This could also be titled: "What the strong do every day."

rwgood

Double-Digit Post Count
Self discipline and consistent work produces success in work and workout but the magnitude of the success depends on many factors, genes, luck, timing etc. There are indolent, worthless rich and poor and strong and weak but the path to strength and wealth and everything else worth having isn't that way.
 

Iron Tamer

Strongman, Speaker and Seeker of Truth
The article is a collection of factual statistics from a poll of people from 1st world countries in different income brackets about their habits. You can't throw third world situations on top of it and have a meaningful comparison. If you live in the USA, you have the opportunity to better yourself in any arena.

One of the dumbest things ever said is that "Money corrupts". Money doesn't corrupt, it amplifies. If you are a generous & giving person, your capacity to do that is amplified. If you are a jerk, you will be an even bigger jerk. This is why we see people win the lottery and wind up bankrupt in 2 years with bigger problems than when they started. If you truly believe that money corrupts, then you will unplug from the grid, go live off the land somewhere and not be a part of the economy. Otherwise the daily act of earning a living is an act of self-corruption.

StrongFirst and Financial Peace are both principle based systems that derived the principles from  looking at what works successful people do in the respective areas. I employ SF principles in my training and Dave Ramsey's principles in my finances, both personal and business. I heave never, ever known of anyone who correctly and diligently implemented principles from either system who did not improve their situation. If you want to move from weak to strong, pay attention to StrongFirst. If you want to get out of debt and build wealth, pay attention to Dave Ramsey.
 

Mike Lindner SFG II

More than 300 posts
Certified Instructor
I've always found that when something is important people find a way to make it happen. In today's day and age there is information available to people who seek it out.

 

I do agree with Master Tamer in that money amplifies vs. corrupts. People mistake this often.
 

Lukas Luko

Double-Digit Post Count
Great topic!

Yes it depends on luck, on genes and how much money parents have. So what?

Some people borned more muscular than others, some people born more stronger than others, but that mean i should left my training, and go cry and blaming others?

Some people must work harder than others, i agree with that. But if they will put effort to everything that they wanna achieve, they will achieve it, just it will take longer time than people who has got better genes, luck and more money. It's easy!

 
 

Jim Lauerman

More than 300 posts
Iron Tamer,

In my younger days I used Larry Burkett's principles in my finances. Same principles, same results. They do indeed work, if applied faithfully.

Jim
 

Dan John

Triple-Digit Post Count
I think I shared this because the idea of reading books, listening to audio books and watching less TV was a good idea. My wife and I both come from very humble family situations (immigrants, large families) but we were both taught that the "Golden Ticket" was education and self-improvement.

We are also major donors to many causes. I am just a bit uncomfortable, as a former Moral Theology teacher, being preached to about something I posted in good faith and good will. I have long held the dictum from Saint John XXIII: "If you want peace, work for justice." So, I also think we can make strides...here in the USA...against poverty by working on the education side of things. Which, at least I like to think, I strive to do.
 

magus71

Double-Digit Post Count
HerrMannelig,

I grew up very poor, but am not poor now. There were choices that I made in my life while younger that kept me poor longer than I should have been.

I was a police officer for 8 years.  I saw that in many cases the poor were poor because they destoyed the ability of others to trust them. Crime preceeded destitution. You seem to argue from a Marxist root, that destitution preceeds crime. Nay. My grandmother was salt of the Earth, and poor. She raised me until my teen years. Her monetary value meant little to me and the other who knew her. But, there is a portion of poor people, and not an insignificant number, who are poor because they are immoral. I saw this time and again for almost a decade of police work.

Where ever a person is, they can set a standard for themselves. Psychologists have determined that people who do well in school score well in a measure of conscientiousness. That is, they care. When a person starts caring about a certain aspect of their life, they can change it, or strengthen it. To say that money corrupts is like saying food makes people fat. There's a lot of variables to consider.

We do not live in a caste society. Making more money may not be easy, but there seems to be habits asoociated with success. Hard work, trustworthiness, knowledge, and yes, a little luck, all matter.
 

mtoomey

Triple-Digit Post Count
@Dan John:

Thanks for posting this article, it was an interesting read. Although some will take exception to Ramsey's piece (he's not, in my opinion, the most "switched on" financial guy) it makes a point that we can all use in our training; those who think about and practice complimentary principles are more likely to be successful, when opportunity presents itself.

