Just when you think you’ve seen it all…
This past week, Switzerland became the first country in the world to hold a nationwide vote to introduce an unconditional basic income. The proposal would have guaranteed an income to Switzerland’s residents, whether they were employed or not. This is an idea that other countries are looking at as well, amid an intensifying debate over wealth disparities and dwindling employment opportunities.
The proposal sought to give a basic monthly income of 2,500 Swiss francs, or about $2,560, to each adult, and 625 francs for each child under 18, regardless of employment status, to fight poverty and social inequality and to guarantee a “dignified” life for everyone.
Save Us From The Robots
And in a scene right out of the next Terminator movie, the proposal’s supporters claimed that the basic income plan was needed because of recent technological and industrial developments. They argued that in the future, robots were going to take all the jobs away from their citizens and therefore the people needed to be “protected” with a guaranteed income.
And if that nonsense weren’t enough…
The plan’s sponsors claimed that the country would advance socially by way of this money-for-nothing idea, because residents would be free to choose a more creative way of living. They suggested that there would be spikes in volunteerism and altruism as the citizens, freed from their daily work, would use their newly found free time to help others and to be more innovative.
Thankfully, the majority of Swiss voters soundly rejected this insane plan.
Because if they hadn’t, it wouldn’t be a dignified life that they would be experiencing afterwards. No, it would be quite the opposite.
You see, happiness comes from stepping out there. From attempting. From struggle. From achieving. From overcoming. Not from having things given to you for nothing. Where’s the pride in that?
If you think about it, some of the happiest days of our lives come from challenges…
-You feel wonderful finishing that marathon, right after you’ve went thru all the pain and agony of months of training to get there.
-You give yourself a high-five for getting that promotion, right after you worked your tail off for years to get there.
-You’re on top of world the day you marry the woman of your dreams, ecstatic that you stepped out of your comfort zone and asked her for that first date years ago.
Indeed, anyone who has ever taken an economics class has heard the phrase, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”
It means that everything has a cost, even if that cost is not always immediately apparent. To achieve anything, you must give up something else.
In today’s happiness-obsessed culture, most pursue just the opposite: happiness with no costs, all benefits. They want the rewards without the risks, the gain without the pain.
But ironically, it’s this unwillingness to sacrifice anything, to give up anything, that makes them more miserable.
Just look to Denmark for an example: This is a country that routinely leads the world in surveys that measure citizen happiness. Denmark also leads the world in something else —use of anti-depressants.
The residents of Denmark enjoy a comfy social safety net. Child care is mostly free, as is public school and even private schools, and you can stay on unemployment benefits for a very long time. Everyone is on an equal footing, both income-wise and socially.
Denmark is also notable for having the highest taxes on Earth. After all, how do you think those programs are funded? Remember, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.
So, the question is this – are the Danes happy because they get all these benefits for “nothing” or are they happy because they take so many damn anti-depressants?
You Want To Be Challenged. Trust Me.
If it were easy to get a date with that special lady, most of the other guys would have already gotten a date with her. The fact that your dream girl is no pushover when it comes to who she will see, is good for you. It raises the bar on you. Want a successful, kind, intelligent woman in your life? Then get busy becoming a successful, kind, intelligent man and that’s what you’ll get. Will you accept the challenge?
If it were easy to get access to a big prospective client, then you and everyone else would have already gained access. Get busy doing the the necessary work to gain access to them and that will drive a massive wedge between your dream client and your competitors. You will be known and trusted. Will you accept the challenge?
If it were easy to come up with a way to get rich that delivers untold fortune right to your door, someone would have already built it. And everybody would be using it. The fact is, you can create a compelling plan for becoming rich using the talents you already possess if you’ll just do the work. Will you accept the challenge?
Look, everybody wants to have an amazing life and financial independence — but not everyone wants to suffer for it. People want to be rich without the risk, without the sacrifice, without the delayed gratification necessary to accumulate wealth.
But I have news for these people – if it were easy, it wouldn’t be special. The sweetest fruit is at the top of the tree, where you have to climb to get it. There is little in life of value that doesn’t come at the end of a trail of blood, sweat and tears. Happiness is no different … and in many ways, even more difficult.
Work, Don’t Wait
If you wait to be handed, rather than work, for what you want then you have only one of two possibilities; you won’t appreciate it or you’ll never get it. It’s that simple. The magic is in the work and vision, as well as the end product.
If you want something bad enough, go get it. Don’t wait. Don’t cut corners. Don’t find the easy way; there isn’t one. Prepare for the work ahead of you diligently and with spirit, and you WILL be rewarded.
As Jim Rohn, said “Don’t wish it was easier; wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems; wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges; wish for more wisdom.”
If it’s meant to happen and you are truly giving everything you’ve got into something, and I’m talking pouring every ounce of your heart and soul into whatever it is you desire, you’ll get it. After all, you get the results people don’t get by doing the work people don’t do.
Creating a richly meaningful life requires new ways of doing things, new ways of thinking about what is done and new ways of living.
Life is an uphill climb. Sometimes it’s an outright battle. Happiness is why we climb at all. Happiness will be the reward at the end of that climb if we take the path that leads to it. But it will also be sprinkled liberally along the way as we do the work necessary to get at it.
But the cost of a happy life lies at the heart of the person seeking it. And that’s the reason why so few will pay the cost of happiness. This may strike some as hard and it may strike some as unrealistically simple but that is life, very simple. People manage to complicate life by not facing up to its challenges and by looking for ways to get something for nothing.
Happiness Is The Path
You cannot “find” happiness like an item on a menu. It isn’t a step-by-step process. Instead, it’s the constant reward of finely crafting your entire life. It’s not being “successful”, it’s being on the journey towards personal success. Happiness is a mixture, a cocktail.
The process is the profit.
There is no path to happiness, happiness is the path.
So, don’t wish it were easier– because if it were easier, then everyone could and would be doing it. And we want a challenge. We need a challenge. We want to have challenges because they mean its opportunity for us. We can learn from difficult tasks and they are a rite of passage to success.
Wish you were better – because this is what life is about…..learning, growing, adapting. If we stay at the same level all our lives….we will become stale, and eventually flounder…we need to grow. Keep challenging ourselves. Our mind is our greatest asset. Not money, but our ability to THINK our way through problems and to rise to the occasion…and conquer.
So, if you’re worried about robots taking your job in the future then my advice is to learn new skills that can’t be replaced with a robot. Or better yet, start a robot manufacturing company. 🙂 But don’t look for a handout.
In the real world, people achieve economic success through personal responsibility, hard work, thrift and risk-taking.
In the real world, financial markets make it possible for entrepreneurs to raise capital, businesses to expand, and investors to achieve financial independence through fractional ownership in the world’s most profitable businesses.
And in the world of objective reality, “free” simply means someone else is paying for it. Getting something for nothing has never been the path to happiness. It never will be.
Be free. Nothing else is worth it.
Ever wondered what it’s really like to be financially free? In a word, it’s great! I post images and videos of me living the financially free life on my Instagram page. Click here to check it out!
Ready for more tips on how to achieve the free life? Check-out these articles from the blog archives below: