We’ve Been Brainwashed: It’s Time We Wake Up and Correct Course

| March 31, 2014 | 23 Comments

Most of us have had a sociology class at one point or another. Remember the faux paws, where we did something crazy for a day just to see how people responded? That world is alive and well. Our system teaches us to behave and think a certain way. We’re all supposed to be normal and follow society’s instructions. We’re all supposed to go to school, get good grades, get a good job, work for 40 years at that job (or a cocktail of jobs) and then “hopefully” retire when we’re old and worn out.

path

But is that the right way to do things? That’s the question I don’t hear a lot of people asking. Are you asking that question? I know of at least three people who have been asking that question and sharing their thoughts on it for years. You may have heard of them:

  • Seth Godin
  • Robert Kiyosaki
  • Tim Ferris

These people are only best selling authors who have sold millions of copies on their point of view on what’s going on in this world today and how things are changing. In case you haven’t heard their viewpoints, let me help you out:

Seth Godin Says We’ve Been Scammed

In the beginning of his book, Linchpin, Seth Godin says “I grew up in a world where people did what they were told, followed instructions, found a job, made a living, and that was that.” That’s the world even people my age understand, because we were taught that too.

Seth goes on to say that today, “We live in a world where all the joy and profit has been squeezed out of following the rules.” I happen to agree with him, at least on the joy part. Seth has observed that “the easier people are to replace, the less they need to be paid”.

Ever hear someone complain about not getting paid enough but the only thing they’re getting paid for is to show up and follow instructions (which is almost everyone we know, by the way)? How many people do you know that will gladly get paid to show up and follow instructions? I can think of at least three-hundred. So no, you aren’t special and you don’t deserve a raise just because you show up every day and follow directions. Big deal. So will thousands of people lined up outside the door. And they’ll do it cheaper.

Seth tells us that just over a century ago, the system we know today didn’t even exist. We grew up thinking it’s always been there, but it hasn’t. This system where, according to Seth Godin, people “show up, work hard, listen to the boss, stick it out and get rewarded” has only been around for a hundred years or so.

And wait for it. Seth tells us, “that’s a scam” and that if we’re in that system, we’ve been scammed.

Robert Kiyosaki Says a Job Is Only a Short-Term Solution to a Long-Term Problem

Robert Kiyosaki tells us in his book, Rich Dad Poor Dad that “The rich don’t work for money.” So, how did they get rich then you ask? They did it by having money work for them.

Kiyosaki also says in the book, “When a person says, ‘I need to find a job,’ it’s most likely fear doing the thinking. For example, if the fear of not having money arises, instead of immediately running out and getting a job, they instead might ask themselves this question: “Will a job be the best solution to this fear over the long run?’ In my (Kiyosaki’s) opinion, the answer is no.” Kiyosaki tells us that “a job is really a short-term solution to a long-term problem,” the problem being the fact that we need money to live.

Tim Ferris’ Says We’re Distracting Ourselves from Seeing How Pointless It Really Is

In his insanely popular book, 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferris tells us that “money alone is not the solution.” He goes to say “‘If only I had more money’ is the easiest way to postpone the intense self-examination and decision-making necessary to create a life of enjoyment – now rather than later.”

And then he tells us, “busy yourself with the routine of the money wheel, pretend it’s the fix-all and you artfully create a constant distraction that prevents you from seeing just how pointless it is.” He ends by saying “the problem is more than money.”

What are Seth Godin, Robert Kiyosaki and Tim Ferris Trying to Tell Us?

Seth Godin is trying to tell us that if we simply follow directions, we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment. We’ll spend our days, weeks, months and years going into work, taking orders and waiting for others to tell us what to do, all the while getting paid just enough to get by.

The solution? Using our brains to create new art. It’s a new way of doing things, but a way that will bring us more satisfaction, more money and more freedom.

Robert Kiyosaki’s work isn’t just geared to help us find more meaning in our careers and get paid better, he’s all about freedom. He simply tells us that a job isn’t a good solution to the money problem. Why would he say that? Well, first of all, because with a job, you only get paid when you’re working. He doesn’t think that sounds like a good deal (and I don’t either). Do you?

Secondly, he knows that a job won’t make you much money overall (most likely not enough to become financially independent anytime soon) and you’ll definitely pay more in taxes in a job than as a business owner or investor.

What a crazy thing, huh? Ever hear people complain about the rich paying to little in taxes? That’s because the rich don’t have jobs and jobs are where we get taxed like crazy. The rich are smarter than we are. Like Robert Kiyosaki, they don’t let fear make the decision for them to go find a job. They think logically about it, and logically, a job isn’t the best solution.

Tim Ferris is telling us that work for work’s sake is pointless. We should enjoy what we do. We should have meaning in our lives now, not just in 20 years. Tim Ferris says that fear is the only thing holding us back and that our “worst case scenario” isn’t even that bad if we really think about it.

Is What We Were Taught Best For Us Long Term? I Think Not.

I was taught to sit down, take notes, do my homework, get good grades and then get a good job someday. The best thinkers out there today are uncovering some pretty serious stuff here.

