are motivating.

Anonymous Josh November 07, 2013 5:03 PM  

In 2013, under tightening austerity measures, my reality is homelessness, suicide or ______. 3rd options and contingency plans are all foiled, ruined.

That sucks. It can't be all that bad, can it?

Blogger tz November 07, 2013 5:38 PM  

The hardest balance is between the temporal and the eternal. "Mid-life" is laughable in the face of eternal life or eternal death.

The second hardest is to get the energy to throw in the trash all the junk matter that doesn't matter.

We must act in this world, but the focus must be on the next. At least if you are a Christian or believe in God or the afterlife. If you don't, go Epicurean, enjoy things as long and as much as possible, and commit suicide when pain exceeds pleasure.

If your head is down and looking at the ground, it is most severe, but if you only look to the horizon you are missing it. Look up for your redemption draweth nigh.

I've read history, perhaps not in as much detail or depth as Vox, but enough to realize that every era had its evils and reason for dispair. The cold war, nuclear holocaust, and Jim Crow racism of my parent's era. The Nazis and the "roaring" '20s decadence before (Schoenburg's music is the best argument). Back further slavery and the war or Northern Aggression. The church has always been divided and corrupt.

But all that is rubbish. Only salvation through Jesus Christ matters. Put him first. Psalm 27, "I believe that I will see the bounty of the Lord in the Land of the Living". The peace that passes all understanding. CS Lewis said aim for heaven and all these things will be added unto you. Jesus said anything given up for the kingdom will be returned 100 fold - but with persecutions.

If you live in an 15 billion year, trillion light-year diameter universe, you live in a very small world compared to where I hope to be. Lewis in the Last Battle noted something bigger on the inside than the outside. But that is heaven. Huge beyond imagining since God is infinite. Earth and the universe between the quasars is tiny. Hell is infinitesimal.

Motivation? The joy of the Lord is my strength. Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They shall rise up on the wings of eagles. It is all true, but faith precedes realization.

Blogger Markku November 07, 2013 5:40 PM  

Well, yes, I'd say it is pretty bad for Linda. Homelessness is realistic.

Anonymous Josh November 07, 2013 5:47 PM  

Damn. Well you're in my prayers, Linda.

Blogger Markku November 07, 2013 5:48 PM  

She has no debt herself except a few hundred dollars credit card, but she has a compulsively gambling mother with a malicious lawyer at her disposal.

Blogger Revelation Means Hope November 07, 2013 6:18 PM  

LP, I think you meant "too full of pride" people would never accept help from the system.
Get over yourself. Not every "user" of the system is evil. It's the lifelong users who make a career of it who are evil.

And it is sad in this day and age when Bibles are easily available in readable formats that someone could post that life is hopeless. Understandable, but still sad.

Blogger rycamor November 07, 2013 6:37 PM  

JC, LP didn't say "hopelessness" but "homelessness".

Linda, dear girl, my prayers are with you too. Can't imagine...

Anonymous VD November 07, 2013 7:47 PM  

Go get a job in North Dakota, Linda. And keep away from the crazies in the Carolinas.

Anonymous map November 07, 2013 7:48 PM  

rycamoor -

I a not rejecting substance. It's just sometimes you have to fake it till you make the substance work out.

Anonymous zen0 November 07, 2013 8:08 PM  

scoobius dubious recommends:

Do this every day, a different route every day, look at a different object every day, then start to repeat the routes but look at other objects on that route, then eventually go back again and look at an object you've already looked at before. Things will start to surprise you.

Excellent, scoobius.

People can't see the trees for the forest, sometimes.

Blogger rycamor November 07, 2013 8:16 PM  

map November 07, 2013 12:52 PM

Sorry, I don't agree with any of the advice given here.


Everyone offered advice of substance. You rejected it all. Your only out is to say you didn't really mean it. I'll accept that, but if you want to use hyperbole, you need to learn its effective use.

Anonymous kh123 November 07, 2013 8:19 PM  

" I mean really LOOK at something. Look at all its lines and details, what their functions are, what it's doing in the place where it is, why it is there."