Working on Wall Street for as many years as I did, I always found it amazing that the people who were the most successful over the longest period of time weren't always the business majors. Yes, many had MBA's, but the number of art history, philosophy, and theology majors amazed me. It wasn't necessarily what they did, but their understanding of the world around them and the things they did when away from the trading desk that could lead to their being happier and probably more successful.

What we do isn't truly a measure of who we are, but many times, the things we choose to make time for become part of the character that makes us a more complete person, ready for that opportunity when it knocks.

 
 

dmaxashman

Triple-Digit Post Count
i read through this thread, there are a number of people i want to say "nice post x" so i'll just leave it at this and say nice discussion all around i enjoyed reading these perspectives.
 

HerrMannelig

More than 300 posts
I think I shared this because the idea of reading books, listening to audio books and watching less TV was a good idea. My wife and I both come from very humble family situations (immigrants, large families) but we were both taught that the “Golden Ticket” was education and self-improvement.
I am sorry for the initial protest, but I am usually inclined to see moral issues beyond the superficial.

I did not want to inspire a revolution, but I think it is essential for all of us to fully recognize exactly what is in our control, and a result of our choices, and what is not. We cannot have a rational understanding of ourselves (humility), unless we are fully aware of just what we can do.

For wealth, health, strength, intelligence, education, and the like, no matter what we have chosen to do, the possibility of improvement is not ours. I can say that I made myself strong, through my choices to make myself strong and a continuation of that training over a period of years, but that is not entirely true. I was able to make my body strong, because it was possible to do so, and I had no control over that possibility.
We are also major donors to many causes. I am just a bit uncomfortable, as a former Moral Theology teacher, being preached to about something I posted in good faith and good will. I have long held the dictum from Saint John XXIII: “If you want peace, work for justice.” So, I also think we can make strides…here in the USA…against poverty by working on the education side of things. Which, at least I like to think, I strive to do.
I am sorry. It was not directed at you, but the article. From your perspective, it was seen as a strength/fitness article, lauding the formation of good habits.

From my first reading, I did not have that perspective and saw only the Wealthy vs. Poor comparisons, and I found them very lacking in principles.

We should be faithful custodians of what has been handed to us. Our bodies are not our own, and we should care for them and use what has been given to us for a good purpose.

For that, I absolutely agree that the formation and strengthening of good habits, whether for health of the body, mind, or spirit, should be encouraged, and we should assist each other as possible.
 

HerrMannelig

More than 300 posts
The article is a collection of factual statistics from a poll of people from 1st world countries in different income brackets about their habits. You can’t throw third world situations on top of it and have a meaningful comparison. If you live in the USA, you have the opportunity to better yourself in any arena.
Statistics can be ugly. They are presented without much data, and interpretation of statistical information is often quite difficult.

Even in the USA, however, individuals do not have full control over their state in life. A simple good life is possible for most people, if they choose to live morally and do good things, but being materially rich is not for everybody, especially now, considering that the available jobs are become more separated (either very high paying or very low paying) and the cost of education is astronomical.
One of the dumbest things ever said is that “Money corrupts”. Money doesn’t corrupt, it amplifies. If you are a generous & giving person, your capacity to do that is amplified. If you are a jerk, you will be an even bigger jerk. This is why we see people win the lottery and wind up bankrupt in 2 years with bigger problems than when they started. If you truly believe that money corrupts, then you will unplug from the grid, go live off the land somewhere and not be a part of the economy. Otherwise the daily act of earning a living is an act of self-corruption.
Money is the occasion of much evil. Is that better? A choice made is a reaction to the occasion to make that choice. Without the occasion to act, one cannot act. Money is probably very observable to be the occasion of much evil in this world.

Statistically speaking, money issues are at the root of most divorces, the cause of many conflicts between friends, the cause of many conflicts in society, and involved in many crimes. The desire for money is difficult to satisfy. Most do not say "it is enough", but continue to seek more.

Just because much good can come out of proper use of one's resources, that does not mean most people will act that way.

Given that this is a community of people who generally do make good use of their resources, their money and physical ability, this may seem strange, but this community is not typical.

