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  1. #1
    Always Riding
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    An awakening or a moment of weakness?

    My job takes me all over the city and inside peoples' homes. I see a lot of interesting things. I meet some very nice people, and I meet some weirdos. I see some very nice houses, and I see some dumps. I see dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, mice, snakes, and more (all of whom are nice, BTW). I've seen drugs, sex toys, and rock and roll. I see a lot on the road, too. I've seen overturned trucks, police chases, and even the SWAT team.

    Most of the homes I visit tend to be on the dump side, not the nice side. It's just the nature of my job. As a result, I tend to feel pretty comfortable about the way I live. I live a modest life in a small apartment, but at least I'm not living in a dump and my apartment doesn't smell like urine. I've got that going for me. Besides, I've never been a materialistic guy. I'm more into simple living. I have no interest in big, flat-screen TVs or expensive cars. I'm alright with a cheap computer and a bike. This attitude has served me well in the past. I've never made much money, but I've never been in debt and I actually have a nice little investment account. I feel proud that I save a higher percent of my income than most people do.

    When I make it into the nice houses I feel a little jealousy, but not much. I'm more curious about how the owner acquired enough money to afford everything. Is the owner a doctor, lawyer, etc. or a lower income person with a lot of debt? Did the owner inherit a lot of money or win a frivolous lawsuit? It's all very interesting to me, but obviously I can't ask the owners what their story is. While jealousy might lead one to hope that these people either inherited money or are living beyond their means, the reality probably is that most of them have good jobs and are living comfortably. Whenever I feel a little jealousy I just shake it off. I'm happy with my life and I only really want money for 3 things- (1) to retire early, (2) to travel, and (3) to buy a nice bike every once in a while. Even with my low-income job I will be able to achieve those goals.

    Yesterday was a little different. I was sent to the nice part of town to a very big house. I didn't think much of it at first. I often ride my bike through the area and most of the houses are large, which desensitizes me to everything. I went to the door and I was greeted by a younger-looking guy (probably mid 20s like myself) and his wife/girlfriend. Now, I'm not the stereotypical construction worker kind of guy who whistles at girls and things like that (though I do work with a few). I'm married and I try not to even think about that stuff. That said, his wife/girlfriend was hot. We're talking supermodel hot. To top it off, she had a British accent, which made her even hotter in my book. She seemed to be pretty nice, too. I guess rich guys get the super hot girls. (I've noticed that fat guys tend to get the regular hot girls, which confuses me. That's for another thread, though.)

    My partner, who is even more low key than I am, didn't say a word when we went back out to the van to get our equipment. All he said to me was, "I thought I noticed that name. He's a racecar driver." I simply replied, "Really?" I had never heard of him, but now it all made sense. He was rich, semi-famous, and had that danger element going. No wonder his wife/girlfriend was so hot. Anyway, it's not often that my question of how the owner got the money to afford such things is answered, so I was satisfied. Or so I thought.

    It turns out that the answer made me even more jealous. First of all, this guy probably was young, not just young-looking. He was probably a couple years older than me but had made millions of dollars already. For some reason his young age made me feel like wealth should actually be within my reach. I always think of rich people as being old people who had spent a lot of time earning all that money, but not this guy. If he was young and rich, why not me? Second, this guy is probably doing a job he loves. I mean, if you race cars for a living you probably enjoy your job. I'm not even a car guy and I can understand that. Third, he probably gets to travel a lot. What a life.

    I'm not jealous of the money so much as the freedom that money can bring. If someone gave me 1 million dollars I wouldn't go out and buy a bunch of stuff. I'd simply quit my job, buy a nice bike or two, and ride my bike as much as I wanted. When I was done with that I would do whatever else I felt like doing that day, which would probably involve a lot of reading, stock market watching, and travel. No more waking up and having to go to work. That's the thing I hate more than anything. I want free time and I want freedom. It's that simple.

