Worked To Death
There is no room for passion in the routinized settings which provide us with security in modern social life. Yet who can live without passion?
Back when I was in school I met countless guys who were typical “Type A” personalities. They wanted to be the best, they wanted to dominate, and they wanted nothing more than to win. These were guys like Moritz Erhardt, the investment bank intern who quite literally worked himself to death in the pursuit of success. Passion for riches burning brighter than the sun in the peak of summer; Erhardt sold his mind and body for a £45,000 salary.
My faculty was full of med students, and I dated a few girls who wanted to be high power lawyers making 100k a year. Aside from material wealth the students wanted the prestige associated with their dream profession. The status of a prestigious job and their dream salary is their drive.
I once challenged the hopeful lawyer whom I dated. I asked her why she wanted to go into law. She said “the money and the power.” I asked her what she would do with the money and the power and she said she would live in a 16th floor apartment overlooking the ocean. She’d be able to see both the sun set and the sun rise. She’d see the clouds roll in on quiet days and fireworks from celebrations. She wanted to eat out every night and never have to cook. To try the trendiest cocktails and wear the newest dresses. Hopefully one day she would find herself a rich man to call her husband. She described how they would meet in a quiet lounge, how he would swoop her off her feet and treat her right.
I smirked mischievously and asked her how shes going to find her dream man if she’s holed up in a dingy office for 80 hours a week until the stress mars her beauty, until she’s played the game of office politics so long she doesn’t know who she truly is anymore. She furrowed her brows and said not to talk bad about her dream. Her dream of status and a salary.
One of my best guy friends was a med school hopeful. He studied hours every day and quite frequently missed out on nights out with the guys. He failed to get into med school because his volunteer work was sub par and he only got a 91% average. He’d given up all the fun nights and all the beautiful girls that come with a university education for the hopes of status and a salary. He had to settle for second best and go to a different med school. He wanted to be an anesthesiologist because they call the shots in the O.R. plus they have the most status and the highest salary.
Whenever I pried I never got a straight answer as to why these people were willing to give up the wealth of their youth for the riches of the future. The girl never wanted to be a lawyer because she respected the law. The guy never wanted to be a doctor because he loved humanity and wanted to help all he could. They just wanted status and a salary.
I don’t know the intricacies of the medical field, law firms, or investment banking firms, but I do know that you start at the bottom, have to take shit and supplicate your way to the top. Like every aspect there is a game to be played, people to manipulate and people to please. These people will hit 30 years old and will be making their dream salary, but will not have the internal value to enjoy the fruits of their labor. I do acknowledge there are some who are born to play this game, they “get it” when it comes to that life path, they are the ones who succeed, but out of 100 guys there is only one winner. The rest will have spent some of the best years of their lives working to please their superiors, while guys with a concrete sense of self worth are making love to beautiful women the world round.
“Its a sad state of affairs when we can’t spare a moment to make our lives worth living. With the constant pressures of success and the crippling fear of failure keeping us numb the greatest achievement that we’ll ever know is the realization that we have the time.”
I’ll leave you with a quote by Krauser, who said it best and I ask you: Is it worth it?
For as long as you focus on external value you’ll remain Provider Chump. For as long as you are climbing the greasy pole of social elevation you’ll have a chip on your shoulder. When you have internal value, Personal Charismatic Value, you need nothing more than the shirt on your back. YOU are the value. To the people in your life that is real value.
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