In the Real World, You’re All Alone and It’s Everyone for Themselves, Whether You Like It or Not
Before I’d graduated from college at age 20, and even after I’d spent six or so years working my first couple of full-time jobs, I’d held the belief that other people, namely my friends, instructors, and supervisors had my best interests at heart. And why shouldn’t I have held that belief? After all, it’s what I’d been taught to believe and what I’d been told was the truth by most everyone since the day I was born.
Fast-forward seven and a half years, to a point where I’d wasted probably the most productive years of my 20’s working for the same employer, with no promotions to speak of since my first 30 days on the job. At that point, I realized the cold, hard truth about the so-called “real world” that we live in, which is that not only are others nowhere near as concerned about you or me as we are about ourselves, but that they also only care about us to the extent that we can help them succeed, or to the extent that we care about them. Simply put, for the vast majority of us, or even, dare I say, all people, it’s all about (and has always been all about) “What’s in it for me?”—whether we’ll admit this or not.
“BAD” PEOPLE VS “GOOD” PEOPLE
Now, this is not to say that all people are inherently “bad”, because I truly do not believe in anyone or anything being objectively “good” OR “bad”; indeed, I believe that all people, places, and things are subjectively neutral—that is, I believe it’s up to you and me to determine whether anyone or anything in particular is “good” or “bad”, in accordance with our own definitions of those words and our most deeply-held convictions.
This is to say, however, that deep down inside of each of us—in the deep, dark, places in our hearts that we keep hidden from most everyone, including our closest friends and family members—we are selfish, unbridled narcissists who would stab anyone and anything in the back (or, at the very least, allow someone else to do it, while we sit idly by and watch it happen) to get what we want—given the right circumstances, of course.
Don’t believe me? Then I’m sorry, but you, my friend, are delusional and/or in denial, much as I was all throughout my 20’s, much to your own detriment.
The painful truth is that the only reason anyone is nice to us—the only reason they do us favors, shower us with gifts or affection, or show us any modicum of respect in general—indeed, the only reason they put anyone other than themselves (including their spouse, their children, or their ailing grandparents, for example) “first” in their lives is because there is, as the saying goes, “something in it for them”. It’s really as simple as that. And were this to not be the case, I can guarantee you they’d drop the charade and disappear from the lives of those they claim to care about in a heartbeat—or, at the very least, at their earliest convenience.
To illustrate my point, I will use my relationship with my wife as an example:
Despite the fact that I love her and she loves me, I remain keenly aware of the fact that our love for each other is primarily the result of the significant benefits we mutually derive from our relationship. Were those benefits to cease to exist, I highly doubt that our relationship would last the night, let alone for the rest of our lives. And while some people (naive or downright delusional people, in my experience) would probably argue that my wife and I should seek couples counseling under such circumstances and “try to work things out”, I would counter that there is no saving a relationship whereby neither party benefits (regardless of how much third-party intervention comes into play or how many proverbial band-aids are placed over “bullet wounds”).
To be clear, when two people cease to benefit from each other’s presence in each other’s lives, it’s game over for their relationship, and I don’t care if the two are a husband and wife of 50 years, a parent and a child, or best friends since kindergarten; there are no exceptions to this rule—a fact which bears itself out each and every day, right before our eyes, in the form of nasty break-ups and divorces, child custody battles, workplace terminations, and failed business deals—and the people who attempt to break or side-step this rule will only bring unnecessary harm upon themselves and the others they once cared about.
THE DARK, CHILLING TRUTH ABOUT THE HUMAN EGO
To further drive home my point with this post, I will use my relationship with my twin brother (who I spent nine months in the womb with, plus every day until we graduated high school) as another example:
My twin brother is the founder of audio horror brand Chilling Tales for Dark Nights and I partnered with him for approximately a year in the early days of the company, which were, I believe, in or around the years 2014-2015, to help him get it off the ground and to profitability, with the hope that he could eventually quit his day job and make Chilling Tales his full-work dream job (and perhaps even take me along for the ride, as I very much enjoy scary stories as well, after having grown up reading the same material from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by his side).
