You may have encountered the “I don’t dream of labor” type of content, and while it does go against the potentially toxic hustle culture, it may create another toxic culture of its own. Many content creators have offered up their own interpretations of not dreaming about labor, but many do not communicate that a life of leisure built on a weak foundation is not sustainable and is even harmful to ourselves and others.
If you did not win the generational wealth lottery, you’re going to have to set yourself up. As I have written over and over again, LIFE IS UNFAIR. We must learn to deal with this unconquerable arrangement by doing our best, because if we don’t, we’ll be terribly unhappy and bitter towards others. Such is not a life of abundance; we can do better than that. By doing your best in whatever endeavor you choose or find yourself in, you are giving yourself a boost in the numbers game of success (whatever success looks like for you).
Nothing that requires the labor and capital of others is a basic human right. One of the most disturbing trends nowadays is the fervor of young people for obtaining “free” stuff and services. As many of our peers in the healthcare industry already observe, nothing that requires the education, work, and money of others is a right for one’s self. Such a concept is romanticized slavery and theft using “the common good” as a facade. If you voluntarily do not perform labor or provide capital yet enjoy the provisions of greater society such as infrastructure, services, and products, you are taking away from others. There is nothing aspirational about being a leech. And there is no honor in declaring your desire to be a leech.
Labor is a tool. Capital is a tool. Pick your tool. For those who do not have access to capital early in their careers, the only means of acquiring provisions is through labor. If one practices wisdom and restraint in their choice of endeavor and finances, they may find themselves with enough capital to no longer perform labor. It is then through the investment of capital that they contribute to production while providing themselves resources and increasing their own capital. In less fancy words, when we do not yet have enough money invested to live off of, we work to build our piles, and when we have enough, we can stop working and let our money work for us.
I don’t dream of labor nor sloth. I find that being of service to others is an important part of one’s contentment. Having a sense of purpose allows us to overcome obstacles and to live full lives. Such contentment and healthy self-esteem is not possible when one succumbs to sloth. With sloth comes the inability to provide for one’s self and with that comes the greed that manifests in demanding from others the bounty that they traded their labor and/or capital for.
Labor is not forever. Sure, working for a corporation ran by faceless shareholders may not be a rosy situation, but it provides the relative stability which can foster uninterrupted wealth building (with 401k match!). Running a business may be a lot of work on top of risking your own capital, but it gives you the ability to reap returns at a greater rate and scale than an hourly employee. We must shift our perception of labor as forever. Labor allows for the procurement of capital which we can then put to work instead of our physical bodies and minds. How fast you accumulate such capital will be based on decisions you make and decisions made for you (aka luck).
Ignore the noise. Focus on that which you can control: your choice of labor and the intensity with which you pursue it. Tune out the noise telling you that the odds are stacked against you. That, you have no control over, so why bother dwelling on it? See labor for what it is and work the system that allows you to stack your coins in peace.
When some concepts evolve to be toxic, we find ourselves a novel concept on the polar opposite end of the original concept. Sometimes, it is best we tread the middle and take from each concept what works best for us. Just because something is new and different does not automatically mean it is better. Certain things don’t need to be “innovated” when it is clear we are regressing instead of progressing. Practice discernment, always.
Let us see labor for the powerful tool it truly is.
This we manifest.