Today, September 2, 2013, most will be enjoying a day off from their normal laborious duties. We look back in celebrating this Labor Day holiday by honoring those who have worked so hard in creating an American economic landscape which we enjoy today. America is the home of the free marketplace where business, innovation, creation, and industrious advances take place on a daily basis. The advent of new technology, the utilization of internet, social media, and modern marketing has not only created but has expedited the American dream for many.
An interesting perspective I would like to explore in this post is the difference between individual successes and failures. Also, is America really a country where “cast mobility” (upgrading or downgrading the socioeconomic status of an individual) possible? Take a minute to think about the socioeconomic level you grew up in. A large segment of us have enjoyed growing up in a middle class level where most all of their needs and wants have been met. However, when you read biographies of successful individuals, movie starts, authors, and the financially secure we see a different picture. We see a vast array of people who grew up in different levels of economic status. Some of the richest people in the world grew up in trailer parks or desolate circumstances. If you look out your window into your neighborhood we see the same exact picture. You have the Jone’s next door who have boats, four wheelers, a large spacious home, and live with a burden of not knowing where to put their money. However, down the street you have Ms. Smith who is a single mother who is desperately trying to find change to purchase milk for the week.
Many might think, “well these are different circumstances, maybe divorce, poor job circumstances, or disability are things which plague some but not others and that is the variable at play here”. Although I agree circumstances do play a role to an extent, I don’t believe for a second they dictate socioeconomic status! Think about this idea for a minute from the perspective of this neighborhood we are looking at: we live in the same city, same neighbors, same type of jobs, same internet, and the same social and familiar demands as anyone else (within reason).
So what makes the difference? The difference is inherent in the person’s belief system that they control the environment and successes in which they have. This is fundamental to the idea of personal responsibility. There is no thought that, “oh I can’t be any better because my life has always sucked, or is tough, or I wasn’t dealt the same cards as Joe next door”. My answer, complete bullshit! There has to be a day where you wake up and say to yourself, “I control my life, my happiness, the people I associate with, the decisions I make or don’t make, and the positive energy which comes my way”. This is essentially personal responsibility of controlling the world you live in. It is the only variable which separates the boys from the men, the rich from the poor. You are the one who chooses to either suffer working a minimum wage job versus using your energy toward quality production which revolutionizes the lives around you. You are the person who chooses your friends and your immediate sphere of influence. Do you have people you immediately associate with who help you become motivated, see the big picture, or be the best you possibly can? A lot of people choose to associate with others because they are “fun” people to be around, but honestly…those people sometimes don’t feed your soul with energy, they steal it from you! “You are the result of the average 5 people you associate with all the time.”
In addition to personal responsibility and accountability, the other side of the coin is the belief for something better. There has to be a part of your conscious being which believes you control your surroundings. What I mean is a belief that you control everything you experience in life and the trajectory of your life. The understanding that if you spend your day off reading books which inspire you, fuel creative energies, and educate you will get you further than sitting naked on your beanbag chair all day watching Net Flicks of shows that make you lazy and downright stupid! The understanding that one action you make, right now, could benefit you remarkably is possible.
So how does a guy with $250 in his pocket and a laptop on the kitchen table start a $3.5 million company in 6 weeks? He does it by not believing the world controls him, but rather he controls it 100%. He does it with a vision in his mind of what he can achieve and with cut-throat leadership makes it a reality. Laziness does not exist in his being. He does it by taking personal responsibility and accountability that his final destination is HIS choice, not the choice of others. This folks is true, full bore American grassroots entrepreneurialship at its best! This is what separates the socioeconomic levels of this country, not circumstance, not what cards you are dealt, but with vision and diligence. People create the realities they live in, its just to what extent they believe they can create that reality. I know this, because I have done it for myself…twice! What can you do with your reality?