Things have changed big time and they are proving that what we were taught is wrong.

What used to work doesn’t work anymore. We’ve been brainwashed. I’m not buying into it anymore and am correcting course. What are you doing about it?

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Learning New Things

Comments (23)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. I’m doing my best to save/invest as much money from my job while also working to build up my internet presence to hopefully turn my online ventures into some other income sources. I’m curious if the average person just haven’t even thought about a different way or thinks there’s not a chance to really do it. I know when I was first out of college and working my first job I saved money but there was no overarching goal for it. It wasn’t until I was laid off that I realized how risky it is to be an employee and not an employer/business owner. As an employee I have no say in whether I get to keep my job/house and eat next week. The key that I’ve found is to get multiple streams of income coming in so if one fails there’s still something else to fall back on. I think my end goal of FI is going to have income sources from real estate, dividends, online sources, and probably part-time work that I do on my own just bring in a bit more side money. Four income sources sounds pretty good to me because even if one fails there’s still three to rely on.

    • JC,

      I agree with your thought process on how risky it is being an employe. I believe the reason more people don’t pursue entrepreneurship or just an unconventional life in general is that they don’t believe they can make it happen. It’s a tough hurdle to jump over (and it’s tough to stay over it), but it’s important to get over that if we’re going to actually make things happen.

  2. Donny Gamble says:

    I’m a person that strives to do the opposite of what most people say that you should do especially when it comes to financial education. I try to learn from financial experts that no one have heard of because once a strategy goes mainstream, it becomes less effective and relevant.

    • Donny,

      I believe I tend to do the opposite of what others are doing when it comes to finances as well. I never really thought about it that way. Yes, some of those mainstream strategies are pretty watered down and lame.

  3. Tim Ferris’ criticism is cutting, at least for me, as an early retirement blogger. It’s certainly possible that I’m delaying the work of self-evaluations, hoping that early retirement (and having enough money to walk away from my job) will somehow magically create the kind of life I want. But it won’t.

    • DBF,

      Yes, Tim Ferris’ words can be cutting. But, it’s always good to take in both sides so that we can make a good decision about how to move forward in our lives. Many times, I don’t like hearing the other side of things, but I know it helps me in my decision making process.

  4. Totally agree!

    I feel like I have slowly been brain washed over the last 10 years of (near) constant employment, only to be saved by stumbling across similar sorts of information online, and am now correcting the course. To do this safely it will unfortunately require a few more years of full time employment, but at least I know what the end goal is now, and can take some measured risks when the time comes (as you have done Kraig, I guess I am a few years behind you!).

    If only reading these kinds of books was mandatory at school age, I bet at least an extra 10% of kids would be entrepreneurs straight out of the box, and follow their dreams rather than conforming to the rules. Still… it’s clearly not for everyone, I really think most people are happy to turn up and get told what to do as you say, which is fine. Whatever floats your boat, but if you don’t like it, change the course as you say!

    • TFS,

      Great to hear you have awakened and are correcting course. Those years of getting ahead will definitely pay off when it comes to your future.

      Yes, reading these kinds of books has been huge for me and I’m sure it would be huge for the population in general as far as helping them think differently about the way things are being done.

  5. DividendVet says:

    I have not read Linchpin yet, but from the sound of it seems pretty interesting book. I totally agree with you Craig. You see the light! Now don’t loose it.

    This is why I stated Dividend Growth Investing, so my money can work harder than I can. Investor class is treated much better with consistent raises and taxed a lot less. I have seen my fund grow overwealmingly last few years and it drives me day in and day out. I have done enough following, it is time I lead my own path.

    • DividendVet,

      Linchpin is a must read, my friend. I hope you’ll pick it up. If I wasn’t so attached to it, I’d mail it to you and let you read it.

      Oh, I won’t lose it. I’m stuck with the “light”. I love the idea of making money work hard for us. Obviously, to be able to do that though, we need to have money left over in the first place, which takes a complete mindset shift.

      Love you’re attitude and drive. Keep up the great work and keep us all posted!

  6. Kelly S. says:

    I agree w/ mostly everything here. I work 10 hour days, and have a three day weekend. It’s mind boggling how fast life goes by with this schedule. My workdays, I am there or asleep when I get off. My off days, I spend loafing around, resting. Weeks go by like minutes. One day I’m going to wake up and life will have zipped by me.

    However, on the same note–if the news about unemployment is not propaganda, and is actually true–I’m not going to look down on the fact that I’m gainfully employed (in the field I went to college for), have health insurance, and I like my income. There are alot of people struggling right now. And if you have a family, it’s even more important to have a reliable source of income, because it’s not just about you.

    I do plan on eventually making my money work for me, but it will take several more years of full time employment before I can take some risks. I do agree with mr godin about creating art. That will show ourselves that we can contribute to society, and not just be a 9 to 5 slave to the grave; and that manifested self worth will parlay itself into income, I truly believe that. One thing I’ve been wanting to do is invest $500 to take a silversmith class. At one point I took a keen interest in making my own salad dressings, and it occurred to me that I could create a line and sell them at the farmers market. The street violinist who plays beautifully, on the corner on weekends. Everyone can’t be Steve jobs, but it’s important that we find a hobby and make it a part time profession.