    All in all, I was inside this house feeling more jealous than I had ever felt before. I was ashamed at myself for feeling that way. I should be happy with my life. Plenty of people have it worse, that's for sure. Eventually the jealousy and shame gave way to motivation. If this guy has a lot of money and is living a dream, why shouldn't I? I do have a plan to make enough money to quit my job in 5 years. Why don't I put that plan in motion? It's a risky plan and it involves borrowing a large sum of money up front. My wife hates the idea. But why not chase a dream, you know? The racecar driver did and he made it.

    I don't want to get into a debate about religion, but I think if you understand my perspective you can understand why I feel like I should just go for it. I don't belive in god. I don't believe in heaven or hell. I don't believe in souls or reincarnation. I believe that when you die, you just die. That's it. Consciousness is a product of the human (and maybe animal animal) brain, and when the brain goes so does consciousness. Life is all we have, so we have to make the most of it. The world is full of places to see and things to do. You better see and do them before you die, because you'll never get another chance. That's my view. The time is now to see the things I want to see and do the things I want to do. Why not take a risk?

    So there you have it. Did I have an awakening or did I succumb to jealousy and materialism? We'll see.

  2. #2
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Don't kid yourself money does not bring freedom, it brings a whole new set of responsibilities. The freedom is only an illusion. Think about it more deeply.

    For every one person that 'makes it' there are five who don't. I'm not saying don't go for it, but rather to be aware that failure is possible if not probable. Ask the racer about his brother, his team mate or fellow competitor who put it into the wall at over 100 MPH and is in a wheel chair now or worse.

    Glory isn't instantaneous, but defeat is.

  3. #3
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    Warren Buffet said that when you wake up everyday and do what you want, then you are wealthy. There are people who have lots of money in the bank and are miserable - and to me that is real poverty. And there are people who have almost nothing and are happy as a clam - a lot are my neighbors.

    Much of it is your point of view. You think the race car driver is happy - and he might be. Then again, Dale Earnhart isn't very happy right now (he is dead). You couldn't pay me enough to race cars.

    There might be jobs you can do that allow you to ride your bike as much as you want and enjoy yourself. I am not saying you shouldn't go for making enough to be economically free - but usually you need to identify why you aren't satisfied now and fix that now.

    The other thing is that you assume that your idea will work (like most), you might bankrupt yourself too. It is part of the risk. With great possible reward comes greater risk normally.

    Not saying it is a bad idea, just saying you probably did succumb to jealousy.

    I was a person who went after my dream, but it was after years of experience that increased dramatically the odds of success. And yes, now I get to do what I want - and what I want to do really hasn't changed much from what I used to do - perhaps because it is a comfortable routine.

    To me, the love of an idea and seeing how it pans out is so much fun - how much I make off it is secondary. As long as it eventually pays for itself I am happy. Since I always start small, even if it is a bit of a loss, it is no big thing. Making a difference in the world means a lot to me too.

    You have to identify what really makes you happy. Sometimes that takes a while.

  4. #4
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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  5. #5
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    You were probably taken off guard by his profession. Few people think about rich racecar drivers. If this
    guy were a rock star, I doubt the situation would have fazed you as much. Regardless, this guy is an enigma and its unnatural for you to feel like you must compare yourself to him.

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

  6. #6
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    I think money can* bring freedom. It expands your choices in life. You can take more risks in your job or change careers, you can pull up and move if you want to.

    But getting the money, for the average person, takes a long period of down and dirty grungy budgeting and making decisions about your future and being willing to pay your dues. The race car driver scenario is a fluke which just shouldn't show up on the average person's radar.

    In other words, if you don't think of money as something to spend*, but more as a tool with which you can build your future, you will eventually have enough socked away where you can consider doing things you couldn't when you were younger.

    I don't think you need a lot* of money to gain personal freedom. But just imagine the difference if you didn't have a house payment or rent, and you had 0 balance on your credit cards. How freeing would that be? It just takes a bit of self-sacrifice to get there.