Early on in our business dealings, we worked well together, in a synchronistic, synergistic way that only twins can, much as we had when we were children and used to create short stories, poetry, comics, and music together in our shared bedroom. But then, one day, everything took a turn for what I believe to be the irreversible worse when I began pushing for a position as Chilling Tales’ head of marketing, after having experienced major success in selling ads on the company’s YouTube videos to CostumeSupercenter.com, and my brother’s enormous ego began to get in the way.
Rather than pay me what we’d agreed would be my portion (a substantial portion, to be sure) of the advertising revenue I’d generated for his company through Costume Supercenter, my brother reneged on what was essentially a hand-shake deal we’d struck with each other and offered me far less than I’d agreed to work for. Adding insult to injury, he’d premised the reduction in pay on what he’d claimed had been a “need” to help the company grow by spreading its ad revenue around a little better, and not just to those people involved in the selling of ads, but to anyone and everyone at the company, including, most offensively to me, the story writers and producers who had nothing to do with the advertising end of the business. In doing so, my brother effectively destroyed not only any incentive I may have had to continue doing my advertising work for the company, but any trust I’d had in him as well, both from a business and a familial perspective.
Following my injury and its accompanying insult, a heated argument ensued between me and my brother, during which he admitted that the primary reason he’d wanted to pay me less had little to do with helping the company grow and nearly everything to do with his with his lust for power, his thirst for control, and his ego-driven desire to ensure that I, as someone he’d considered an “employee” of his (despite me having been an independent consultant, writer, and producer without a contract), would never make more money off of his business than him.
Simply put, my brother saw me and my emergence as his company’s top breadwinner as a threat not to his bottom line, but to his perceived authority, and so he sought to eliminate that threat by any means necessary, which, in this case, meant by attempting to make me his bitch—as in, someone who would do his bidding and get little or nothing in return, all while never questioning his so-called “authority”.
Needless to say, I refused to be my brother’s bitch—just as I’ve routinely refused to be anyone’s bitch since I was old enough to think for myself. Furthermore, I’ve not worked for, with, or on behalf of my brother for a single a day since our break-up. Accordingly, I guess you could say he got what he wanted, which was me out of the picture, the threat to his ego eliminated, and his revenue streams back under his complete control…but at what price?
In one of the last e-mails I ever sent to my brother, I advised him that he would undoubtedly suffer at some point, in lieu his terrible treatment of me, because the Law of Attraction holds that we attract to ourselves that which we are, and being that he had essentially stolen from me, which made him a thief, he could fully expect someone—not necessarily me—to steal from him as part of his Universal comeuppance (what some what call his “karma”).
This “threat”, of course, did not sit well with my brother, and so we parted ways in the most unamiable of fashions, vowing to never speak with each other again.
Fast-forward to today: Despite my brother’s disbelief in anything Law of Attraction, Universal Law, or metaphysics-related, it wasn’t long before the very comeuppance I’d warned him about came his way, and over the last couple years he has seen his business hurt financially by not one but two parties—the first being a big name in the podcasting world who’d helped my brother set up his first podcast and who ended up posting Chilling Tales’ content behind a “members only” pay well without my brother’s consent and without payment of royalties (in violation of a contract my brother had with him, ironically) and the second being Google, the parent company of YouTube, which recently changed its AdSense advertising policies and algorithms, resulting in an 85% drop in Chilling Tales’ AdSense-related, YouTube-generated revenue, a move which has effectively pulled the financial rug out from beneath my brother and left him wondering if he will ever, in fact, get to do only that which he loves full-time.
BLOOD AND MONEY DON’T MIX
Since then, I’ve become clear on a few things that have gone on to shape and mold my mindset and the way in which I’ve done business going forward:
First and foremost, blood and money don’t mix (at least not without a well-thought-out contract in place and clearly defined responsibilities and payment arrangements in writing), and second, even your own brother will stab you in the back and steal from me, if that is what he believes he “needs” to do to succeed.