Art tip for Linda, take note.

Anonymous FUBAR Nation Ben November 07, 2013 8:27 PM  

Stilicho, I would love more ideas.

Dh, I'm going to e-mail Vox for your private email address. The information you provided is already valuable.

Thanks for all the advice.

Anonymous FUBAR Nation Ben November 07, 2013 8:34 PM  

Josh, I would also be interested to hear Vox's take on Taleb's ideas.

Anonymous JI November 07, 2013 8:44 PM  

"There were days when I didn't feel like blogging, there are still days when I don't feel like it. But I do it every single time, and fortunately, the motivation will be there as long as Whatever is deemed to be a competitor of some kind."

You suck, Vox, Whatever is waybetter. You bum, you'll never match the genius and originality one finds in Scalzi's kingdom. You should just give up now because you just can't do it.

Blogger Markku November 07, 2013 8:48 PM  

JI is mean. That's just at the threshold of what is obviously sarcasm and what isn't, considering Dimwit Dan et. al. Now I'm left wondering.

Anonymous Vidad November 07, 2013 8:52 PM  

" I mean really LOOK at something. Look at all its lines and details, what their functions are, what it's doing in the place where it is, why it is there."

"Art tip for Linda, take note."

No. That doesn't work anymore.

Better: take 100 nude pictures of the same person on the toilet. Name it something senseless, such as "Contemplative Prayer" or "Absolut Poop."

Or create an assemblage from discarded pieces of technology, paint it all one color and dub it "Anachronism #47."

One could also make a huge pile of soiled linens and give it the name of a world leader.

It's easy when you do it right.

Blogger Markku November 07, 2013 8:57 PM  

Anything that depicts Jesus and the apostles as homosexuals would be an easy way to trade your soul for fame & millionz.

Anonymous kh123 November 07, 2013 9:37 PM  

Ah, "art". I got "craft" and "crap" mixed up. Advice was for the former. My bad.

Anonymous throwaway November 07, 2013 9:46 PM  

Serious question. I'm a lazy fucking bum; spent probably half the times since I dropped out of college (physics) at 21 not working at all. Got diagnosed bipolar 5 years ago. I'm 30 now. Never took the meds, never relapsed; I think it was a drug-induced psychosis; but either way I get generous benefits from the state for sitting on my ass. Take care of my mother somewhat so not a total drain. Raised agnostic, Catholic schooling, moderately intelligent but calcified. I started getting some work recently proof-reading/editing. Pretty heavy editing actually since the author's are non-native speakers. But I'm a mile behind, not communicating w/ the employer. Ridiculously procrastination. I want to get the work done, finished, stop having to focus on not thinking about what I should be doing.

Thoughts? Advice? Thanks.

Anonymous kh123 November 07, 2013 9:46 PM  

...What Scoob described is fairly close to meditative. Immersion in something creative tends to be the same.

As far as the heart aspect... Find plenty of good reference. Feed the eyes. Tends to overcome burnout or lack of whatever one has in their... craft.

There, got it right that time.

Blogger Markku November 07, 2013 9:48 PM  

If you are a proofreader, then watch out for errors like "author's are".

Anonymous Another Lurker November 07, 2013 10:00 PM  

I've also been going through a rut. I'm 21, majoring in Accounting, and I've nearly completed my first two years at a community college. I'll be finished at the C.C.this Spring, and the fact that I don't know how I'm going to finish my degree without going into debt (I don't know how much I can get with scholarships) has kept me from seriously searching for college options. I've been allowing the fear of disappointment and failure keep me from acting. Also, my work experience is...lacking. As in, the only job I've had has been at the same horse farm for about five years.
I've had the feeling of "I've really blown it for myself, haven't I?" a lot over the past month since turning 21 (my birthday was last month), because I feel as though I'm at the end of the line, and I have to construct my own road for myself. The problem is that while I know what I want out of life (loving wife, kids, tightly nit family and the means to provide for them), the "means" part is just so seemingly up-in-the air that it scares me to death, especially in this economy.

