By James Maverick, Author of Sovereign Man
Misery is everywhere. Everywhere you look. That’s a fact. I see lots of it around here in Eastern Europe where I’m living now. Eastern Europe is a dreary, unhappy, miserable place.
I also saw it in New York when I was there last year. Lots of unhappy people. New York is an unhappy place, especially in the winter. The subway cars get overcrowded. Everyone is grumpy. Then the snow falls and there are all kinds of delays. Millions of grumpy people can’t make it to work on time. Then the snow melts and you have this ugly black slush everywhere. Nasty. There’s no other word to describe it. It’s really nasty.
But most of all, I see this misery right here on the Internet. Like right on my own blog. I write a random post, hit publish and moments later an angry swarm of criticism from people I don’t even know fills up the comments area.
People are bickering and complaining and arguing either with me or amongst themselves. Hate is everywhere. People are unhappy. Even the most trivial and inconsequential thing can set someone off these days. I can look at the blue sky, write that the sky is indeed blue and someone will criticize me and say that it’s really grey or black.
Enter the Rich World
The world is beautiful. The world is rich. The rich world. That’s my new mindset. Every day I get up, I’m amazed at all the opportunities around me. I’m healthy. I’m breathing. I have two legs. I have two arms. I have a head on my shoulders. I’m living in an abundance mentality.
We have all the information about all the world’s knowledge at our fingertips. You can do absolutely anything. You have a laptop with an Internet connection. You can start a business selling whatever the fuck you want. You can build a website and take credit card payments to be deposited directly into your bank account—in 5 minutes. (Can you even imagine doing that 10 or 15 years ago? I was running my first business when I was 16 and back then you needed something called a merchant account, which wasn’t easy to obtain—there was no Stripe back then.)
You can write books, draw illustrations or make movies. Or do a billion other things if you’re creative. People are hungry for new ways to consume information. People are hungry for knowledge. People are hungry for entertainment. People are hungry for solutions to their pressing problems. And they’re eager to give you money if you can do any of the above.
I’m also eager to give you money. I’ll help too. You can count on that. And I will do everything so that you’ll succeed. I will personally buy what you’re selling. I will also send you eager customers to buy what you’re selling. But you fucking have to build it first. You have to channel your misery into something constructive and productive. Just stop complaining and do something. Something. Anything.
The fact that I view the world as rich and abundant means it’s difficult for me to relate to those who do not. I can’t help it. That’s just how it is. I’m talking about people who focus on some small inconsequential trivialities. People who always look at the negative side of any situation. People who always find subtle excuses why something won’t work out.
Like some guy who was quick to tell me that “9/10 of businesses fail” because my first business didn’t crack $1,000 per month, and I decided to do something else. Fuck you. That’s not failure. Even if you made “only” $500/mo or $100/mo. That’s not failure. That’s knowledge and experience. Next time you’ll make more and more and more.
The list of men who’ve given up on life is endless. The 30-year-old dude who lives in his mom’s basement. The 35-year-old dude who “longs for the past” because his “best days” are “obviously” behind him. The 45-year-old dude who thinks he’s “too old” to start a new life in a foreign country. It ain’t right. Actually, it’s more than that: it’s sickening and disgusting. Because if it’s you who I’m describing—and you know this—then you’re not a man. You’re not someone who’s making moves. That’s not you. You’re just looking for excuses to rationalize your sorry existence.
Here in Eastern Europe, guys like you wouldn’t even survive. I don’t mean emotionally or psychologically: I mean physically. If you don’t hustle, you don’t eat. Guys like you also wouldn’t reproduce; amazingly feminine women wouldn’t want anything to do with you (femininity isn’t free, remember?). Attractive and feminine women want masculine men who provide order and stability. They want MEN. Actually, it’s a curious coincidence that complaining and bitching has a lot in common with feminism—a luxury that 90% of the planet (outside America and a select few rich countries) just cannot afford. That should you give some perspective.
The rich world. That’s where it’s at. Once you begin viewing the world as replete with possibilities, you can’t go back. You just can’t. You can’t complain. You can’t bitch. It will change absolutely everything and in all spheres of life.
