I just recently got back from visiting my former boss Vince in the ICU. He was rushed to the hospital during the weekend and found out that he was suffering from liver failure. When I got there no one was there, just him lying in a bed hooked up to a bunch of tubes. He was sedated and wasn’t responding to me, but was moving his legs.
I had respect for Vince for a lot of reasons. This man was almost universally vilified among his customers. Most people couldn’t handle his rough attitude. He was all about business and was a person of action. He didn’t tolerate bullshit. Unfortunately, bullshit abounds.
He and I personally butt heads a number of times and had many arguments, but we always had respect for each other. It’s such a strange time for this to happen because I was just talking to my friend about visiting him at his home. Instead I’m navigating the cold, impersonal halls of the hospital to see him, and it strikes me that we leave this world the same way we come in, alone.
I liked Vince a lot because he did something that everyone aspires to, but many fail to achieve. He lived his dream and created a life of freedom. Vince was a student of Medieval European History, served in the military, and became a tenured professor of History. He then gave this up to open his own business. Instead of staying comfortable in university he decided to step out of his comfort zone, and in doing so became rich.
Live your Dream
In life you have two choices to make, start living your dreams, or live the dreams of others. These two options could also be explained as the path to freedom or the path to security.
If you decide to go about living your dream, there’s risk involved, but it will unquestionably result in freeing your mind. On the other hand if you decide that the risk is too great and work towards being secure right now, you will achieve security, but the price you pay will be enslavement of the mind.
Ask yourself what your dream actually is. For me I’d like the freedom from people telling me what to do, and the power to act as I see fit. I also want to build my own systems for making money without relying on some invisible guy to pay me as long as I keep punching keys and showing up.
One road leads to a grueling amount of work in the immediate future, but it’s work that you enjoy doing and own. You’re building up systems of revenue for yourself that get bigger and bigger until you can sit back and not have to worry about money anymore. After you don’t have to worry about money, you can focus all your energy on whatever you want. You take pride in the fact that you built your way to freedom.
Another road also leads to a grueling amount of work, but there’s no end in sight. You are working for someone else and are provided with a blanket of security to make you second guess your gut. With all the security money you have, you decide to get a mortgage and have kids. Years later you wake up realizing you only worked for money and didn’t build anything. Now you’re old and have to battle depression with having nothing to show for your life.
The first road you defer a much greater life for yourself until after you built it.
The second road you release responsibility for your life in exchange for security which allows a comfortable life, but will not allow a great life.
The first road, everything is on you.
The second road, nothing is ever your fault. Life just happens.
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