Friday, July 10, 2020
League of Power

The League of power

"Freedom by Friday"

“Everybody wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die.”

There is a price to pay for getting rich, just as there is a price to pay for everything you attain in your life. Many chatter about being willing to pay the price, but few will actually do so. If you are serious about becoming a wealthy man or woman, you need to be prepared to pay the considerable price tag associated with that blissful state. It doesn’t come free.

So let’s talk honestly, frankly and openly about exactly what is involved if you are to make your fortune. You will not read what I am about to tell you in any ‘feel good’ book.

To make a lot of money, you’re going to have to give up many things. A proper family life, a decent social life, friends and many other things besides. Often you won’t even know what the price is when you start out. Nevertheless, you must resolve to pay it. This is the factor which stops most people from getting rich. They want it for nothing and are not willing to sacrifice anything at all to get it. This is a fantasy.

Most people sign up for a great many of these fantasies which they believe to be ‘the truth’ and this has a huge impact on their wealth-creating efforts. Often it even threatens survival.

Most people barely survive financially. Worse still, lacking an iron-grip control on even the basics of their lives, they mumble the incantations of success, expecting magical results. That is, results which do not exact a price or penalty.

In a society which seeks to crush individualism and make each one of us a worker in the state collective, how can an individual possibly be to blame for his own misfortune? He cannot. This would give the individual some personal power, and that cannot be right! No. It must be society, greedy capitalists, manipulative industry, bad luck, his upbringing, peer pressure, his race, lack of education, his age, lack of opportunity, or any one of a hundred other factors all of which are out of his control. In short, he is not to blame, according to modern thinking.

If you doubt this, read the following and see if it has a familiar ring:

“Yes, I admit it. I’m flat broke and I owe tens of thousands of dollars to other people which, to be honest, I don’t have a prayer of paying back. But it’s not my fault. I was fired  from my job and thrown on the scrap heap at 40. Those greedy bosses call it downsizing – but I don’t notice any downsizing in their fat wallets. Twenty years I’ve worked there, and that’s all the thanks I get. I’m a heavy- motor electrical engineer, and there just aren’t that many jobs around for someone of my abilities. I’ve applied for a few but they always want younger men. I guess losing my job made me kinda depressed and my wife couldn’t take it. She wants a divorce and is taking me for every penny. I don’t have any savings, and the money I get from the state is a joke. Sure I’m broke, but as you can see it’s not my fault.”

Let me translate this litany of blame shifting.

“I am such a weak and feeble human being, that I have been unable to master one of the simplest and most basic skills of life; that is to spend less than I earn. My greed exceeds my means to pay for it, and so to fuel my desires, I must borrow from the surplus created by others. I have spent every penny of my own money, and squandered the surplus created by others which they entrusted to me on the promise that I would pay them back. I have broken that trust and they are unlikely to get their money. I am not a trustworthy human being, but it’s not my fault.”

“I know that the world is a dangerous and uncertain place, but for twenty years I decided to ignore that fact. Consequently I have zero savings, but it isn’t my fault. I needed all the stuff I bought, and a lot more besides. I did some training once, twenty years ago, and I fully expected that to last forty years.”

“The world owes me a living, and society should provide jobs for people with my abilities, regardless of whether they are needed or not. Bosses should provide jobs for workers regardless of profits. People need jobs, and it is the duty of bosses to provide them. I have no intention of retraining. I have made a half-hearted attempt to get another job, but because I’m so weak, I get quickly discouraged and so I have given up. Now I get free money from the state. This is nothing like enough for me to live on, and I think the state should give me a lot more free money.”

I know you do not hold the same attitudes as this man – you would not be reading this if you did!

So given the terrible poverty, both financial and spiritual of the majority of people, what can you do to raise yourself up into the top 2% (by Western standards)? How can you achieve this success?

It’s all about realizing that you cannot have it all, and that you must pay a big price (give up something) in order to attain wealth. You need to be crystal clear in your own mind that you are willing to pay the price, otherwise abandon all hopes right now of becoming rich.

It is vital that you apply full focus to this very important area if you are not to drift through life aimlessly.

So, it’s time for some hard truths. The first thing you have to know is that you can’t have it all.

Despite what those slick-suited seminar-gurus tell you, every decision you take in life has a shadow partner – the life you cannot now lead because you took that decision.

A few simple examples will prove the point.

You take a career decision to become a surgeon; but doing this precludes you from being a lawyer.

