The price lazy people pay for choosing "the easy" way in life costs them nothing short of their lives. Chasing stupid degrees. Getting fat and believing they'll find love. Never hitting the gym and thinking they'll find "da gurlz." All 78 years of your average American's life expectancy is wasted hoping sitting on their ass will result in life success. But it does not. And this excerpt not only shows this through the story of two people, but hopefully prompts the reader (and anybody you share it with) to stop squandering their lives choosing the path of laziness.
"Allow me to tell you the tale of two people.
The first is about my Vietnamese buddy. He went to school for Electrical Engineering. Graduated with honors. And then proceeded to make gobs of money after college. Even during the financial crisis of 2008 he held onto his job, and though he didn’t receive any raises during that time, he did manage to buy a very nice house for ½ of what it was originally listed for two years earlier…for cash. Upon the economic recovery, his career continued to soar where he inevitably made the jump to management, making over $200,000 a year. He could retire today if he wanted to. The man is 43.
The other person is not my Vietnamese buddy. She is a weathered, middle-aged woman. She had two kids out of wedlock. She followed her dream of working with children and got her degree in Early Childhood Education. And though she did have a modicum of success in this career, she did not survive the recession so well, getting laid off due to budget cuts. She also unfortunately bought her dilapidated home at the peak of the bubble, inevitably having it fall into foreclosure. And during that time to make ends meet she tried to raise chickens, MLM schemes, inevitably having to work retail just to put food on the table. And this was just for one person as both her daughters had moved out of the home long ago. Today she is insolvent, perpetually angry, blames everything on men, naturally wants a bailout, and will have to work until she is dead. But not once did she ever think about learning to code, getting a degree in accounting, picking up a trade, or simply working hard. Her 58 year old life has been one of constantly seeking the easy way out.
These two stories have two drastically different endings.
My Vietnamese buddy will not only have lived an enjoyable life, but will have enjoyed the company of his wonderful wife and two nice kids. He’s nowhere near retirement, but is kicking around retiring around 55. He may work part-time at a golf course as something fun to do and get him out of the house. And he is already at the stage of buying property to build his dream-retirement home on. All in anticipation of the day he retires on a more than ample 401k balance.
My not-Vietnamese buddy is not so lucky. She will never retire. Will forever have to work. She will invariably have to go on some kind of government assistance. And though pretty at one time in her life, she is no more, almost guaranteeing she will be lonely in her final days. And yes, true to the stereotype, she has cats.
These drastically different results can trace their origins and causes all the way back to the beginning of their stories. Because while my Vietnamese buddy chose Electrical Engineering as a career, my not-Vietnamese buddy chose Early Childhood Education. And choosing these opposite forks in the road that early in their lives determined the drastically different trajectories their lives would take. But the lesson here is not that you should major in Electrical Engineering instead of Early Childhood Development. It’s the irony of what they both originally set out to achieve versus what ended up happening in the end. Not in terms of their careers. But in terms of effort.
My Vietnamese buddy set out to put forth the hard work and effort to make his life successful. Be it having a good father, his Vietnamese culture, or just intellectual honesty, he committed to doing what was necessary to succeed in life. In short, he committed to a path that was full of toil, effort, sacrifice, and work.
My not-Vietnamese buddy set out to do the complete opposite. Though under the euphemistic lie of “doing it for the children,” we all know she choose Early Childhood Education because she was lazy. And though she knew she was never going to make electrical engineer money, she was hoping to win that Dream Lottery of life and get paid enough money to live for the least amount of work expended. In short, she wanted an easy life.
But, if there was ever an example of punishing brutal irony, this was it. Because both of them got the complete opposite of what they set out to do.
My Vietnamese buddy thought he was committing to a hard life of calculus, physics, labor, toil, and headache-inducing thinking. Slaving away at an office, pouring over diagrams and schematics. And my not-Vietnamese buddy thought she was going to waltz through life with a laughably stupid degree and some government funding. But the life my Vietnamese buddy actually experienced was one of relative ease, smooth sailing, financial stability, and peace. I greatly (though admirably) envied him because he never worried once in his life about finding a job or poverty. By the same token, I absolutely did not envy the middle-aged woman at all because her life was one of constant struggle. And not just struggle but mental and psychological strife. Perpetually applying for jobs, getting kicked out of her home, knowing she was going to have to work until she died, and being delusional enough to blame it on an entire gender made me appreciate the comparatively modest struggles I had in my career. And when the accounting is all said and done, when you tally up who expended more calories of energy in their lives just trying to survive, the weathered, middle-aged woman easily spent twice the amount of energy than my Vietnamese buddy.
And this is the moral of the story – lazy people work twice as hard.
There are only two ways in life. The Hard Way and the Really Hard Way. There is no “easy way.” The “easy way” is just the Really Hard Way disguised to look easy. And you can either admit now that you either:
- Take your lumps up front, bite the bullet, and put your dues in now which will cost you less overall pain and energy in life,
- Do what most Millennials did and try to win the “Dream Lottery,” damning yourself to working twice, thrice, even four times as hard had you just studied a legit profession in the first place.
When you compare the two paths in life, it’s just not comparable.
The calories of energy you will spend choosing the Easy/Really Hard Way in life dwarf that of the Hard Way. Constantly applying for jobs, getting advanced degrees, volunteering in the hopes you find work, working extra hours, working a second job, applying for food stamps, applying for Obamacare, applying for section 8, finding daycare, hunting for safe and affordable housing, waiting for the bus, walking to the bus, working the night shift, and all the other taxing chores that come with choosing the “Easy Way” in life are a massive caloric drain on your life. And this says nothing of the tormenting mental, social, and psychological costs of choosing the “Easy Way.” The lack of stability, the lack of financial security, being cold and hungry, stress on the family, the stress on yourself, and above all else, the helplessness to do anything about it. All of that consumes an inordinate amount of both physical and psychological energy while ruining your ability to enjoy life at the same time. Had you just grew a pair early on and committed to a legitimate profession as a youth, you would have spared yourself an adulthood of hell.
But what this really boils down to is a matter of intelligence. Are you smart enough to choose the Hard Way which is the easiest, most logical, and most beneficial choice on the table? Are you smart enough to know that you are not going to “get lucky” and land a job with a Sociology degree? Or do you lack the intellectual courage and strength to admit life is going to be tough and it is best tackled with a hard-earned skill rather than a liberal arts philosophy of entitlement?
So do yourself a favor. Be lazy by not being lazy. Choose the hard way in life and avoid the fate 85% of Millennials suffer today. You will spend less energy over the course of your life working and you won’t be a bankrupt, pissed-off cat lady living off of food stamps when you’re old."
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