Now, I’ve been told that I can and should attempt to “work things out” with my brother, mostly by my father-in-law, who himself has a bevy of brothers and sisters (and who rose to the level of President within at least one very successful logistics company prior to his retirement), but the way it, there is nothing to “work out”, and I see neither the logic nor the benefit in me pushing for an association with any individual, whether he is she is my family or not, who does not believe in the fair treatment of others (the “Golden Rule” put into practice) and the observance of Universal Law (such as the aforementioned Law of Attraction and the Law of Cause and Effect which, like the concept of karma, holds that “what goes around comes around”, thus necessitating that we do not bite the hand that feeds us or treat our dinner table like a latrine—that is, unless we like going hungry or eating shit every day, which, apparently, my brother does).
Personally, I would much rather spend my time and energy on like-minded, success-oriented people like me—the very people I created Manifestation Machine for—than on deceitful, irresponsible backstabbers who believe that Universal Law does not apply to them, and with that in mind, I will most likely never reconcile with my brother on a personal level, let alone ever do business with him again, unless he makes a significant and sincere overture to “bury the hatchet” between us. Likewise, I will probably never again work for a “traditional” employer, like the aforementioned-company I spent nearly my entire 20’s working for, again—at least not for extended periods of time anyway—for essentially the same reason: All of the “traditional” employers out there, or, more specifically, the “team leads”, “supervisors”, “managers”, “H.R. professionals”, and so-called “leaders” that work for them, are just like my brother: In it for themselves, whether they’ll admit it or not (which they most likely never will), and only interested in “helping” people like you and me succeed to the extent that we are able to make their lives easier, them more productive, and them more successful—oh, and so long as we don’t hamper, in any way, their own progress or threaten the fragile little empty-eggshell-of-an-ego that most of them take everywhere they go.
IT’S ALL ABOUT “ME, ME, ME”, MYSELF, AND I
At their core, all the people I just mentioned, are vain, self-centered narcissists who would probably slit someone’s throat, if only it meant financial freedom for them and/or their family, and if only we wouldn’t be caught. But then again, you and I would probably do the same thing, given the right circumstances—I know I would. Does this make you and me “bad” people, or people “bad” as a whole? I don’t think so. All it makes us, in my opinion, is human. And because we, as humans, all want the same thing, which is happiness—happiness being what all our deepest desires reduce to, if only we dig down deep enough inside ourselves to find what truly makes us tick—can we really blame each other or ourselves for being willing to do whatever it takes, within reason (and sometimes even without reason), to find and hold onto that happiness?
In conclusion, this post is not about holding on to a negative and/or pessimist attitude towards other people or life in general, as I do not believe that doing so would help us in any way, nor is it in support of there being any benefit to being overly cynical; it is, simply put, about being honest with ourselves about the world we live in and the fact that, despite what most everyone says, most everyone cares more about themselves than about others. It is about the fact that we can either acknowledge this truth, learn to live with it, and work it to our advantage, such as by using peoples’ self-interest to, say, influence them to buy more products and/or services from us than from someone else, thereby making them care about us and what we have to offer, or living our lives at the mercy of others, waiting patiently for them to care about us just enough to throw us the occasional bone, like the good little bitches they’d like us to be. It’s about the fact that, going forward, you can be a boss—a selfish, narcissistic, an unashamed “asshole” who makes and/or breaks the rules, en route to becoming a massive success—or a subservient, in-denial bitch, who simply takes the rules that others make for him or her, en route to becoming an insignificant spec of dirt in the dustpan of history.
So what’s it going to be? Are you going to be a boss a bitch? For my part, I’m a boss, and I happen think you’d make a much better boss than a bitch. But then again, I’m a selfish, narcissistic “asshole” who is ultimately “in it” for himself and who only cares about you to the extent that you reading this and agreeing with me helps me become more successful…so what do I know, right? 😉
Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to be here today! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Please leave a comment below and tell me how you feel about this post, or better yet, visit its sister thread in the Manifestation Machine Forum and join the discussion about the topics covered herein. I can’t wait to hear from you, and neither can the millions upon millions of your fellow Mechanics!