Conversation on Culture

A friend comments:

“i love everything joel osteen stands for and his message..if you can talk for more than an hour about vague self help topics with a religious twist you can become a multi millionaire!…what a country!”

My thoughts:

Joel is no different than any other person proselytizing their values for profit. Every institution seeking power and influence relies on these leaders to cull and organize the masses into unflinching obedient belief. In essence he’s no different than any other cultural icon we subscribe and devote our attention to. If you have appealing values, you can gain a cult like following too. A great country indeed.

Friend’s response:

Very great point…but there’s just something extra sick about exploiting mainly poor and middle class people (for the most part) who think that giving people like him their money will somehow get them salvation or good fortune or a better footing in life.

My response:

What’s the difference between Joel and the majority of corporations? People give a company the majority of their waking life to get paid mediocre shit wages, believing they’ll make it someday, that someday they’ll be in a better position, and the company feeds them this lie, asking them to continue selling their soul, even though they have no genuinely vested interest in their employees long term well-being. These same companies promise salvation of a different sort, that by buying and consuming their goods, you’ll gain social status and satisfaction. But no amount of purchases make that a reality, so they exploit their material pipe dream, running people into debt and depression.

I believe that both Joel’s followers and any of these mainstream corporate consumers are equally exploited, and equally as foolish.

Friend’s response:

“but at least when you purchase an xbox you have something to show for it..and for most an xbox is not “a way of life””

My thoughts:

For most of Joel’s followers it’s not a way of life, just a feel good message on the weekends. Likewise, many Xbox owners operate the same way, but there are a good deal of those that subscribe to these institutions with equally ridiculous fanaticism.

I’d argue that the idea that “you have something to show for it” so “it makes it somehow more worthwhile” is part of this delusional disease of consumerism that keeps people buying more and more. I can show you someone who has it all but lives in emotional and spiritual (whatever that word means) poverty and destitution. And I can show you someone that has nothing tangible to show but is overflowing with emotional and spiritual wealth.

Seen in the right light, Joel ain’t that bad (when compared to his corporate counterparts that we readily identify with). He’s just religious, which leaves a bad taste in our mouth. Corporations are slowly becoming equally distasteful, we’re just not quite there yet as a culture. We should maintain an equal skepticism for each.

What is small-minded?

“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”
—Eleanor Roosevelt

I decided that I should address this colloquialism. I throw the phrase around a lot, but I’m not sure people appreciate what I intend to mean when I use it.

Small-mindedness. When I think of the word, I think of people who fail to utilize their own value judgments. Most of these people don’t have any of their own. They feign the opinion of others. They live vicariously through fictions, through religions, through the authority of others. They create no fiction of their own, they have no faith in themselves apart from the faith their institution permits them to keep, and they fail to exercise any authority over their world, thinking that they are not yet in a position to arbitrate.

The greatest defining feature of small-mindedness is best characterized by Eleanor Roosevelt in the aforementioned quote. She understood that greatness exists in the ability to create and leverage ideas, the only enduring properties of life worth anything of value. Events come and go, and people are constantly changing and evolving.

Those who are constantly swept up in the current of gossip and drama are victims of their own pallid preoccupations. Their world is wrapped up in meaningless and trite drama coined by others and empowered by their endorsement. They have no life of their own, so they must attend to evaluating the lives of others as critics. But is being critical a bad thing? I should think not, unless it prevents you from acting. Critical inquiry should exist for the sake of progress, not for entertainment. Sure, it’s amusing to parrot on about so and so and assert a value judgement on their lives, but any attendance to the cultivation of your own life’s value is temporarily lost.

So I support Miss Roosevelt. The dreamers are the idea generators, the perception producers. They do not accept reality. They create reality. They do not attend to the mass opinion, nor do they worry about keeping up with the Joneses  or comparing and contrasting their worth to other little people. They pay no heed to the critics seated on the sidelines.

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
—Theodore Roosevelt

Small people. Little minds. This is the world’s majority. Why am I so special? What makes me exempt from possessing these “little” qualities? I believe it has to do with the scope of my thoughts, the context of my curiosity, and my aversion for subservience. I strive to avoid discussing people. I abhor gossip as much as I disdain drama. These activities are wasted energy, negative energy that seeks to limit and oppress others in order to elevate the speaker into a false superior position. There is no action, no resolution, no progress when gossiping or dramatizing. It is only tit for tat, pecking and picking and pruning.

Likewise, I refuse to accept creeds and commands at face value. I will not readily adopt the ideas of others unless I know them to be tried and true and tested to benefit my specific ends. I am not a mere calculator, not a cog. I am a creator, an individual with a refined perspective, a personal perspective that’s been diligently curated over the course of many years. Authority poses no power over me unless I recognize and diagnose a specific utility for bending to it’s will that outweighs the utility of its rejection.