I do have a question: Would ANY amount of student loan debt be intolerable? For an Accounting degree--and eventually my CPA--would not a little be fine? If so (as I suspect it is), what are my options? I greatly respect you guys of the Ilk, so any advice for me would be greatly appreciated.

Lastly, great post Vox. What you said, as well as the commentary from the Ilk, has been a much-needed boost.

Anonymous Josh November 07, 2013 10:40 PM  

Thoughts? Advice? Thanks.

North Dakota or South Texas. Oilfields.

Anonymous Josh November 07, 2013 10:41 PM  

I do have a question: Would ANY amount of student loan debt be intolerable? For an Accounting degree--and eventually my CPA--would not a little be fine? If so (as I suspect it is), what are my options? I greatly respect you guys of the Ilk, so any advice for me would be greatly appreciated.

Would you be able to transfer to a 4 year university with an accounting program that has 100% placement rates with Big 4 firms/

Anonymous lozozlo November 07, 2013 11:10 PM  

Oh, and definitely get around some men who are so busy, it makes your head spin at how fast they get shit done and how much they do regularly without quitting.

It'll put "busy" into perspective for you.


Ancient Chinese proverb - "The busy man is never wise and the wise man is never busy"

Get plenty done, sure, but if your nose is always to the grindstone you are looking at the ground and not all around you.

Why else are we encouraged (well if you are not welfare parasite that is) to work tons of hours to buy worthless crap we don't need?

An overworked populace that does not have the time for (worthy) leisure, like reading the classics (NOT watching TV) is a populace too tired and too ignorant to be a thread to the ruling classes.

Blogger Markku November 07, 2013 11:10 PM  

reading the classics

Like perhaps the great books for men?

Anonymous lozozlo November 07, 2013 11:11 PM  

Along similar lines...

Anonymous lozozlo November 07, 2013 11:23 PM  

Like perhaps the great books for men?

lzozozlzllzozozlo!

Anonymous lozozlo November 07, 2013 11:26 PM  

If I may, here is the list of the GREAT BOOKS FOR MEN that Markku mentioned above.

Markku - are there any Finnish books that you could add to the list (translated into English of course)

All men should begin immediately by reading the following books which the central bankers and their fellow churchians hate, fear, and detest:

0. THE BIBLE
1. Homer’s Iliad
2. Homer’s Odyssey
3. Exodus & Ecclesiastes & The Psalms
4. Virgil’s Aeneid
5. Socrates’ Apology
6. The Book of Matthew & Jefferson’s Bible
7. Plato’s Repulic
8. Seneca’s Letters from a Stoic
9. Aristotle’s Poetics
10. Dante’s Inferno
11. The Declaration of Independence
12. The Constitution
13. John Milton’s Paradise Lost
14. Shakespeare’s Hamlet
15. Newton’s Principia
16. Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations and Theory of Moral Sentiments
17. Henry David Thoreau’s Walden
18. Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn (& all of his work)
19. Shakespeare’s Hamlet
20. Ludwig von Mises’ A Theory of Money and Credit
21. F.A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom
22. Herman Melville’s Moby Dick
23. Einstein’s The Meaning of Relativity
24. Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces and The Power of Myth
25. Ron Paul’s Revolution & End the Fed
26. THE BIBLE

Blogger Markku November 07, 2013 11:33 PM  

Finnish books tend to be distinctively... Finnish. They are seldom universal; they are usually very much about the Finnish personality and character, even though they aren't necessarily directly about it.

However, a pretty safe book to try would be The Unknown Soldier by Väinö Linna. If on the other hand you want to see something very VERY Finnish, then Seven Brothers by Aleksis Kivi. But the former is the distinctive Finnish novel, like War and Peace or Crime and Punishment might be for Russians.

Blogger rycamor November 07, 2013 11:35 PM  

One additional bit of advice I would offer to any young men here: truly think about what you will do if there is no one to give you the job you have studied and prepared for. Do you know how to garden? Farm? Hunt? Do you have any trade skills? Survival skills? Do you have any tools, weapons?