    So I can see being jealous of a guy who doesn't have to sacrifice when he's young, like the rest of us. But he also didn't learn a lot of the lessons he needs to know to actually translate that money into freedom for his entire life. Maybe he'll learn, maybe he won't.

    The people who irritate me are the rare few who make it into pro sports and then go **** a girl or rob a bank. They're handed all this money, and not only are they too stupid to learn to manage it, they intentionally destroy their "golden ticket".

  7. #7
    blithering idiot jhota's Avatar
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    Peter Gibbons: What would you do if you had a million dollars?
    Lawrence: I'll tell you what I'd do, man: two chicks at the same time, man.
    Peter Gibbons: That's it? If you had a million dollars, you'd do two chicks at the same time?
    Lawrence: Damn straight. I always wanted to do that, man. And I think if I were a millionaire I could hook that up, too; 'cause chicks dig dudes with money.
    Peter Gibbons: Well, not all chicks.
    Lawrence: Well, the type of chicks that'd double up on a dude like me do.
    Peter Gibbons: Good point.
    Lawrence: Well, what about you now? what would you do?
    Peter Gibbons: Besides two chicks at the same time?
    Lawrence: Well, yeah.
    Peter Gibbons: Nothing.
    Lawrence: Nothing, huh?
    Peter Gibbons: I would relax... I would sit on my ass all day... I would do nothing.
    Lawrence: Well, you don't need a million dollars to do nothing, man. Take a look at my cousin: he's broke, don't do ****.
    yep.

  8. #8
    Young and unconcerned Treefox's Avatar
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    There are a lot of soon-to-be fantastically wealthy people at my university. I've been here a while, so I've got plenty of friends, former course-mates, and former students who've gone on and become stupidly rich working hotshot jobs in London, New York, Brussels, wherever. When I talk to them they all look back terribly fondly on the low-budget house parties with cheap beer, cheep food, not enough ice because the cheap refrigerator's freezer doesn't defrost, etc., etc. They've got BMW's that they can't drive because they don't have the time. When they're at home they're too tired / stressed to do much of anything. Their wives/girlfriends/husbands/boyfriends are cheating on them because they're never around or too stressed. They'll make partner by the time they're 50, but they'll be diabetic with early signs of heart disease.

    I'm living on 6-7000 a year. I don't own a car, I share a house with two friends. I'd probably be better off financially if I quit my job and went on unemployment benefit.

    I wouldn't say I lead a happy life, but I feel far more fortunate than most. My complaints with the world are certainly not the result of any lack of cash; I get along just fine.
    Die schokoladenseite des radfahrens.

  9. #9
    Banned wagathon's Avatar
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    Everything you're thinking can be simply explained: you're horny--which is natural; but, be very suspect of your reasoning under such conditions

  10. #10
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    You mean OP wants to plook afomentioned race car driver?

  11. #11
    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    Go for it. The problem with people telling you not to take the risk will never understand. I encourage you to read a pretty popular book called "The Market Wizards." It's essentially a book containing interviews with the worlds most successful market traders that took initial investments of $10,000 and turned them into well over $100 million.

    What's nice about the book is it doesn't talk so much about how to trade, but why the trade, what their successes and failures were, how they handled stress and decisions. It's a book about becoming successful. What most people don't realize is that most successful and wealthy people have failed many many times. They just kept at it an eventually they accomplished something great.

    I'll say don't be stupid about your dream. What is the risk/reward ratio? You mention taking out a lot of money up front. That's quite a bit of risk. Is there going to be quite a bit of reward?

  12. #12
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    Easy Money never turns out well, in my opinion. I think slow and steady is the way to go. If you want the money to buy big, ostentatious things, I don't think you'll find that freedom you were looking for. Money in the bank gives you freedom...money spent on stuff is just more stuff you have to maintain, more responsiblity, and more stuff to clean.

  13. #13
    Senior Member permanentjaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg View Post
    Easy Money never turns out well, in my opinion. I think slow and steady is the way to go. If you want the money to buy big, ostentatious things, I don't think you'll find that freedom you were looking for. Money in the bank gives you freedom...money spent on stuff is just more stuff you have to maintain, more responsiblity, and more stuff to clean.
    This opens up a whole new can of worms.