    In the meantime, I’m educating myself on different investment strategies.

    • Bex says:

      I agree completely! My time also slips away from me, so I find it difficult to squeeze in time to make dinner, keep the house, AND build blog/business, in addition to my full time job. I’m also happy to be employed (despite the risk) with good benefits and livable salary.
      I love the concept of diversified income so I’m working towards that so someday I can be employed from home when I’m a mom.

      • Bex,

        Yes, there just isn’t enough time in the day for all of it. I’ve been struggling quite a bit lately on this as well. I believe we just need to prioritize everything and make cuts where they need to be made.

        Great goals for the future!

    • Kelly,

      Weeks go by like minutes for me too. I think life is speeding up as we get older (have you found that too?).

      Definitely, of course it’s good to be a productive member of society making a living doing something that contributes.

      It’s also good to have lofty goals for what you eventually want to do. I too have lofty goals of where I want to take things. It definitely is a long road, but I believe we can get to where we want to go if we work hard enough and stay focused and motivated.

  7. Catch says:

    I am with Kelly on learning new skills. I went to grad school and earn a good living in my field, but I’m not sure it’s why I want to be doing. So while I need to work in this job, I’m learning home repair/handyman skills from my dad and the Internet and getting busy around my house. I have started a blog that I hope will be prosperous one day when I figure out how to convey what I’m thinking. I am at trending a conference related to my undergrad degree for a potential side income and going above and beyond at work to make myself more valuable. I don’t know my end result, but with learning new things, saving and investing my extra income each month and being open to new ideas, hopefully in another 4-5 years, I will have a concrete goal and the skills to get there…on my schedule, on my terms.

    • Catch,

      Nice work digging into a bunch of areas that you’re interested in. I really believe and setting lofty goals and being focused and motivated to keep at it over the long term can build great things. I too and working towards that.

      I believe we have a good chance at making these things a reality in our lives.

  8. Sandy says:

    Wonderfully written, Kraig. I absolutely thrive on living outside the monetary system, debunking most of what mainstream media tells us what one MUST purchase aka what we MUST waste our funds on. It’s absolutely insane out there to ever purchase new clothing. Around here it’s readily available for free or 25 cents to a high of one buck occasionally for a heavy coat. Tax free and open to the masses. Wonder pieces. Most won’t think for themselves. My focus is keeping limited funds instead of assisting corporations with the rape of this planet and slave labor. It’s easy to find food free or discounted 50-60% on a regular basis and then stock up (preferrably what doesn’t need the use of a refrigerator and/or electrical consumption). Can’t get such high tax-free returns on doing otherwise. It’s liberating to live well without purchasing or maintaining most home appliances and with the bonus of not having to use so much electricity and/or natural gas. One can reduce and recycle laundry water to flush the toilet using the only 4 gallons of cold water and 1/2 tsp. homemade laundry detergent per week for 2 and hanging to dry all. I’ve trash-picked and repaired wonderful drying racks over the years. No need to even travel to a laundromat. The water expelled from the high-efficiency gas furnace here in the frozen Tundra is collected and recycled to flush the toilet also instead of having it piped out of the house inefficiently. So wasteful. One can own a home very simply and satisfying without subscribing to “house porn” which so many homeowners subscribe to. Live simply so that others may simply live. I once heard one say on teevee many years ago “If you watch the pennies, the dollars will appear.” So true with just consistent small steps.

    Comfortably living below the poverty level off this wasteful culture.

    Sandy

    • Sandy,

      Thanks for the comment and the great perspective. To hear that we absolutely shouldn’t buy new clothing really makes a person think differently about how they’re spending their resources, including me. Thanks for the tips coming from your personal experience.

      Living below the poverty level is the only way to go. :)

      Take care,

  9. Does Seth go through what system was there before our current system? I would imagine that get up, go to work, follow instructions, type system has been around a lot longer than 100 years.

    • The system in place before that was get up, get to work, drag something home and eat it for supper. The part about following instructions and relying on a company to take care of you is what changed in the last hundred years.

  10. Hey Kraig! Getting out the of the 9-5 grind would be awesome. I totally agree with you guys that we’ve been brainwashed into this routine that might not actually work for everyone. People are so different that I can imagine there are tons of people who are frustrated only because this system doesn’t fit with how they like to work/play. Then again, I think this systems works wonderfully for some others. It just depends who you are.

    • Thomas,

      Yes, this system does work for some. It sure has helped our country achieve great economic success. But like you said, it doesn’t work for everyone and I have always been a little against it for myself.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I’ll definitely be checking out your site.

  11. Bil says:

    I grew up in the same environment as Seth explains…but they did not succeed… in brainwashing me. I have always followed my hearth and what made sense only to me-which often, you can imagine, was against what others thought is acceptable. I am considered as ,,different,, and I like that. I am happy that more and more people are ,,waking up,, ;)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Current ye@r *