There is a very real chance that civilized Western society will break down in some drastic ways, and the beginnings of it could happen in the next handful of years. If you have a good career path ahead of you, fine, but make a getaway plan. Don't be stuck in the cities like a chump waiting for the authorities to supply all your needs (and to herd you all into FEMA camps if necessary).

I am very busy running tech projects and providing database consulting, and the companies I work with would gladly send me out 100% of the time, but I decided that one of my priorities is to have enough of a homestead that my family could survive there if needed. This means I only travel occasionally and telecommute for the rest of my work. This means I spend at least an hour a day working some aspect of my garden, caring for goats and chickens, and preparing the property we live on for future growing (lots of composting and mulch). It may not sound glamorous, and I could make a lot more money if I disregarded it, but we have a refuge if the hammer drops.

Blogger Markku November 07, 2013 11:38 PM  

Wikipedia says of the Seven Brothers, "Since the early 20th century, it has been considered so brilliant as to be virtually untranslatable." and I strongly suspect that it is indeed so.

Anonymous scoobius dubious November 07, 2013 11:40 PM  

"I've had the feeling of "I've really blown it for myself, haven't I?" a lot over the past month since turning 21"

Nobody who is only 21 should ever entertain the feeling that they've blown it, or that they're out of options. You're 21!!! The whole world sits coyly before you with its legs charmingly crossed, beckoning. Don't feel like you're out of gas, you've only just got started. If one thing doesn't work out, another will.

Go listen to the Johnny Cash songs "Wide Open Road" and "I've Been Everywhere", that'll cheer you up. In fact, just listen to everything Johnny Cash ever recorded, that'll REALLY cheer you up!!

If you're afraid of debt to continue your accounting education, maybe go volunteer to do some free simple accounting for some small business in your area, or a church or a soup kitchen, in exchange for the experience. Just do simple stuff so you're not liable for mistakes, which hopefully you won't make. Do that a few times in different contexts, hey guess what, now you've got new ideas about things and a story to tell, you know what you just did? You made yourself interesting to college admissions officers. Now you can grab that scholarship, baby!

The main thing is to not lose your taste for combat. Enjoy the struggle, when you're that age, even adversity is fun, or should be. As Edna Mode once said, "FIGHT!! WIN!!!!!!!!!"

Anonymous scoobius dubious November 07, 2013 11:46 PM  

"but we have a refuge if the hammer drops."

I hope you also have a lot of guns, and know how to use them. If the hammer really drops hard, the vibrants will find your refuge eventually, and you better believe they will be all about the sharing and the cultural enriching and more sharing, lots and lots of sharing. Better have some lead handy to enrich them with.

Anonymous lozozlo November 07, 2013 11:52 PM  

Thanks Markku

It is always a bit sad to me how language forms a barrier to enjoying the brilliant literature of other cultures (such as the Finns in your case) but I guess in this fallen world that will always be the case...

Also note that in the U.S. at least, Crime and Punishment and War and Peace are considered great literature (read C&P but not W&P myself) even though I am sure that the Russian to English translation is only a reflection of the original at best.

Anonymous Josh November 07, 2013 11:53 PM  

One additional bit of advice I would offer to any young men here: truly think about what you will do if there is no one to give you the job you have studied and prepared for. Do you know how to garden? Farm? Hunt? Do you have any trade skills? Survival skills? Do you have any tools, weapons?

Wife's family has 150+ acres of farmland 1 hr south of where we live. Huge garden, orchard, vines, 50+ head of cattle.

Our long term goal is a small homestead of 5-10 acres where we can grow and raise enough food to feed our family.

Blogger Markku November 07, 2013 11:54 PM  

Heh, turns out that English translations of The Unknown Soldier cost over three hundred dollars at Amazon - and it isn't even a very long book. Looks like you're out of luck with that one.

Anonymous lozozlo November 07, 2013 11:54 PM  

@Markku: Of course your English seems to be good enough (seems just like a native speaker to me at least) that I doubt that there are any language barriers with you understanding anything in English.

I wish us 'mericans weren't such linguistic retards...most of us are monolingual, and I myself only speak one other language with meaningful fluency...

Anonymous The other skeptic November 07, 2013 11:55 PM  

Someone found some motivation to steal some guns from the highly competent FBI.

