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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Common sense cake walk

Several years ago I read Rich Dad Poor Dad. I vaguely remember that what I got out of it was simple: if you want real success, don't follow the herd through college and graduate school, start a business, study people, figure out what they want and then sell it to them. Well, thanks Mr. Kiyosaki! I'll just sit down and figure out what it is that everybody wants and that nobody is already selling. It should be a piece of cake...

Okay, I'd really like a teleportation device so that I can save all that commute time. No wait, maybe better would be a device that waits in line for me. I'll just go find a place to sit down with my tablet and the Line-Waiter™ will beep me when it's my turn. Hold on! I've got it! I'll call it: The Asininely-Redundant-Paperwork-Filler-Outer-Thingamabob. (ARPFOT) When the doctor, the government bureaucracy, the school, etc., hands me the booklet full of pages filled with blanks that I have to fill in, this scanner-printer—using some kind of Watson-esque AI protocol and full knowledge of all my personal information—will blitz through the B.S., in a trice!

I've been a "contestant" in a few cake-walks, but with nary a single cake to my name. If you ask me—and even if you don't—I'm pretty sure they were all rigged. The music plays, the people march in circles and the commissar with the microphone sitting in the tall chair gets to decide whose turn it is to win the next go-round. It reminds me of Big Government.

My name is Jack, and if you're a fan of fairy-tales, you'll find plenty of stories where my namesake—a hapless and thoroughly bored young man—goes out to seek his fortune, and in the process of this fortune-seeking, happens to defeat unimaginable evil, win the love of a princess, and then winds up living happily ever after. Sounds like a cake-walk to me.

The floundering around, seeking something, anything, purposes, causes, ideas, etc., can quickly become habit forming. Being a young man without a clue dragged on for me, way too long. Luckily, America is still a country where the clueless can manage to get by. Jobs are out there if you're willing to sweat, have half-a-brain, and remember always that being ungrateful will earn you a pink slip faster than you can say: "That's not my job."

All the formulas for success start with hard-work. I bet there's millions of unemployed college graduates who worked hard to learn whatever it was they teach in a university classroom. King Sisyphus was the hardest working boulder-roller in history and it didn't get him anything. If you're working hard doing the wrong thing, or going the wrong direction then you're worse off than people who're just sitting on their asses. Work smart before you work hard.

The lesson I learned at the fair was that "fair" is where you go to get cotton-candy, life ain't fair, and if you want a cake, you're best bet isn't a cake-walk it's cake-mix.

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