No Sorrow Ever Chokes Their Throats by William Miller After Birket Foster Carving

Kennon-Green & Co. Fiduciary Financial Advisor, Wealth Management, Global Value Investing

Going through the messages that are sent to me, a small percentage of you need to hear this.

You have to take responsibility for where you are in life.  You cannot control what happens to you – and sometimes terrible, horrible things do happen that you will never fully get over – but you can control how you respond to those events.  

Recognize that there is no cavalry coming.  There are no fairy godmothers.  The world will be perfectly content to let you sit in your misery, wallow in your despair, marking time until you die.  No one – not even your parents, friends, or children – will care about your goals as much as you do.  If you want something, get it ethically and honestly.  If you screw up, admit it and learn from the mistake.

No Sorrow Ever Chokes Their Throats by William Miller After Birket Foster Carving There is nothing remarkable about this world view.  It is an optimal one if you want to have a better life because it results in constant adaptation to circumstances.  

Did the factory close?  That sucks but don’t waste time thinking about it, instead readjust, find a solution, and alter course.  Ship captains don’t sit in the middle of storms, wallowing about the fact that they were so unfortunate to have hit bad weather.  It’s part of life.  You do what you can do get through it and keep on toward your destination.  If you are born on third base, good for you.  If you were born in the stands without a bat, being miserable about it isn’t going to help you change it.

[mainbodyad]It’s an amazingly empowering way to go through your time on this particular planet.  There are a few things you can’t change – you grow older with each year, no matter how hard you try to stop it, a person suffering from depression can’t just ‘snap out of it’, someone held hostage by a totalitarian regime such as those found in North Korea has severely restricted options available – but most things can be controlled when you live in a free, prosperous society.  If you’re poor and you don’t like it, don’t be poor anymore.  If you’re fat and you don’t like it, don’t be fat anymore.  If you are married to an abusive spouse that hurts your children, leave.  

People often counter with, “it’s not that easy.”

Most things worth having never are.  Who the hell told you life was going to be easy?

There is a saying that, “Until the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of change, you will never improve.”  It is one of the most succinct explanations for what psychologists call “intrinsic motivation”.  Nobody else can do it for you.  The only thing that works in the long-term is changing your heart so that the you make decisions consistent with your goals.

If something can be changed, and you don’t like it, then do it.  Change it.  If it can’t be changed, be content with it.  There is no other rational way to live.  Those are your only two intelligent options.  Anything else is self-inflicted poison that achieves nothing.

You can have better.  It won’t be easy, but the rewards are massive.  The sacrifices I made early in life are paying hefty dividends today that allow me to live how I want.  These things take time.  Even a farmer planting a crop knows that they won’t come up overnight.  If you want a different life in the future, start putting seeds in the ground that will bear fruit one, two, and five years from now.  Never lose sight of your goal, be careful not to tell people who might sabotage your efforts, either consciously or subconsciously, and then execute your plan so that little by little, day by day, you crawl your way to where you want to be.

Some of you are wasting your lives.  Get up, walk out the door, and go do something.  Your time is running out.  Nobody else can save you.  It may be terrifying, but rise up and live the life you’ve always wanted.

What’s the worse that can happen?  You fail and you end up exactly where you are now?  That seems like a simple opportunity cost analysis to me.  If there is no additional downside, why not reach for the stars?  Pride?  Who cares about pride?  Fail in front of your friends and family.  If you can’t, either you have an ego problem or they are the type of people you shouldn’t have around you.

Stop wasting your life!