Anonymous lozozlo November 07, 2013 11:57 PM  

Heh, turns out that English translations of The Unknown Soldier cost over three hundred dollars at Amazon

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh well I guess I will have to forgo what I am sure is excellent Finnish literature...hope you enjoyed it at least.

Blogger rycamor November 08, 2013 12:34 AM  

scoobius dubious November 07, 2013 11:46 PM

"but we have a refuge if the hammer drops."

I hope you also have a lot of guns, and know how to use them. If the hammer really drops hard, the vibrants will find your refuge eventually, and you better believe they will be all about the sharing and the cultural enriching and more sharing, lots and lots of sharing. Better have some lead handy to enrich them with.


Not yet what I would call "lots", but surrounded by neighbors of like mind, with a good local network of Christian/libertarian/homeschooling people. We can circle the wagons fairly quickly if needed.

Let's put it this way: it is far better a situation than where we used to live in the densely-packed South Florida coast.

Also, we have at least two exit plans, although discussing more.

Anonymous Jack Amok November 08, 2013 1:01 AM  

Back on the topic of motivation, I'm sure different people have success with different techniques, but - as corny as it sounds - one of my best self-motivational techniques is to just make a To-Do list. I hate leaving things un-checked on the list. Competitive, I guess, don't want to feel like I came up short.

But like Vox said about failure - self-motivation is a process of trying several things until you find what works for you. Don't be afraid to try things and don't be discouraged if what worked for someone else doesn't work for you. Some technique will, you just have to sort through everything until you find it.

Anonymous A Visitor November 08, 2013 2:06 AM  

Although I did not see AL's original post, I feel all the responses apply to me too as I am in my mid-20's also (26) and feel I am in a rut with work right now.

Thanks to all for the advice, especially on exercise. I neglect it too much and it shows.

Anonymous A Visitor November 08, 2013 2:07 AM  

I should say life in general, not just work. Some of my best friends are married and I'm still single. I am on the other side of the country from my family in a town...that we'll say could easily pass for Juarez in some respects.

Blogger pdwalker November 08, 2013 3:43 AM  

Quit all social networking sites. Stop comparing yourself with others in an unfavorable fashion. Recognize sources of envy in your life and eliminate them. Start accomplishing something, no matter how minor, to improve your mindset. Exercise. Eat better. Start liking yourself more. Force yourself to think positively and not negatively. Laugh more.

Anonymous Koanic November 08, 2013 5:59 AM  

Widespace, externally oriented locus of ego. This is why you debate the way you do - it's a style designed to edge out the other guy. Well designed for that purpose.

I, being deepsocket, have a different motivational set. I have trouble seeing the people involved at all. Just interested in truth vs falsehood. Intrinsic rightness motivates me.

Couldn't replicate your style. My people attention span is too short. Don't want to change. Default hardware setting.

Blogger Rantor November 08, 2013 9:33 AM  

Josh, a little debt is OK, to me that means $10,000 or less for a Bachelors. WIth (I think) 10 years to pay it off, it is manageable. In your field a good job should cover it. If you can continue to work through the bachelors, that is best. Better to take three years, work and have little to no debt than to come out in two owing $50,000 or more. For Bachelors, I still think the best state school you can afford is the right strategy. If you land a good corporate position they will probably help with the MBA, advanced accounting degree, etc.

With your horse farming experience, you might be able to use that as entree to accounting for farming, commodities, animal auction houses, etc. There have got to be needs for that. and as someone else mentioned oil fields, they need accountants too.

If you want a total change, then look tothe schools that have the specializations that will get you there. Don't assume though that the named school will get you the right job, things are not getting better yet. Friends in DC are hiring college grads at $10. an hour, so there are a lot around (probably with macrame degrees) and the sheepskin is no guarantee.

Blogger Latigo3 November 08, 2013 9:46 AM  

One way of being successful is to not work in a big corporate environment with a bunch of women. All the women ever do is complain about how, "it's too cold!" or "it's to hot". Then they are always asking if you are going to contribute to the potluck, or they might ask you, "why aren't you smiling today?". Next thing you know you loud your job because you don't smile enough.
I tell my son, do not get a job or start a business that contains a lot of women.
So, I Sa find an industry that isn't fills of cackling hens, and you'll be good.

