And now for the bad news…
As everyone knows, life exacts its pound of flesh one way or the other, but money is one reliable carbon credit for all the attrition.
Of course, you have to have it to use it.
My generation grew up with the misguided notion that we had to find a career that truly fulfilled us in order to succeed in life. the idea was that we wouldn’t put for the effort necessary to succeed doing something we didn’t personally enjoy.
What we weren’t reminded of is that money runs the world, and that without it, there are no vacations! where we get to do what we love.
I was guilty of the same misguided notions until I got lucky. But that’s for another blog…or you can just read my last book, Urban Dystrophy available on Amazon.
The article focuses on one Neal Gabler, who has written acclaimed biographies of Walt Disney and Walter Winchell among many others.
Unfortunately, Gabler was, as he freely admits, “a financial illiterate, or worse — an ignoramus.”
“I don’t ask for or expect any sympathy,” he writes. “I am responsible for my quagmire — no one else.”
His situation is the product of some bad luck and many poor choices, many of them common to all of us.
In brief, here they are:
1. He chose to be a writer, not the most stable profession.
2. He chose to write books, which don’t produce income for years.
3. He chose to live in high-cost New York City.
4. He chose to have two children, whom he sent to private school early on and then to Stanford and Emory for college.
5. His wife quit her job as a film executive to spend more time with the kids when they moved to eastern Long Island.
The article suggests that perhaps it’s time for us to redefine the American Dream beyond the purely material goals of the postwar years, when our growth seemed unstoppable.
It concludes that life should be more about the freedom to succeed or fail on our own terms.
But, in my view, there is no more “our own terms” because none of us lives in a box, impervious to media and life on the outside.
And while encompassing things like pride in our own personal achievements, family, friends, and community service that leaves a legacy of which we can be proud, we can not all afford therapy at $250/50 minutes.