 
 

HerrMannelig

More than 300 posts
I was a police officer for 8 years.  I saw that in many cases the poor were poor because they destoyed the ability of others to trust them. Crime preceeded destitution. You seem to argue from a Marxist root, that destitution preceeds crime.
Actually, I think one could find that certain types of crimes are associated with wealth, but I do not think poverty itself is the cause of any crime. I do not think there is much difference between those who are rich or poor in terms of morals. Just as the poor may end up committing certain types of crimes, so do the rich, at least, as far as a moral transgression goes.

Evil acts are a choice of an individual with free will, otherwise, we would not impute guilt. The fact it is a choice does separate circumstances from the act.

But, it is clear that humans are inclined to act a certain way in particular circumstances, and in the USA at least, populations which are as a whole poor do have higher levels of certain types of crime.

On a statistical level, I would say that poverty, at least, wealth disparity in society, can lead to increased crime.
Nay. My grandmother was salt of the Earth, and poor. She raised me until my teen years. Her monetary value meant little to me and the other who knew her. But, there is a portion of poor people, and not an insignificant number, who are poor because they are immoral. I saw this time and again for almost a decade of police work.
When a person is grown up, and making choices, their acts are their responsibility. It is difficult to have pity on those who have made choices which are harmful. However, I think you'd find that the background is not going to be random.
We do not live in a caste society. Making more money may not be easy, but there seems to be habits asoociated with success. Hard work, trustworthiness, knowledge, and yes, a little luck, all matter.
Caste societies usually arise spontaneously and then are reinforced by government. They are designed to keep people in the caste in which they are found.

I think you'll find that it is difficult to get away from one's upbringing and that people in the USA are likely to not be that mobile.

As for poverty, yes, being raised poor does result in the formation of many bad habits in many cases. Many of these arise from the circumstances, and they can make poverty worse or last longer, and they can be counter-productive for health and education.

While we are on the subject, this article about stupid habits developed by poverty is quite good. It does show some bad habits which arise, and more importantly, why.

We cannot escape our own psychology.
 

BCman

Triple-Digit Post Count
Thanks for the link Dan.

thought about this off and on all day at work today.  Success principles change lives!

I didn't find this as an attack on anyone.  Just the habits of more effective people.

I grew up at the bottom end of the middle class.  I come from a long line of alcoholics.  It's the way we choose to live that shapes our lives.  I'm not perfect, but I broke the chain of  alcohol abuse.  How?  through the practice ofstrength and martial arts.  This then brought me into a new circle of friends with better habbits and life choices.  That's why I'm on this forum.  To follow all you incredible people who lead by example.

First change your thoughts, then your actions, and the world around you will then change. 

Al
 

Derrick Blanton

Double-Digit Post Count
@HerrMannelig:  I like the way you think and examine things.  And I like your courage to speak your mind, which I have seen you do on multiple occasions, even though you know that certainly you are going to run counter to the prevailing mindset.

I guess the thing that's a little troubling is this conflation of making money with either physical fitness, or virtue.  Sure, there is some overlap between taking initiative, and working hard, etc.  But many people who make lots of money are really just borderline sociopathic, and don't let pesky ethical or moral decisions bother to consider  the effects of their decisions.  One of the previous posters was a Wall Streeter, I'm sure he has seen this.

Are all poor people lazy? Most certainly not.  Are all rich people sociopathic?  Most certainly not.  But it is a huge logical fallacy to start equating talent or drive in one area with talent and drive in another area.  You see another variation of this in America.  If you can dunk a basketball, or crush a ballcarrier, then you are given a pass on pretty much anything you do, until you get caught.  All of your actions are now viewed through this prism.  The reality is that many elite athletes are not nice people.  (And I'm not just talking about the murderers, or animal abushers.)

Then you just go on a cynical apology tour, and all is forgiven...as long as you can still score touchdowns..

Now if you'll excuse me, I must go watch Suzie Orman for some tips on how to improve my DL lockout.

P.S>  I've listened to Dave Ramsey's show.  The word "condescending" immediately springs to mind, as he addresses his callers.
 

magus71

Double-Digit Post Count
Herr,
As for poverty, yes, being raised poor does result in the formation of many bad habits in many cases. Many of these arise from the circumstances, and they can make poverty worse or last longer, and they can be counter-productive for health and education.
And this is one of my, and others, criticisms of the Left. As Charles Murray writes in his book, "Coming Apart", that the elite have shirked their duties to society by failing to endorse their own good habits. Instead, the educated elite reinforced the bad habits that the poor have.  Believe me, I carried the bad habits of the poor much longer than I should have.

