Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Nothing Left to Lose - The Last Ingredient

In order to achieve your best you cannot have any other responsibilities except unto yourself.  What I mean by that is if you REALLY want to excel, you really want to push your mind and and body to the limit and see just what pure excellence you can achieve in this finite life you have, you cannot be working for somebody else, you cannot be beholden to somebody else, you cannot answer to somebody else.

This is difficult because unless you are independently wealthy, you must answer to somebody else.  Namely, you need a job, you need food on the table, you need shelter over your head and so, one way or another, you have to play by other people's rules.

Unfortunately, employers' goals are not your own.  Their goals are for their shareholders and owners (as it should be).  Therefore they WILL compensate you for your time, but you will not be working towards something you want in life.  You are merely entering into this agreement to sustain yourself, not advance yourself.

What angers me though is when employers, or others, then think what you do in your free time is somehow their business and under their jurisdiction.  You write a blog, you are politically active, you moonlight or consult on the side, you pursue a hobby or second career.  And with the internet (especially for young people whose personal lives on pretty much ON the internet), it's pretty easy for employers to snoop into your personal lives.  What enrages me, however, is where they have the audacity to start claiming rights and control over your free time, holding your daytime job hostage so that you don't engage in behavior they disapprove of (even though it is your free life and your free time).

I wanted to get a law passed in the legislature that would ban companies from disciplining or firing people for any activity outside of work that didn't directly threaten or undermine their employer.  But with the most recent elections I doubt anything that sensible would get passed at the state or national level.  Regardless, until such a law is passed, if you want to pursue true excellence in life, you need to risk it.  YOu need to put yourself and your dreams first, put your employer and their threats second, otherwise you will be the cubicle slave for the rest of your days.

Fortunately, most of what you need is already there.  A lousy economy and lousy future employment prospects.  Stagnant economic growth and ensuing layoffs (most likely triggered by BOcare).  A stale and entrenched managerial class who have to continue to work because they so piss-poorly managed their retirements, thereby resulting in no advancement opportunities.  And a sclerotic and corrupt corporate sector, more focused on rent seeking and ass-kissing than they are efficiency, production, and profit.  All of which results in a poor proposition from modern day employers. There's just one ingredient left.

You need to have nothing left to lose.

Most of you have jobs.  Most of you have some assets.  Most of you have some money.  All of which would be threatened if you lost your job or irked the wrong person.  The problem is, unless you've succeeded and achieved whatever it is you wanted to, those meager possessions are just that - meager. They are not worth sacrificing your life and your dreams over.  Yes you may go hungry.  Yes you may lose your job.  Yes you may excommunicate yourself from any future job prospects, but what was the other choice?

  • Continue slaving away at a low-level job you could have done in the 6th grade?
  • Wake up everyday at 6AM to suffer a 2 hour round trip commute working on projects that numb and atrophy you mind and burn away your youth?
  • Suffer the inanities of office politics and the leadership of the Norman Dykes of Gen X and the Baby Boomers?
  • Become just another ordinary nobody that will never amount to anything unique or significant?

Congratulations, you and another 300 million other Americans will go in the dust bin of history along with the rest of the 50 billion humans that have lived in the past, the majority of which also will be forever forgotten.  All because you couldn't risk losing your $40,000/year job with crappy benefits and overpriced health insurance.

I know you all have to make money.  I know you all have to make ends meet.  Heck, I know you have social and professional circles you can't alienate by speaking bluntly and being politically incorrect.  And I know the prospect of being willing to forfeit all you have gained is intimidating.  But you have no idea of the freedom and just how much more opportunity presents itself when you truly have nothing left to lose.  There are no risks.  There are no consequences.  You can't lose anything and you're mind is finally free to do what it wants, say what it wants and think what it wants.  And a truly free mind will come up with a lot more profitable ideas than slaving away, conforming to the safe, but highly abusive and low-paying status quo.