What I seek to cultivate is my ability to conjure and create and manipulate ideas. Ideas are the fodder that ignites and animates our reality. Ideas are the mental scaffolding that assembles and structures values. Ideas provide the conceptual framework for perceiving and judging. When you master ideas, you master yourself, you master others, you master life. No other pursuit will lead you there. Not people. Not events. Only ideas provide the utility to mend and mold a mind towards ends and achievement.

But in order to conjure ideas, I believe an ego is needed.  This ego must be self-efficacious enough to create and construct new narratives and weave these wondrous worlds into belief. Specifically, an ego strong enough to fend off the competing ideas of others. You need to have an ego that is resilient and resolute enough to withstand criticism and rejection and disconnection.

Surely, I’m not perfect, but I strive towards the ideal of perfection. I stumble as much as anyone, but I never let myself get comfortable with being down, or being okay.

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. —Mark Twain

Small minds impress their small thinking onto their small world, a single reality, devoid of alternative perspective.  They cannot see beyond the small possibility they’ve been afforded by others, and so they hold all other minds to that poor possibility. To rise above, to step beyond the realms of their reason is a grievance and outrage they have trouble rationalizing. They would, as a result, prefer to maintain appearances and secure a safe status quo for themselves, living in a prescribed box of what’s possible based on what’s already been done. And so progress buds but never blooms.


I left my job. It was miserable. It was for subservient, non-reflective, little people with little minds. I know we need those people, but I am not one of them, and I will never sucuumb to the pressure of conforming into their roles. That is for them. Not for me.

I’ve been interviewing like a madman for the past several months, trying my best to escape my god forsaken work situation which has plagued me with unhappiness, and I have finally accepted an offer, although I still have several final interviews scheduled.

The position I will ultimately accept is titled Technical Sales Engineer, or a Field Applications Engineer, for a multi-national scientific instruments corporation based in Japan. My pay will increase astronomically, and my autonomy will be restored. Because the position involves consultative sales, my customers require that I have extensive knowledge of their industrial processes so that I can adequately provide them with our technological solutions for increasing productivity or efficiency or effectiveness, or whatever is called for. As a result, I will be moving to Chicago to undergo training for several months before being redeployed in the Nashville area.

The interview process lasted about six weeks and included phone interviews, aptitude tests, skype interviews, personality caliper tests, and finally they flew me out to their Chicago headquarters for a day long interview process which included mock product presentations that I prepped for, meetings with national and regional directors, and other interviews over video conferences. The whole process was incredibly intense and, from what I gathered, very competitive. Overall it was a quality experience that left me very impressed.

I am leaving for San Francisco at 5am this morning for another interview on Tuesday. I know I will not accept their offer because the pay wouldn’t be nearly as comparable, nor would be position as Account Executive provide me with the quality training necessary for expanding my career mobility. Additionally, the position in Cali is for inside sales. My forte lies in outside sales, specifically business to business. I’ve done cold calling, and it’s terrible, no matter how quality the product is. That doesn’t mean I won’t do it and do it better than every god damn person I work with, it’s just that I prefer to look my clients in the eye when I’m selling to them. I will be working with engineers, c-level management, and even executives to implement precision engineering solutions.

I’ll be in San Francisco for a week, so I’m thinking of doing some exploring, visiting the Redwood Forest, etc. etc. I’ll be attending Thanksgiving dinner at my close friends house, with whom I’ll be staying.

Other than that, I’m moving in a month. I’m selling all my possessions. I’m editing my life. Living minimally. I hate useless crap. All I need is my books, my clothes, and…. that’s it. Maybe a bed and a desk. I don’t need shit I don’t use. Possessions end up owning you.

My close friend and business partner are buying a home under a company we started. We’ll be mortgaging it ourselves and renting it our for more than the mortgage. We plan on purchasing around one investment property every one to two years. These properties will be owned by our company which will serve as a capital holdings or capital management group. I need to finish training and begin working before I’ll re-qualify for a mortgage, so that’ll be around 4 to 6 months. Nevertheless, we have a realtor and a mortgage broker who we’ve been working with to spot attractive investment properties and secure the right financing.

I want a woman terribly. But I have decided to let my desires smolder. I gave up porn, masturbation, and useless sex. I want to focus my energies on building my career, and investing my wealth. Women are fickle and flaky. At this point in my life I want an emotionally vapid women who simply chooses to want me. None of this wooing bullshit. I just don’t care. I haven’t the energy or the time to try and convince people I care about them. Is that hilarious? Maybe it’s simply because I don’t want to be dependent upon a woman. They’re so whimsical and, I guess I’ll use that word again, “flaky” that they can’t be trusted. I’m callous. I know. I’d love to get vulnerable with a girl. But what do they want? They want shit that I don’t care about. They want to be fed lies. To be swooned, to be begged, to be doted on. I just want to love and care and provide for a woman. That’s it. No tricks. And just be faithful.