Few months ago I began dating a new girl. She was beautiful. She had a nice personality. Things were going really well. But then she started telling me how I should live my life. She became irrationally demanding. She was also very jealous. Jealous of things that she didn’t really need to be jealous of. Lots of things were responsible for her behavior, but the bottom line was that she wasn’t seeing the world as replete with possibilities. She wasn’t on the same page as me. She projected her misery and insecurities onto me. I didn’t want to deal with that. When she refused to change, I wished her all the best and promptly found a new woman. I’m living in a rich world.
Why do people get hung up on such stupid trivialities? Why do people get jealous when they should be worried about something that’s much more important? Why are they so easily offended at the most inconsequential things? I have no clue. Actually I do: it’s because they have nothing more important to concern themselves with, so they always “find” drama where there isn’t any.
It’s a rich world. As rich as you want it to be. As poor as you want it to be. You can make as much money as you want. Work more. Work less. Make $100/mo. Make $10,000/mo. It’s up to you and no one else. Last month, I launched a new project. While it’s a bit early to tell, so far, it has exceeded all my expectations. Why? Because I worked like a dog—lots of 16 hour days—on it for the past several months. I worked harder than I’ve worked for a very long time. I’m hungrier than I ever was before. I’m more ambitious than I ever was before. I want greatness. I’m living in a rich world. I don’t care about silly and inconsequential shit.
I grew up in the Soviet Union, a totalitarian country where people couldn’t exercise any freedoms like starting their own business. It wasn’t allowed by law. Everything was owned by the government. In the Russian language, we don’t even have a word for “privacy.” Everyone was the same. We all lived in the same ugly 5-story buildings that are now decaying all over the Eastern Europe. The term “individual” was all but a foreign concept. I know how bad things can be.
Make Your Own Luck
That’s no longer the case. Today, the limit is really your mindset and imagination. You can become a better man. You can go out of your house and meet a new woman without silly gimmicks, stupid tricks or some other embarrassing tactics—right now. You can build your own business. You can use that money to structure your life the way you want like moving to a country where you’re respected and liked. It takes, what, one or two days to form a company or a limited partnership? How much money do you need for an airline ticket? An apartment or room? What’s your other excuse?
When I lived in California and had a shitty cubicle job in a programmer sweatshop known as Silicon Valley—my friends and I used to call Silicon Valley’s location the armpit of America—I was unhappy. I was miserable. I complained. I hated every single day. Everyone around me knew this. It affected everything. It affected my health. It affected my ability to build relationships. It affected my moods. I wasn’t living the life I deserved. I still don’t know whose life I was living because it certainly wasn’t mine.
But I changed. I said enough is enough. ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH. I assumed responsibility for my own actions. No one else did it for me. No one was waiting for me when I flew to Brazil on a one-way ticket. No one was waiting for me when I flew to Ukraine on a one-way ticket. And no one will be waiting for me when I go somewhere new.
What I eventually learned is that being miserable is an option. Misery is a choice you make. Nothing more, nothing less. Everyone can be miserable. I can be miserable—even starting right now. And, believe me, it’s very tempting at times. Last few months were far from easy. But I’m stronger than that. I resist the urge. We each make our own luck.
Because It’s Always Something Else
But, of course, with you it’s different. As opposed to the other 7,399,999,999 people on this planet, you’re a special snowflake. It’s never you. Never. It’s always something else or someone else that’s responsible for your unhappiness, bad luck and misery. You refuse to believe that you’re the captain of your own destiny. You refuse to take responsibility for your own self. You don’t want to do that. Why? Because it’s fucking hard. Because it requires you to look at yourself straight in the eye and start making important decisions—decisions that you’ve been putting off doing for many years. It requires you to actually start (or finish) that project you’ve been putting off many months or even years.
There’s enough misery and hate in the world. More than enough. It’s easy to find it if you know where to look. It’s easy to create it from virtually nothing. Personally, I’m not in the business of generating more misery and hate. I’m in the business of inspiration and self-improvement. So, if what you’re looking for are more excuses and rationalizations for your failure as a man instead of actionable advice on reaching your pinnacle and really changing your life, then you definitely came to the wrong place.
James is a writer and traveler. In his former life he worked as a software engineer in Silicon Valley. He’s now a permanent traveler who’s been to over 75 countries and lived in 15. His mission is to help all men embrace the location independent lifestyle and live life on their own terms. James is the author of Sovereign Man and The Way of the Maverick.