How To Stay 'Young, Dumb and Broke'
Or, 10 Ways To Hold Yourself Back From Experiencing a Prosperous Life.
Friday evening, I needed to escape — to distract myself a bit from all the things still undone, incomplete for the week.
When you’ve made the choice to practically live on the internet, sometimes a small slice of time away from the screen is so, so needed.
But, last Friday, an hour eating a 100% all-natural burger (what really is that, by the way?) at this new hip café in a college town near me… it turned into two, then three, then… argh!, four.
I found myself meeting up with some friends at, of all places, one of those dark, seedy, disco dance clubs; a throw back to New York City’s Studio 54 with the wholesomeness of current-day Southern Oregon conservative chill/
(In other words, no garbage bags of money and dope stashed in rugs throughout the club).
This is something I rarely do — seek out a place outside my home to decompress, to get into a music stupor, with social drinking as the sedative. But, like anything that gets too out of whack (including how much you spend working), Life in all its infinite wisdom will just help you find the opposite experiences to ‘balance’ your shit out!
(Some thoughts about the Law of Polarity, the duality of Life — i.e., in-out, yes-no, on-off, courage-fear, love-hate, light-dark, etc. — some other time. Or here, if you must)
So, just after midnight, DJ-Chuck spins up Khalid’s song (which this post is titled), and these lyrics nearly made me smile (slyly) from ear-to-ear:
“Jump and we think, leave it all in the game of love
Run into sin, do it all in the name of fun
I’m so high at the moment
I’m so caught up in this
Yeah, we’re just young, dumb and broke
But we still got love to give.”
* NOTE: If you don’t know the song, the official video is here.
Ya see, when I look at how younger generations operate, how they don’t engage in certain self-reflective actions or take responsibility for their current financial or lifestyle situation, I wonder silently sometimes:
Was I also like that as a 20-something? Did I really believe delayed gratification is a defect; that occasionally sacrificing (the present pursuit of fun and ‘high’ experiences for a near-future payoff of being smart and rich) was a shitty proposition?
That if I could just muster-up enough love in my heart, and enough positive thoughts in my head, all would magically take care of itself? That the rest — such as the distasteful hard work to earn money or the personal development skills to keep my girlfriend — wouldn’t be a trade off?
Around 12:30am, after reflecting on those questions for an hour (a few fireballs helped), the biting-truth, an insidious, deeply-buried confession from my past, came to light:
Oh shit… ut-oh… I did — yeah, yeah daffy, I did, I did… sorta have some of that mindset; certainly more than I have now.”
The idealism of a youthful brain! What a blessing, what a curse!
The ambitious, but inexperienced, brain strives to change the world, to give the ‘fuck you finger’ to tradition and time-tested norms, yet it also (as Dr. Jordan Peterson has been eloquently pointing out) conveniently forgets that it has yet to consistently clean its own room.
But, saints, sages and gurus for millennia have been sayin’ the same damn thing.
Ghadi: “BE the change you want to see…”
Rumi: “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
Still, the wisdom of experience and timeless study will always be challenged (read: avoided) by impetuousness-innocence and the iconoclastic spirit.
Maybe it should, too!
But, I’d argue not just for the sake of it. Some conventional things (like religious ideology) DO require hard scrutiny. Then, there are some things (like biology and sexuality; or a quest for gender-oneness) that need to just be left the hell alone.
When you strip it down to its bare bones, personal transformation is the greatest self-inspired challenge of all — kind of hard to push yourself out of your “box,” if you’re not questioning why you got, or are staying in that comfortable little bastard.
You’re basically cajoling yourself to fear less, therefore love more; to expand perception of Self, therefore operate daily with enhanced creativity and sustained curiosity.
The curmudgeon says…
“Whatever… I don’t give a rats ass. I just live vicariously 4 hours a day watching the Travel Channel. I’m not harming anybody. What’s the point in trying to be a bigger and better person?”
The Pollyanna says…l
“Hey, champ… I understand your dog got ran over, your girlfriend left, and a burglar stole all your gold coins. Cheer-up, sad face, this will all be for a greater good; something better will come out of this for you, too.” (eh, no shit Captain Obvious).
Whatever extreme you’ve latched onto before (I hope, not for long), you’ve probably learned (through experience) that being a groupie of any one camp is ultimately a distraction.
In other words, the repressed, unresolved aspect of the opposite extreme lurks within like a villainous monster. Avoid it, run from it, and it just grows larger and more pervasive. Face it, head-on, and “IT” shrinks as YOU grow.
But, do you really have to first be immature, foolish and destitute before you can become accomplished, smart, and prosperous?
I’m going to dive in Part 2 of this report. I’ll reveal some specific ways I’ve learned (and am still learning) to GROW in order to melt my extreme monsters.
Everything in life, dear reader, if taken to the edges… it’s a dangerous spot to be. Holding onto beliefs and viewpoints without employing an open, flexible mind… it’s one helluva high-risk proposition, for sure.
I know a guy who is nearly obsessed with whatever CNN — what I like calling Chronic Neurotic Nonsense — is reporting about so-called “scandals” in politics, or the purported “truth” they’re digging up about “bad” corporations, or their “exposes” about the economy.
He’s so focused on what THEY say is happening, it is as if his entire potential for greater prosperity, and a better personal future, is tied to their version of the outside world… like some kind of Puppet Master / Puppet dynamic. I told him if he doesn’t change his focus; if he doesn’t quit building-up his grand scapegoat, his epitaph is going to say, “It Was All Their Fault!”
I also know a gal who thinks she’s so evolved, that all the “negative” things ‘out there’ the masses deal in… those kinds of gnarly things don’t affect her. She is, in her words, “a reflector of darkness and conflict” because she radiates “so much inner love, peace and joy for herself and her family.”
Yet, she’s so far-removed from reality, she won’t acknowledge that, at 45, she’s living rent-free (with no car) on her parent’s farm. The justification, of course, is because they need her presence and nurturing energy.
So, what’s the bottom-line of being able to fulfill the promise of the title of this post:
If you truly want to stay dumb and broke, here are 10 views of the world, and personal behaviors, which will get you there:
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