Friday, December 01, 2006

You Are What You Eat

Ever wonder what that phrase really means? Well, I know that as a child, that phase was first introduced to me as a vehicle to get me to eat healthy foods and make good choices to that end. Now that I'm an adult, I know that means literally, and figuratively, anything I put into my body will affect who and what I am. If I smoke every day, I will rot myself from the inside out. (Which I haven't, by the way! Nearly 3 whole weeks!) If I eat nothing but junk food and fatty crap every day, I will end up looking like...well, fatty crap. If I watch filth and violence on television every day, my thoughts will gravitate towards filth and violence.

Naturally, this does not apply only to negative things. If I exercise every day, my body becomes stronger and more fit. If I eat the proper foods every day, I will be healthy and full of life. Now. This brings me back to the mind. If I fill it with good, worthwhile information, naturally it will gravitate towards those things. I know I'm being a bit vague, bear with me for a moment.

I really hate to post about this at all. On the one hand, nothing would make me happier than to know that several people take what I'm going to say in this post the way that I want them to. Because, believe me, that would be a great thing to me. On the other hand, I myself am just beginning on my own journey and wouldn't want my lack of education on the subject to turn people off to what is out there. And, on top of all that, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink (even if it IS good for you, drink, already! Dangit!). So, with that said...

I've always loved to read. Ever since I was a little girl, you could probably find me curled up somewhere with a book. I've read all kinds of things, mysteries, romance novels, sci-fi fantasy, historical fiction...I could go on, but you get the idea. Up until recently, reading has always been strictly for pleasure, nothing more. And it truly was a pleasure.

And then one day I read this post by Amy and I was intrigued. I've read books before where I came away from it knowing something new, and I'm not saying I've never read with the intent to learn. But I am saying that this was the first time that it was my sole intent. And it was like a light bulb went on. I expanded my mind and I enjoyed it. That was it for me. I realised that I could fulfill my love of reading but, hey, while I'm at it, I might as well be learning. Ha! Multi-tasking! Some of you out there may be saying, 'what is she talking about? Everyone knows that!' If this is common knowledge to you, hey. More power to you. That's not my point, dip$!*t. Keep your shirt on and let me get to my point.

What do you do if you want to become a doctor? Well, making a vastly generic description, you read a lot of books on the subject and spend lots of time talking to and working with other doctors. Mentors, if you will.

What do you do if you want to learn how to become a scuba diver? Well, you spend a lot of time with an instructor (and probably read an article or two or twenty on the subject, if you really dig it).

What do you do if you want to become...what did you say? Get to the point already? Oh, crap. Ya'll are really impatient, and kinda rude. But, ok. I'll humor you just this once.

What do you do if you want to be successful in life? My parents (and probably your parents) would say, "Go to school and get good grades so you can get a secure, good-paying job." But, to a lot of people, to be considered successful you have to have money. Um, but I didn't go to college to learn to be an accountant or a banker-type person. What do I do? Well, you educate yourself, that's what you do. Regular school certainly didn't do that for me.

Let me ask you this. You know who Bill Gates is, right? That stinkin' rich guy who has more money than 10 lifetimes could burn? If he walked up to you and offered to spend a day with you, teaching you what he knew, how many of you would turn him down? Or what about Donald Trump? I didn't think so.

The thing is: most of us come home everyday and fill our heads with crap. We come home at night to the television or computer or video game system and we waste our time. We zone out and vegetate and waste our lives away and then lament and moan when our waistlines get wider and our paychecks don't get bigger. I know. I'm there, right now. Or at least, I was, till a few weeks ago. I've struggled all my adult life. Working hard every day, bringing home less than I needed, depressed a majority of the time, always wondering why I had it so rough when others were so successful. I'd be so depressed that I'd come home and zone out to forget about how crappy life can be. I never really believed that was my lot in life, or destiny if you will, but I didn't know what to do about it.

