I just read a book by James Altucher titled “Choose Yourself.” The book was thought provoking and confirmed my suspicions that the world we live in today and into the future will be drastically different. We no longer can depend upon institutions, corporations or the Government for our livelihoods. The middle class will continue to crumble and the majority of society will have two choices – be a temp worker bouncing from one job to the next for the remainder of your life or become an artist-entrepreneur. We still have a system that clings to the past economy, where we tell kids to go to college and be saddled with thousands of dollars of debt only for them to find a lousy job that barely pays the bills. But the world has already changed and it is just a matter of time before we’ll all be free agents and the income disparity between the rich and poor will accelerate and continue to widen.
A secure job is a thing of the past. Social security will be a pittance in 20 to 30 years. Pensions have pretty much disappeared, replaced by self-managed 401(k)s. Health care is corrupt and a total joke of a system. Colleges have priced themselves to unsustainable levels and the Government can no longer subsidize these institutions through financial aid. Government in general is dysfunctional, bloated, and can’t pass even the most simple of legislation for the people they supposedly serve. Big brother is becoming a reality with the NSA monitoring everything we do online.
This could be pretty depressing if you let it get to you. But I’ve realized years ago that I can really only rely upon God and myself – and sometimes, family and friends. The things I just mentioned are all external and we have no control over them, so it is a total waste of time and effort to fret or worry about them. So instead, I choose to focus on the internal things I can control. And one of those things is coming up with ideas.
In Altucher’s book, he recommends coming up with 10 ideas daily, regardless of how ridiculous they may be. Like running, the more you do it, the better you get at it. I’m still fortunate to have a secure livelihood with a traditional employer, but almost everyday I see another old pillar falling – a pay freeze, furlough, higher contribution to health insurance premium, reduced company 401(k) matching, no bonus, higher retirement age, increased taxes, new taxes or whatever other way they can scheme and continue to erode your take home pay. It may not happen next year or even in the next 10 years, but eventually, I’ll be forced into the choice of becoming a temp staffer or artist-entrepreneur.
As strong as my physical muscles may be, my “idea muscle” has been in a state of atrophy for some time. This muscle also needs to be exercised every day and I’m in need of some serious physical therapy. Remaining complacent in this area will not create the life I want to lead. So over the next few months, I’m going to post ideas related to running. I’m expecting most of the ideas will not be very good or even original for that matter, but hopefully it will at least get the creative juices flowing and possibly improve my ability to find innovative solutions for family and friends to their everyday problems.