It is the duty of the successful to pass on their good habits. An example from the strength and fitness world. Some people say I have good genetics, and maybe I do. My father certainly did. But these people often make this statement to me as an excuse to not try. As if they cannot get stronger and better. What a waste. The soldier that I've been training, regardless of his genetics, began doing the things I do, practicing the good strength habits that I've learned over the last decade, and sure enough he became stronger than he's ever been, genetics nonwithstanding.

I sure won't teach my children that they are in some sort of stasis. I'll teach them good habits as a foundation, their "GPP" if you will. They can then focus on the specifics of success in their chosen fields later.

Law Enforcement taught me that, at least in America, criminals and the "poor" (many people are poor at some point; a college student well on their way to a successful future is many times poor while at their studies), for the most part lead "unexamined lives." They do not deeply examine their wn existance and how they contribute to it, and so drift from one "fix" to the next.

As we know, Socrates stated that the unexamined life is not worth living.  I agree with him.

I know this isn't a political site, however, this is along the lines of Pavel's article on class envy.
 

dmaxashman

Triple-Digit Post Count
dave ramsey visionary genius.  someone calls in saying they are interested in taking money out of the stock market and american dollars to put in gold and the euro to protect against possible crash and asks his advice.  ramsey goes wild, calling the idea crazy, and an author who is proponent of this idea crazy.  "im 47 years old and ive heard the end of the world predicted every year" but i ain't seen it so it is UNPOSSIBLE!!! LUDICROS!!!   "no sufficient indication out there, for this crazy persons kid, and he's probably a crazy person too, to predict the crash".

dave ramsey: "can you imagine ford, general motors closed, they dont exist anymore, general electric is closed, etc.  can you HONESTLY, with ANY LEVEL OF LOGIC, imagine all those companies closed?"

caller: "well its hard to imagine, but i would bet the people in the late 20's weren't imagining it either"

ramsey: PAUSE - "well to start with, our capital system is structured COMPLETELY different, with many more safeguards...so the people who predict these things are very uneducated"

ramsey is a mastermind.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S98_eMax9xo

 
 

postnspread

Double-Digit Post Count
"The child was diseased at birth, stricken with a hereditary ill that only the most vital men are able to shake off. I mean poverty - the most deadly and prevalent of all diseases." --- American playwright Eugene O'Neill (1888 - 1953) [my italics]

Several good points have already been made. A few desultory remarks.

I think most of the article is shallow, self-gratulatory drivel and I agree that cause and effect, to the extent they can even be regarded as such, have been thoughtlessly puréed together. Just as water accumulates in a depression, it's undeniable that affluence does tend to accrue to the affluent. Of course, they can also lose it but they tend to have a substantial advantage in the form of access to resources, safety nets, connections, role models and second/multiple chances. Contrariwise, for the poor even "insubstantial things become hazardous", so to speak. The parallels in strength training are obvious.

As to why so many of the poor are unable to shake off the "disease", certainly most people (even the rich) lack the drive O'Neill refers to. Another purely personal factor that has been identified by psychologists as very commonly determining success in general, is the ability to delay gratification until a goal has been achieved. This possibly ties in with Douglas Moore's comment on "conscientiousness". Regarding Russell Peele's comment on the buying of junk or luxury food items on food stamps, IMO given a certain level and duration of deprivation with little hope in sight, luxuries can become a necessity simply to make life bearable. (At somewhat of a tangent, certain "luxuries" like art and culture are, in the broader view, necessities, and the people producing them have usually been quite poor, at least for a good bit of their lives. The rich have merely bought or subsidised their work.) I think the "negative feedback" mentioned by brian d is also an important factor in keeping people where they are.
 

Derrick Blanton

Double-Digit Post Count
Pavel featured a post a while back called, "Greatness, an Obsession", by Dr. Judd Biasiotto, who detailed the utter obsessiveness needed to really create greatness.

