SportsLizard Entrepreneur Blog

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The guy I don't ever want to become

One of the things that motivates me the most to pursue my dreams is that I don't want to become "that guy." We all know him - he's got a good job, nice family, nice house, and nice kids, and he seems like overall he should be a pretty grateful and happy dude. But he's not. He sleepwalks through life and seems half miserable and half bitter all the time - even when doing the things that he enjoys.

I've met a lot of these people over the course of my life. Part of me feels bad for them - to a large extent they've lost their hope. Their most enjoyable day is one where they can stare at the TV for a few hours while the wife and kids leave them alone. Part of me also feels that they could dig out of it if they wanted to and that a large part of life is how you look at it. Many people would be thrilled to have a roof over their heads and dinner on the table every night. It almost pisses me off that these people aren't grateful for what they have.

But all this guy can think about is how much his wife is nagging him for a new house or his boss is on his ass or how he can't get ahead because there is a corporate conspiracy against him. He would never consider leaving the "comfort" of his job to find something better because he's afraid - so he'd rather be miserable.

He really becomes a problem when he starts infecting everyone else with his bitterness towards life. If he can't get ahead, he might as well have company in his misery. He claims to be telling the young professional "how it really is", but what he's really doing is subconsciously crushing your dreams. He's telling you that the real world isn't fair, and that good guys don't win.

I don't ever want the comfort of that guy because with his comfort comes his bitterness. He has no passion for life. He doesn't love what he does. He doesn't see the good in the world and in people in general. He doesn't even see the glass as half empty, he sees a broken glass.

Funny thing is, no one wakes up one day and becomes this guy. It happens over time, and I am at the age where I can start to see it happening to some people I know. I wonder what they'll be like five or ten years from now? I have a pretty good idea that they will become "that guy".

I've known quite a few people like this in my young career (ages ranging anywhere from thirty to sixty). Many of them have reached out to "help" me, and while I certainly listen to what they have to say, I'm secretly telling myself that what they are telling me is bullshit and that they are really trying to mold me to become the next "them", the guy that I don't ever want to become.

Seeing them helps motivate me to never, ever become what they are. It's funny - every decision I've made over the last year or two has been the exact opposite of what these people have told me to do. I suppose that's how I know that I'll be that 80 year old dude that runs a business, or volunteers at the local shelter, or plays competitive sports, or travels around the world, and not the 80 year old that sits in his rocking chair bitching about how life screwed him over and how he would have reached his dreams if it wasn't for that baseball coach in high school or that boss at his first job.

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