Life has proven to be a very resilient adversary; it’s always up for one more round.
We can’t say that life is always going the way we want, because mostly it isn’t.
If you were born in between the 70’s and the 90’s, then you belong to the Y-generation and probably you think you are better than your parents and you are more likely to get rich faster. Professional realization is better than a stable job, and surely you thought would have it all by 30 years old.
Probably you didn’t.
If you are born before the 70’s, if you are not from a wealthy family, you had to work your ass off to conquer what you have now, fighting your way through college, your career or your own business. Professional stability was the best thing to have an awesome career and fulfill your dreams, and it required a lot of time and effort but you would surely achieve everything eventually.
Probably you didn’t.
If you are already a grandparent and you were born in between the 30’s and the 50’s, you lived a much harder time than we had after the 80’s. The economy after the Second World War went through a big boom and life now is much “easier” than it was then, so you can’t help yourself to think that this generation is way too soft and too full of dreamers.
I don’t blame you, life has taught you that.
Now let’s aim higher, people that actually did more than they ever dreamed.
The richest self-made men of modern times made their fortune in one life time and before they were 30 years old.
Technology is a relatively new market and it is still making a lot of people very rich, very fast.
So we get this feeling, more than ever, that if we don’t get rich before we’re 30 it is very unlikely we ever will.
We also inherited the “stable job” miasma that you should achieve the best of your professional life at 35 otherwise things just get harder for older people.
50 years ago, if you had a college education people would fight for you, even a community college.
Nowadays I see kids with two Bachelor’s degrees, a Master’s, and fluency in 3 different languages and yet they are unhappy or can’t find a job they want. They aren’t even 30.
This generation is made to grow up and learn faster than ever, since we are “lucky” to live in times like these, as your grandpa would say, or you father who got out of extreme poverty after a lot of work.
You will hear that it’s a waste of time and a lack of respect if you don’t go to college or you don’t proceed into the family business. After all, it is a legacy forged after years of your parents’ or grandparents’ very hard work.
It is expected from everybody, not only the new generation, to be more in less time.
We live in times of pure vanity.
Your success is measured by the car you drive, the house you have and the clothes you wear. You are considered a stand up citizen if you go to the right clubs, the right social circles and the right church. You can even add some spice to it if you engage yourself in any kind of minority outreach, it’s fully acceptable now a days.
But in the end, success is all measured by on how much you are like this fake idea of the perfect majority. Suburban houses, big SUV, Ivy League student children and nice Christmas decorations, that’s success.
But no one ever really asked how people feel about that.
This idea is made, more than ever, by the media. But now, it’s the social media.
People were already judgmental before social media; it took some effort to spy on your neighbor’s life. It was a stay home mom to gossip around about your “success” and to get to know you neighbor’s “failures”.
Well social media made it easier, not only for the one who sees but the one who publishes.
Nobody ever publishes an ugly-looking picture and even a hard day of work seems epical and artsy with a few layers of filters.
You won’t see someone sharing their disappointment with their family or their boss. Nobody makes a photo album of the hardest times; we only save the good moments.
Social media is no different.
To be pressured by the community it only takes a few clicks.
There will always be someone “better” than you. There will always be a reason to feel bad about yourself in case you are in a dark mood.
If you are feeling fat, you will see only picture of people who lost weight or have very nice bodies. Nobody posts “Hey Guys! I’ve gained 30 pounds and I don’t even use a bathing suit anymore!”
If you are feeling like a failure, it’s easy to find the new promotion, the new car, the new house or the amazing artsy pictures of somebody else’s travels. Nobody posts, “Today I got fired because they found someone younger, better and cheaper.”
You always see people at those amazing romantic dinners, fancy and expensive restaurants, the beautiful engagement rings and the wedding party. Also there are the new loves and the tender picture of the firsts snuggles.
Nobody posts “I cheated on my wife because I’m an asshole.” Nobody posts “I had to work for 3 months with over time to buy that expensive ring.” Nobody posts “I just got divorced and I want to kill myself.”
So let’s get real.
Life is what it is; you get what you paid for.
If you genuinely work, somehow, it will pay off. It’s simple; if you work out and follow a straight diet you will lose weight. If you find a good niche, create a good strategy and work a lot, you will make money. If you have a relationship and a nice partner, care and pay attention to it and admit you own mistakes, you will have a nice marriage.
The conclusion of this article is simple: Do not pay attention to what other people think.
We can’t choose our society, family or surroundings, but we can choose our fate. It doesn’t matter if you feel like your time is past or it is too late. It will be only too late when you stop trying.
If you don’t believe me, let me introduce you a few people.
Probably you’ve heard about The Fantastic Four, Spider-Man and the X-Men, right? It was Stan Lee’s creation, at the age of 39.
Samuel L. Jackson got famous at the age of 43; before 1991 nobody heard about him.
If you drive a car, you should know that Henry Ford created the Model T at 45 years old.
Darwin himself created his masterpiece, “On the Origins of Species” at 50.
If you like fast-food, McDonald’s owner, Ray Kroc, was a milkshake machine salesman until 52, when he bought McDonald’s and made it the biggest fast-food franchise in the whole world.
Harland Sanders, A.K.A. Colonel Sanders, franchised Kentucky Fried Chicken at the age of 62.
Warren Buffet became a billionaire at the age of 60. His first company was a gas station and it went bankrupt when he was 26.
Robert Noyce founded the Intel Corporation at the age of 41.
Do you understand the point now?
Stop caring about others, they do not live your life. If they try it’s because they are not happy with theirs.
And to finish with no room for doubts, here are some quotes from some of the most famous CEO’s in the world today:
“Advice for young women: ‘You do the same thing a male will do. You follow your passions. You find something you love. The truth is, so few people really jump on their jobs; you really will stand out more than you think. You will get noticed if you really go for it.'”
“What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I saw the movie Spartacus when I was just 10 years old. And from that day on, Kirk Douglas was a hero to me. Thirty years later, I found myself sitting next to him at a charity event. He had just addressed the crowd in a more eloquent, elegant, and passionate way than I had ever heard anyone speak before. I asked him where that passion came from. That is when he said the most important words anyone has ever said to me: “You haven’t learned how to live until you’ve learned how to give.”
What’s the best advice you like to give?
I don’t think it matters how small or how big the task is, if you can do it just a little bit better than what is expected, you will be noticed and rewarded. At DreamWorks, with every movie we make, we start out with the ambition and the goal to exceed the expectations of our audience. We may not succeed every time, and you may not either, but we sure do try.”
-Jeffrey Katzenberg (co-founder of DreamWorks)
“Never protect the past. If you never protect the past, I think … you will be willing to never love [it] so much [that] you won’t let it go, either.
Never define yourself as a product and, in fact, I would augment it; never define yourself by your competition, either. If you live and define yourself by your product or competition, you will lose sight of who your customer is.”
– Ginni Rometty (Chairman, President and CEO of IBM)
Read the rest of the article here.
Believe in yourself, disregard those who don’t.