From the blog:

"He noted that the story of two-time Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie was about great triumph over adversity, but it was also an account of how loneliness, depression, and isolation (even from her children) was the price she paid for her greatness. "

Further:

"This is not going to be pretty.  If there is a common thread that tends to run through world class athletes and elite individuals, especially the “stars of stars”…the greatest of the great, it is extreme obsession with their field of endeavor.  In fact, obsession just might be the most critical variable required to achieve greatness.  Even the most gifted individuals who achieve greatness, guys like Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Eddie Coan, and Bill Gates, tend to exhibit passionate career behavior that hinges on total fixation."

Dan John wrote in post #3, that "success leaves clues". 20% controls 85% of the wealth in this country.  The top 1% controls about a third of the pie, this is stable over generations.  So let's consider some of the clues to success along this obsessive path to greatness in the financial field:

1.  Being born into money is the first, best option. This will ensure the best private schools, the best higher education, and guaranteed "employment".  If this is not possible, then you may have to grind your way to the top.  In which case:

2.  Work insane hours, and utterly neglect your family.

3.  Be ruthlessly ambitious, and coldly calculating as you climb the career ladder. If you are a woman, don't get pregnant.

4. If you are really motivated, play the American housing market as a casino, fraudulently writing loans and then betting against them as credit default swaps.  This may have global ramifications, and cause incredible heartbreak as "those people" struggle with the economy.  You, on the other hand, should be OK, and run no risk of prosecution.  Plus the US govt. will handle any muss and fuss with your financial problems.  They're good like that.  Don't worry, you will also most certainly still get a large bonus.  You are an executive after all!

5.  Leverage companies and use them as your personal ATM machine, before dumping them like a bad habit.

6.  Keep company and personal funds tucked away in offshore accounts to avoid the greedy government that is probably just going to bail out  lazy poor folk, and I don't know, build roads and stuff.  Try not to dwell on the irony that your company just got a total bailout.  That was different! Details!

7. Whenever possible, export manufacturing to poverty ridden countries where pesky labor laws, and living wage requirements don't come into play.  This may hit some working folk in various towns across the country very hard.  Tough.  Guess they didn't want it badly enough.  They are not winners like you are!

8.  Whenever possible hire undocumented workers.

9.  If this is not possible due to PR concerns and such, then simply contract out to private service companies, who can then hire their own "independent contractors", who may or may not be illegal, and most certainly won't be paid a wage with benefits.  Indirect cheap labor, and plausible deniability!  Win, win!  Most importantly, keep BARRIERS between you and liability.

10.  If either of these steps can't be avoided, then make sure to hire part time employees, rather than full time employees wherever possible.  This will save you loads of $ on health benefits, and social security contributions, etc.  That money can better be spent on your children's exclusive private schools, and more reading time!

11. Bribe, er.."lobby" elected government officials to take a "business friendly" approach.

12.  Circumvent environmental restrictions wherever possible.  This is just more of that liberal, p@#$y stuff that shouldn't get in the way of you building up your pot of gold. Besides, you'll be long gone if there really is some vague chance that 99% of the world's scientists are right.  Stupid eggheads.

13.  Purchase your own media companies.  This is tricky to do, but  using successful clue #11, you should be OK to start churning out your own message.  Make sure and use religious and social issues to divide and conquer those salt of the Earth simpletons.  Anything to do with homosexuality or race is ideal.  For example, decry the use of illegal immigrants for labor, while using tips #7 and #8 to conceal how you derive benefits from said labor.  When people start raising these issues, divert them with fear of "the other".  Works like a charm.

14.  Make sure to complain about the liberal higher education systems, (while making sure your kids get the best education possible).  These irritating liberal colleges have an annoying way of raising thorny questions in impressionable young minds.

I'll stop there, b/c I realize that it doesn't matter what I say.  I'm sure that everyone has their mind made up, and if you don't like the way this sounds, somebody will put it more to your liking.  It's the beauty of the internet.  There is truth for everybody.

One thing I'm almost certain:  The top wealthy people are not the ones banging out theological and philosophical debates about wealth and character on strength training sites.

 
 

magus71

Double-Digit Post Count
Rather bleak, Derrick.  Have you considered how Pavel got to where he is? Where he came from? What he did when he first arrived in America?

As far as the percentage of people whom control the percentage of wealth, basic economics states that if everyone has lots of money, no one has lots of money. If everyone can deadlift 600, it is no longer exceptional.
 
Top Bottom