Someone-that-I-know and I have been in similar situations like this on and off over the years, feeling despondent, not knowing how to change our situations and she would tell me, "Coming home and playing a few video games is my only guilty pleasure right now. I work hard all day and this is like my reward." While I can certainly sympathise with how she feels, I can't agree. I once read somewhere that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing, over and over, and expecting different results. So, if I get up and go to work everyday and work hard, and come home every night and unwind with a movie or a game, and I do this day in and day out and I am underpaid and unfulfilled, when and how do I break free? It would seem to me that I have no choice (at least in the short-term) about the "work" part of my day. I still need to get up and go to work if I'm going to eat and have a place to live. But, what about the rest of my day? Certainly a change can be made in my free time. That's when I can break free of the rut. By doing something different. Some people don't have the will-power or motivation to be different. They may feel "martyr-like", or maybe like the "system" owes them something. "Why should I change?" I can hear some of you say. Hmm...well, last I checked, the only person who can make me do anything is ME.

I'm telling you that book I read opened a door for me. And it wasn't because of the content. It was because of the light bulb it turned on. Actually, this post isn't about that book at all, it's about this one. This is the book that this post is about. If you want something that will truly fascinate you, broaden you view, and open the door to what everyone dreams about, this is where I would start. Well, it may be where you start, I already did. Do you want to borrow my copy? I don't want to be stuck in this life where I constantly live two or three paychecks (if I'm lucky) from broke. I would actually like to make something of my life and be able to do the things that I want to do. Provide for my children, have a little fun, be able to take care of my parents when they get old, that kind of thing. These are not pipe-dreams, people. These are the daily dreams of thousands, nay millions of people everywhere. I would hope so, anyway.

So, back to Bill Gates and Donald Trump. If they told you how you could even take a small piece of that pie, just by reading a book here and there, would you do it? I'm sure some of you know that Bill Gates was a college drop-out. What about Henry Ford or John D. Rockefeller? I was reading a book the other day that listed several people like this, highly successful, but not necessarily highly educated. Why do you think that is?

Back to my examples of the doctor and the scuba diver. Which, by the way, is a really crappy example, but I can't think of anything better. Anyway, if you want to be something (insert WHATEVER you want to be here), you read up on the subject and spend time being with and emulating people already in that position. So. You may not know too many Bill Gates, but I bet you know at least one person who is more successful than you. How did they get where they are? Being that not everyone can be best friends with Donald Trump, wouldn't it be nice to pick his brain by reading one of his books? Even if I only gleaned ONE PERCENT of his knowledge from what I read, I'd be a smarter person. That, to me, is worth it.

Here is the review that I read on Amazon about this book:

Personal-finance author and lecturer Robert Kiyosaki developed his unique economic perspective through exposure to a pair of disparate influences: his own highly educated but fiscally unstable father, and the multimillionaire eighth-grade dropout father of his closest friend. The lifelong monetary problems experienced by his "poor dad" (whose weekly paychecks, while respectable, were never quite sufficient to meet family needs) pounded home the counterpoint communicated by his "rich dad" (that "the poor and the middle class work for money," but "the rich have money work for them"). Taking that message to heart, Kiyosaki was able to retire at 47. Rich Dad, Poor Dad, written with consultant and CPA Sharon L. Lechter, lays out his the philosophy behind his relationship with money. [Robert Kiyosaki's] book compellingly advocates for the type of "financial literacy" that's never taught in schools. Based on the principle that income-generating assets always provide healthier bottom-line results than even the best of traditional jobs, it explains how those assets might be acquired so that the jobs can eventually be shed.

I decided that I wanted to participate in this, which was my inspiration for posting today. Thanks so much to Diesel for coming up with what is turning out to be not so crappy of an idea after all. I would highly recommend the book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad to him or anyone else.

I hope that whatever I've said, you'll read the book to make up your own mind about it, form your own educated opinion. I can only share my thoughts on it and hope that someone will gain from it. And for any of you who are all "seeing is believing", well come see me in a few years and I'll let you know how it's going. I have a feeling I've taken a turn and things will be better.


Amy said...

ooh, this was such a joy to read. I have been mulling over my own situation lately and trying to figure out how to get to where I want to be. I feel stagnant, and I know that's because I'm COMFORTABLE stagnant, but in the end, I will have wasted so much of who I am if I don't start doing something. I will pick up this book and give it a good and thorough read. Thank you, for the recommendation.

Jules said...

I am SO glad you feel that way. Do you want to borrow my copy? Actually, it's really funny, because I ended up with two copies quite by accident and now want to send out mine as a gift like you did with your book.