I want to be wedded to my work. Some people choose hobbies, like snowboarding, like kayaking, like sky diving, bowling, surfing, rock climbing. They choose these professions or past times because they identify with the cool factor, the risk and rush. Well, dominating at work provides me with that same risk and rush. That is my hobby. Working and building value and creating wealth. I value experiences, sure. I love traveling. I LOVE traveling. I love culture, experiencing new people, events activities. But work yields definitive, measurable rewards that you can count. So long as character remains the steadfast mast of my mission, I will not become corrupt or misguided, but develop excellence in all of my undertakings.

I am delusional with women. Yes, women. I hark on them once again. They are the nebulous drive that incites me into ecstatic fury. They light my desires ablaze. Nothing motivates me more than women. Yet, I refrain from reaching out and grabbing hold, lest I burn. I prefer to admire from afar. To warm myself from a distance. You must not get too close to the flame.

I am working out and staying healthy, as per usual. It is a permanent feature of my life, reflective of the discipline I seek to imbue in all areas. I weigh approximately 218 lbs. My body fat has decreased to roughly 14%, from 17%. I want to drop another 4% by January, while maintaining quality muscle. I bench pressed 345 lbs twice two weeks again. I deadlifted 500 lbs once the following day. I am getting stronger. I have cut my calories to about 2,500 a day. This is about 2,500 calories less than I was consuming from September to the beginning of November. I decided I needed to cut, that my peak of 225 lbs was too drastic and left me feeling too large and awkward. My waist has shrunk accordingly.

Other than that, I will be preparing for my new job. I plan on spending a week in Florida visiting my family and some friends. In addition, I plan on traveling to NYC and seeing a few friends I’ve been promising to visit there.

I haven’t been reading nearly as much as I should. Writing has been on the back burner. Not sure why I’ve been neglecting these activities as long and as much as I have. I suppose it’s just overwhelming to think about everything all the time. My life has increased its lucidity since I ceased my perpetual reflections. The labyrinth of never ending questions has trailed off, and I find myself living more animalistic, more content, more base than ever before. My circumstances have not deterred me from dreaming, however, and I am building my dreams more and more every day.

I plan on undertaking more hobbies. I’d like to choose some sophisticated past times to ameliorate the mind. These may include working on pleasurable pursuits in finance, or they may include something like scotch tastings, motorbike racing, or simply golf.

Anyway. I’d love to meet a woman and find a life with her. I’m more ready than ever before. But it won’t be with just anyone. It must be perfect and right. Until then, and for as long as it takes, I will remain focused on building my own life, preparing it for my future family.

I love you all.

Business Time

Let me tell you: you don’t want to work for anyone but yourself. Carpe diem. You may argue thy experience is needed: that may or may not be true. You have a year of experience. You can read books. Your clients will provide you with experience.

Find a job and gain experience while your business is being built.

Our goal is to go full time within 1-2 years. In the meantime we build the business, assemble our model, develop our brand, Website, network, get our name out. I am good at sales/ networking. We will be successful, it will just take time.

I will continue asking until you figure out a way to make it happen, or tell me to fuck off. Cause I believe we will be successful with every bone in my body. I am reading nonstop. Within 2 years we will have read the books, conducted the market research, and developed our business plan and model so that we will be unstoppable. I have a network of incredibly knowledgeable, talented, and experienced professionals that will help me and provide me with the advice/ counsel i need along the way.

This is no hype. I’m telling you how it’s gonna be.

You’re one of my best friends, and you’ve always believed in me, now I’m telling you that I believe in you.

I have the potential. I don’t need to pander to “experience” by being “bookies” or “data worms” or “analysts”. Very rarely do great leaders wait around to actualize their greatness. They know that time is their enemy, and with enough time anything is possible, so they wait for no man, no circumstances. They make them.

You should be inspired. We can do it. No one will tell us it’s possible because a) they aren’t doing it, or b) they have no incentive to see us succeed and compete with them. It takes vision. It takes boldness. Daring boldness to try and fail, over and over again. THAT is where real experience is gleaned. Persistence. Focused determination. And failure, mistakes. If we never give up, we will learn from our ignorant mistakes, and gain wisdom and succeed wildly. No risk no reward. Too many people would rather be secure than be free, than let themselves fail and discover untapped potential.

Good habits, hard work, curiosity, persistence, passionate enthusiasm, intelligent reflection, and applied wisdom: the recipe for success. If you are capable of doing any of them, you are capable of doing all of them together. And success will follow naturally.

There is no secret to success. That’s what they want us to think: That we NEED to do this or that. We just need to try yielding to our dreams if we want to attain any satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment in this life that’s actually authentic and genuine.