I made a quote recently that sparked several comments and questions from readers. The quote is “PEOPLE WITH NOTHING HAVE EVERYTHING TO GAIN, PEOPLE WITH EVERYTHING HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE, PEOPLE IN THE MIDDLE OFTEN STAND STILL HOLDING ON TO THE LITTLE THEY HAVE IN FEAR OF LOSING IT”.
I’m normally very disciplined and keep every blog at or below 500 words but this one deserves a few extra words so I apologize upfront.
Just so you know, I have experienced the world from all three economic vantage points. I believe most people in the United States have a choice on how they would like to experience life financially and socially. Some people enjoy the simple but fulfilling experiences life has to offer. Like living in a small fishing village with a job that pays the bills and affords enough to fish whenever, smell the salt air and walk along the beach everyday. They can be happy in their world as long as you do not disturb their happiness. I Refer to these individuals as people with nothing because it’s their choice not to hold on to worldly possession and live life through their experiences. These individuals are often looked down upon and considered weak. But if you push their ON switch, they will rise to any occasion without fear to defend what’s important to them. They possess a power that movements are made of. A number of great leaders were made when the life they believed in became threatened.
Others want a nice home with a pool as well as private school for the kids. They sacrifice their time and some experiences to provide their ideal environment for their family. They avoid anything that may disturb their controlled lifestyle and run from taking risk or challenging people of power. I refer to these individuals as people in the middle.
And finally, you have individuals who are born with a burning desire to accomplish greatness in life. They are willing to pay their dues to make it happen. They are often misunderstood, stereotyped and criticized. They come from all cultures, social and economic backgrounds. They are often leaders and become wealthy at some point in their life. They won’t settle for poor performance and refuse to follow weak leaders. I refer to them as people with everything.
I worked as a landscaper for eight years and experienced life as a humble servant making the world beautiful with my hands. I worked very hard for our family business and learned to earn a living from a position without power or a title. My father dropped out of school to make money for his family in the sixth grade and was a poor reader. He made up for this shortcoming with good old fashioned wisdom, work ethic and charisma. He was a strong believer of the Christian faith and always said, “A man who stands for nothing, falls for everything”. One day he was in an argument with a neighbor about me and the neighbors son joining the military or going to war. The neighbor was 100% opposed to the idea but my father disagreed. He said to the neighbor, I NEVER WANT TO SEE A CHILD OF MINE DIE BUT IF HE DOES WHILE DOING WHAT’S RIGHT OR HELPING PEOPLE, I CAN DEAL WITH THAT. I WOULD NEVER WANT TO SEE MY SON DIE IN THE STREETS ON DRUGS OR DOING WRONG. This was the first time I heard my father speak about dying for what you believe in but it wasn’t my last. My father lived this belief because he had to wake up and fight everyday to feed our family and that belief stuck with me. I had nothing at this point in my life except my burning desire to become a man who would make my mother and father proud along with what they had taught me. I soon found out that desire was power.
I later worked in sales, production and entertainment in the middle zone of life. I was financially comfortable but refused to buy into the American Dream of owning a house with a pool and a 401k account as having arrived. I was restless and still worked long hours and spent the rest of my time with my family. I watched my middle income friends slip in and out of debt and disaster due to unknown circumstances and knew I couldn’t live in this place. I searched for opportunities and immersed myself into my industry in order to separate myself from the pack. I wanted to reach the place that I believed would give me comfort and security. Many of my friends ridiculed me and said I was greedy and only wanted to be famous. I could have easily stood down and fell in line to prove to them I wasn’t in it for the money and fame but the security of knowing my family would become stronger if I was able to lift them higher on my shoulders. I knew my children couldn’t take the same path to success that I did because times had changed and that path had grown shut.
I thought everyone who wasn’t supportive in my life was against me until I learned the truth. Some of these people loved me but didn’t want to see me fail or disappoint myself. They tried to protect me by talking me out of my dreams and goals but I had seen too much. I knew that standing still means you’re moving backwards because life never stops. Bills get higher, lifestyles change, families grow and economies fail. These are all facts that we can’t control but we can outpace them. I realized I had to move forward because standing in the middle zone of life tamed my power because it’s the most fragile place to grow wealth from. The fear of losing the few possessions we’ve worked for can be paralyzing. We don’t want to bring up good ideas at work in fear of being fired. We don’t want to hold our kids accountable because they may act out or cause more problems than we’re ready to handle so we back down. We won’t invest in our business ideas or inventions in fear of missing a car payment or tuition bill. We refuse to invest in ourselves and become dependent upon chance. Smart people never invest in individuals unwilling to invest in themselves. We make ourselves worthless when we’re unwilling to sharpen our professional sword or put our own money where our mouth is. Would you buy a house in the middle of a rising swamp or buy stock in a company who’s CEO is under indictment for fraud and dumped all of his shares?
Well let’s fast forward a bit. I always dreamed that I would relax once I reached my current status but I was so wrong. I’ve become hungrier and more determined than the days when I had nothing. Or so I thought. Success creates new challenges that inspire us to find solutions. We also begin to understand the mysterious fire that motivates us to charge forward when we are tired, ridiculed or lonely. Understanding that money is not power was monumental for me. True power is born during our journey. Power is believing in your dreams so deeply that you erase all fear. Liv Fearless and learn how to access your power from where you stand right now.
Written By: Victor Young
Follow The Daily Life Coach on Facebook
@thevictoryoung on Twitter www.TheDailyLifeCoach.Com/Blog