As a woman you decide to marry and have a family. The consequence is that your career is on hold for a minimum of five years and more like fifteen or twenty.

You decide to go to the movies; you cannot also spend the evening in a fine restaurant.

You decide to give up drinking; you cannot now go drinking with your pals.

You decide to start thinking for yourself; you lose most of your ‘friends.’

Every decision you take has consequences.

Every decision, no matter how seemingly inconsequential, sets your life on a slightly different course. This is why, as Jim Rohn says, “Everything matters.”

Even inaction has its consequences.

If you decide just to float down life’s stream, and the current sweeps you randomly into the left tributary, you cannot also enjoy the right tributary. If you sleep all day, you cannot also play your favorite sport on that day.

This tiny handful of examples should prove to you immediately that you cannot have it all. It is so obvious that it is hardly worth saying, and yet there are at least two top seminar gurus on the circuit at the moment who are claiming that you can. In fact, I’m fairly certain that I have seen a book and a tape series entitled “You CAN have it all.” Wrong! But far more importantly, every decision you take to improve your life, no matter how trivial, will have an associated cost – a price that you will have to pay in order to achieve that success.


Jim Sheridan

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  1. J. Patrick Hickey November 5, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Well, I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor, and I’m not so sure I quite agree with you, Jim. Rather, I financially succeeded by focusing on doing things I have at least a modicum of passion for.

    Some years ago, I read a lot of success literature, like Dale Carnegie, etc. When I had enough of that, a few insights came to mind. One is the creative affirmation, “endless opportunities always surround us, if we are able to become aware of them”. So life is a smorgasbord opportunities to increase one’s wealth even within good-hearted boundaries.

    When I was selling high end building lots as a realtor in Sedona, AZ, I presented the property’s potential as though I were the buyer. It worked, though it did draw on my talents.

    As a scenic photographer, I visited local publishers, and offered a deal on front covers for several issues. This really established my local reputation, and built my my portfolio, leading to calls from regional gallery owners.

    Often, one good things leads to another. I decided to market to international publications in New York. So took the time to learn how professional photographers (for top rates), did it. When I started, I operated like the pros, and made high end sales from the get-go. One trick was go get the buyer to mention the first number, which was often at least twice what I would have asked. You see, buyers are told to get a $2,000 photo, so the same photo for $1,000 just wouldn’t do. (After all, it isn’t the buyer’s actual money, it is a job to get done.)

    Now, I’m 70, and in great health (I do what it takes), even sticking to a Paleolithic diet. I’ve lived in Sedona, Arizona since 1989, when real estate went bust, I focused on photography.

    At this point, I’ve become aware that good money is being make writing smallish books and publishing them via Amazon’s digital Kindle. Years ago, I wrote a weekly column for a local newspaper — for 8 years, never mission an issue. So I already know that a “public” is out there. Once a public reaches a critical point, individuals start requesting related products on their own, if I don’t beat them to it. I could offer hand-painted gallery quality Giclée photographs. In my 23 years in Sedona, I’ve been taking photographs all along.

    I realize that I’m not in the rough-and-tumble corporate world, but I have made good sales to CEOs often through galleries. I know how to create a “track record” of accomplishments to reassure the buyer that “what you see is what you get”. Nobody has ever asked me where I studied, any more than they never asked how I became a skilled down-hill skier. I become known as a “somebody” much like artists, writers, etc. do. I build my reputation on personal integrity.

    I hope I don’t sound like I’m bragging. I make ample investments in mastering skills before going public, but at least ultimately I love what I do. Also I agree with the skiers adage “if you’re not falling down, you’re not learning.”

    Thanks for lending me your ear. I’m already thinking about leading photography excursions around Sedona, and/or the Grand Canyon. Possibilities abound!

  2. Don November 5, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    You are exactly correct in that every decision eliminates some options while opening others. If one chooses not to commit, that closes a lot of doors. By not taking responsibility, we can justify not taking action. While not all actions are productive, inaction is never productive.

  3. John Davis November 6, 2012 at 12:07 am

    You can have it all, but 99.9% of us will not relinquish what we think we want or need to live the ‘good’ life.

    Jim Rohn once came to my home-town a few years ago. He spoke at a local church facility relatively known for its commitment to the power of belief. Deciding what we really want in life is key to attaining it. Having it ‘all’ in a material sense misses the point entirely. Rather, having it all is when one has full-realization of one’s true potential. Only then can one truly make a free decision.

    As G. I. Gurdjieff once said, “Life is real only then when I AM.”

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