Sorry for my rant, just sat in a corporate cafeteria watching a bunch of cogs sit there with defeated looks on their faces.  The conversation I was eavesdropping on was some middle management putz questioning his subordinates on the most anal retentive details.  You could see it in his face he was a dictator and got his jollies off of having control.  His staff were scared and confused by his (purposely) confusing questions.  These people had at least 10 years on me and their lives are miserable, or at least 8 hours a day it is.  Just reminded me of how dysfunctional corporate America has become.  This, also contrasted against coming up on month 6 of surviving off of blog money without having to dip into reserves, makes the whole corporate cog life all that much more revolting.

19 comments:

whoism3 said...

To everyone i say, Go your own way.

It gives you the freedom to leave whenever you like, not beholden to any specific job. Don't like where you are now? Being silenced for your views? Sword of Damocles over your head? Just walk away from it.

No obligations to society, a society that hates you and would enslave you into a culture of consumer debt spending to keep up with the jones. Make enough only for yourself and your endevours, but unless you run your own business or are your own boss, do not trap yourself into a lifestyle situation where someone else holds the power over you.

Enough of the productive class needs to step away to let civilization return to a natural balance instead of this subsidized farce we call society is enjoying today. Going your own way is a start.

whoism3 said...

To everyone i say, Go your own way.

It gives you the freedom to leave whenever you like, not beholden to any specific job. Don't like where you are now? Being silenced for your views? Sword of Damocles over your head? Just walk away from it.

No obligations to society, a society that hates you and would enslave you into a culture of consumer debt spending to keep up with the jones. Make enough only for yourself and your endevours, but unless you run your own business or are your own boss, do not trap yourself into a lifestyle situation where someone else holds the power over you.

Enough of the productive class needs to step away to let civilization return to a natural balance instead of this subsidized farce we call society is enjoying today. Going your own way is a start.

Anonymous said...

Cappy: please update the instructions on your Captcha for the e-mail. It needs to say something like "enter both the word and the number with a space between them; not just one or the other". With "two words" and one of them being a number; really confusing to us humans. Cheers. Really enjoy your blog.

Lib Arts Major Making Jack Squattery at an Office Job said...

When I got nothing to lose, I'm heading out to the Bakken Oil fields to get paid $15 bucks an hour as a waiter.

This is more than I get paid for a Master's Degree at my current job.

Southern Man said...

Sorry, but your law making it more difficult to fire people will just make companies all the more reluctant to hire people in the first place. What does that get us?

Altimanix said...

@Southern Man

it gets you europe...as I well know.

not that it matters, all the world's nations are just turds circling the bowl, it's just a matter of who goes first - but really? we're all going.

Anonymous said...

Hi Capt.

This is my first time posting here. I have been enjoying your site for about six months now and have read your first two books. I really liked the housing crash one.

I agree with Southern Man that making more laws in regard to employment will just make it harder for people to get jobs. I also think it is anti-property rights. People/companies risking their own capital should be able to fire anyone for any reason (within the rules of a contract if signed). I am in the Army right now but am set to get out in just under two years and plan to become self-employed.

Anyway, I am a premium member of the Peter Schiff radio show and was thinking about asking him to have you on it, but I wanted to check with you first to make sure you wanted to do it. I think it would be interesting to hear the two of you talk about the housing bubble as both of you predicted it, but you were inside the beast and he was outside.

Thanks for the great blog.

Captain Capitalism said...

Anon 131

HELL YES! I'm more than happy to go on Schiff's show! I'll mail you a book to send him personally i fyou want.

Thanks!

George guy said...

The real solution to correcting the balance of power between employer and employee is to have more people accustomed to maintaining alternative skill sets.

The more other jobs you qualify for, the less power any one employer can have over you.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that you would bring this up- I just found out that there is a site that is compiling a bunch of private information about me (well, about everyone)- everything from addresses, ages, previous online dating, previous jobs, current phone, spouses, family, etc- MyLife.com. You ought to check it out. You're on there.

Karl said...

On the bright side:

I met a gentlemen and business owner through a friend recently. The friend mentioned that I sell Commie Obama hats.