Anonymous RedJack November 08, 2013 10:04 AM  

21 and a rut? Good God man, you haven't even started!

I am 37, and trying to decide if I take the step to get a Master's, or build another exit plan. Becoming a father has made me turn my focus away from my job to my family.

Anonymous BillB November 08, 2013 10:08 AM  

YHWH will put you where he wants you. For example, I am by education a professor of environmental physical chemistry (the fate of chemical compounds in natural systems) and I am both an excellent lab rat and a great manager. I am also one of the BEST at teaching, at least at the universities where I worked, which may not be saying a lot. Throughout my history from the age of 20 on, I worked as a lab rat, trained others, developed testing procedures, managed labs, etc. Upon completion of my PhD, I decided to forego the lab route and profess. I turned down the lab director position for the teaching position. I applied for other positions and always selected against the lab management position in order to be in the lecture hall. BUT every time I looked for a new position, the first offered was one where the lab management functions magically were transferred over to the new hire (after the interview). And so on I went choosing not what I now know God had in mind for me but what I thought I should do. I then began the 4th of my on-the-side businesses. After 15 yrs of really good money in business, I looked around and thought about a change in life. A QC/QA position was open with a testing lab at the U where I lectured and of course I was hired. Great job, QA/QC gets to yell at the employees for screwing up and congratulate them for a job well done. Four months later the lab director retires and guess who is moved into the position. And so I completed my sentence a while back, retired, and now do Grandpa daycare, fish, knap, and generally do what makes my heart happy. God wanted me in the lab management position. It took Him 30 years to get me to accept it but He won out. Search Him for help.

Anonymous E. PERLINE November 08, 2013 10:42 AM  

There are certain smallish businesses that thrive, regardless of how ridiculous the national economy is. Your goal, in your twenties, is to find them. This is hard but it isn't as hard as passing some college tests.

When some of these obscure businesses look interesting, you must try to enter them as an employee. The salary offered at the beginning does not matterm. Being turned down a number of times does not matter either. Take my word for it you will eventually get a job there, especially if you are loyal and can read and write English.The way old management sees it, they want their own lives to be easier,

Also you can marry into the family if you think one woman is different from another. Having learned and become well known in the industry, you will now be a valuable conmmodity.

Blogger rcocean November 08, 2013 12:23 PM  

This should be tattooed to every young man's forehead ' Just working hard isn't enough' - hard work is just a prerequisite, like being intelligent. Other than external factors, like luck, the biggest factor in success is the ability to take calculated risks and to learn and bounce back from failure.

Blogger rycamor November 08, 2013 1:19 PM  

Koanic November 08, 2013 5:59 AM

Widespace, externally oriented locus of ego. This is why you debate the way you do - it's a style designed to edge out the other guy. Well designed for that purpose.

I, being deepsocket, have a different motivational set. I have trouble seeing the people involved at all. Just interested in truth vs falsehood. Intrinsic rightness motivates me.

Couldn't replicate your style. My people attention span is too short. Don't want to change. Default hardware setting.


Koanic, you wonderful loon, who are you responding to?

Anonymous Josh November 08, 2013 2:42 PM  

I think Vox

Anonymous Pterodactyl November 08, 2013 3:29 PM  

Thank you, all. I am also stuck in Rut-istan and will implement some of the suggestions posted here to get myself out.

Blogger Hacked acctount 2018/19? hcaacked! November 09, 2013 5:33 PM  

Thank you gentlemen, your words never ever fall on blind eyes or deaf ears.

It is just obvious that I am a weak woman.

Anonymous JI November 10, 2013 12:02 PM  

Markku wrote:
"JI is mean. That's just at the threshold of what is obviously sarcasm and what isn't, considering Dimwit Dan et. al. Now I'm left wondering."

I was just kidding. I read VP every day and love it. Just want to keep VD motivated is all.

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