  14. #14
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    If you think that money which falls into your lap is good--take a close look at some of the winners of those huge lottery payouts.

    solveg is right--money brings a whole different set of responsibilities upon oneself. You look at the young race car driver and think 'Oh, he's made of money'. Is he? He has a huge mortgage, the house needs to be kept up, servants go along with huge houses, his wife may be superhot, but she could need substantial amounts of cash to keep up that 'superhot' appearance. It costs money to keep up a facade. People who are in that position are also vulnerable to nuts--stalkers appear from nowhere, your long lost cousins come out of the woodwork, demanding money. Do you need to hire a bodyguard or two?

    Wealth means different things to different people. Many consider money to be 'wealth'. They'd be wrong.

    How many people here would give away half, or all, or their money in exchange for good health?

    East Hill
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    TRY EMPATHY & HAVE LOVE IN YOUR HEART, PERHAPS I'LL SEE YOU ON THE ROAD...

  15. #15
    Banned.
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    Excess. Do you have to have a million dollars to be happy or does a million dollars treat you to a world of excess? I don't make anywhere near a million dollars per year but within reason I can buy most things that I want and have a new car, nice house etc.

    We can buy pretty much whatever we want to eat, and we eat out at restaurants whenever we choose. So this leads me to wonder why a person would need a million dollars. When you make a million dollars you take on the lifestyle of a millionaire. Everything you buy costs you proportionately the same as it might cost me. For example, i might buy a $20,000 car and you might buy a $200,000 car.

    Regardless, I think it is important to consider that this young man might be living a life of excess and by no means is this a guarantee of happiness. (see Britney Spears) I think it is important to make enough money to live comfortably but it is not important to live a life of excess and at the end of the day, what is important to me is that I live a happy life.

  16. #16
    Crushing souls Hickeydog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portis View Post
    Excess. Do you have to have a million dollars to be happy or does a million dollars treat you to a world of excess? I don't make anywhere near a million dollars per year but within reason I can buy most things that I want and have a new car, nice house etc.

    We can buy pretty much whatever we want to eat, and we eat out at restaurants whenever we choose. So this leads me to wonder why a person would need a million dollars. When you make a million dollars you take on the lifestyle of a millionaire. Everything you buy costs you proportionately the same as it might cost me. For example, i might buy a $20,000 car and you might buy a $200,000 car.


    Regardless, I think it is important to consider that this young man might be living a life of excess and by no means is this a guarantee of happiness. (see Britney Spears) I think it is important to make enough money to live comfortably but it is not important to live a life of excess and at the end of the day, what is important to me is that I live a happy life.
    *applause*
    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post

    What's frightening is how coherent Hickey was in posting that.

  17. #17
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    While there is a thing as easy-money, it befalls a very small minority of us. But if you follow the example of the lottery winners, something like 98% of them are worse off after a couple of years because they never learned how to manage money in the 1st place. Having more just gives them the same problems as before, but bigger.

    The vast majority of millionaires created in these past couple decades were 1st-generation. They got it the old-fashioned way, they worked for it. There's no substitute for hard-work and you should also remember that working-smarter can often times trump working-harder. So invest in upgrading yourself, the way you view the world, the skills you possess. AND don't forget that most people think of money backwards. They think it's a goal 1st in and of itself and that's a mistake. Money is actually the final-result of a longer journey. Think of that journey 1st, then the money will follow.

    Take out your wallet out and pull out a couple bills... where did these come from? Contrary to popular belief, you don't actually make money (unless you've got a press in the basement), you actually earn it. Those bills you hold in your hand are in exchange for some services and benefits you've given to someone. One way to double the number of bills you bring in each week is to work twice as much. But you only have so many hours per week, so many hours of life. So figure out ways to make each hour count for more benefits for others. The more people you help, the bigger the benefits you give them, the more bills you get in return.

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