The business owner has a position open that I am grossly overqualified for, but as I am a job-seeker in Commie Obama's America, I can expect a long job hunt. So I applied.

I was put to the front of the line and should be starting in another week or two. A win win. I get something to keep me busy as I seek the 'real' job, and he gets a drug-free, solid work-ethic worker who wants to help where ever he can.

Definitely the exception to your rule...

Karl

Tom White said...

I have began this journey. I only work temporary jobs I am over-educated for. I am trying to follow my dream. It feels good to hold down a job knowing you can walk away at any minute. I almost quit twice in the middle of the shift when some office wanker gave me shit. If he hadn't walked away I'd have told him where to stick it and then he could finish job himself. Its amazing the dignity you have when you know that you can walk away in a moment and you can survive until the next job. You don't take any shit. You don't grovel. You don't feel like a 2nd rate citizen.
It makes having a job like having a gf. Being able to walk away at a moment's notice is key. It stops them treating you like a doormat and taking you for granted.
The secret is to always take a temporary job so you have an end date to look forward to. A permanent job is an addiction and breeds servility.
I may never become great but at least I am taking a shot, something I put off for far too long.

V10 said...

Best advice for anyone online is to stop posting every fucking brain-fart that pops into your head, at least under your own name. Assume that anything you say or post online will be seen by everyone, forever. Nothing can be deleted, nothing will stay private. Practice judicious self-censorship.

I'd add avoid Facebook, twitter and the rest like the plague, as they are time-sinks, drama factories and destroyers of privacy, but your mileage may wary.

MachoMan said...

The reason employers snoop is because they are terrified of getting a call from some lobbying group that says, "this person working for you has political opinions we disagree with, fire them or we'll boycott you and try to generate a lot of bad press for your company."

You minimize the risk of this by policing the personal lives of your employees and getting rid of anyone who is goes against mainstream (meaning politically correct) orthodoxy. If burning a pinch of incense before the alter of egalitarianism is the price of profitability basically every business will do it. In this way they are able to enforce speech codes while still having nominally free speech. Go ahead, say something we don't like, but good luck getting a job.

This isn't just private either. Federal regulators are a law unto themselves now. Suppose you run an oil drilling company in North Dakota. If you get a reputation as un-pc some regulator might maliciously deny you a drilling permit. You have no recourse. Regulators basically write, interpret, and enforce laws at their own whim. Unelected bureaucrats have 100x more power than congress or even the president.

Anonymous said...

I recall a quote from a Joseph Epstein biographical essay. Joseph's father told him that if he ever worked for someone else he was a "schmuck." Joseph's father humped it as a salesman in the early days and fought and strove to do it himself. He succeeded. He became well off, donated to many charities and travelled in his retirement. Joseph's father was a salesman who actually built something... Driven men are disappearing now and much quicker beneath the Obama sinkhole...

Anonymous said...

"I wanted to get a law passed in the legislature that would ban companies from disciplining or firing people for any activity outside of work that didn't directly threaten or undermine their employer."

Sounds like socialist interference with the free market. Workers have the right to quit and go elsewhere. When you let the government meddle it ruins the sanctity of capitalism. Next thing you know, it's a feminist socialist dystopia.

randian said...

The reason employers snoop is because they are terrified of getting a call from some lobbying group

That only proves that many employers, especially publicly-held ones, are weak-willed ninnies. The threat of bad press from the professional agitators on the left is why most public companies donate to Democrats.

Anonymous said...

Dear Captain Capitalism.

Do you really know what it means to have nothing to lose ? No, you are absolutely wrong about it meaning having many opportunities.

I know what "having nothing to lose" means and it means having ONLY ONE OPTION LEFT on the table.

Captain Capitalism said...

Anon 406

Yes, actually I do know what it's like to have nothing left to lose.

have you ever stared into the eyes of suicide?

If you have then you realize just how many more options are available and how free you really are.

Have I ever had nothing left to lose.

PFA!