The Awful Truth About Fame, Wealth, and Success

What? You thought this was going to be easy?

The Awful Truth About Fame, Wealth, and Success
Capital Thinking | The Awful Truth About Fame, Wealth, and Success

Capital Thinking • Issue #94 • View online

We are so very wrong about many things - pain, fame, and wealth being just three. Success too, I guess.

We don’t realize the true cost of these “things” we desire. And everything has a cost.

Most of us don’t really understand that either.

Ryan Holiday says it well

Preach it, brother.

“Along with extreme success comes extreme costs — it is often an all consuming drive that draws one to the spotlight…and inevitably to dark places as well.
Maybe the lucky ones are the hidden figures. The people who don’t suffer the burdens of a public office or a clique of hangers or the anxiety of a reputation to uphold or the chorus of critics, they’re the ones who were deprived?
Most people with a public persona tell you that the downsides outweigh the upsides. They have a target on their back from critics. They have less creative freedom. They feel irresponsible when they turn down opportunities because they know other people would kill for the chance.
It’s not all bad of course, but there are real problems that go along with fame and fortune.”
The Most Successful People Are The Ones You’ve Never Heard Of (And Why They Want It That Way) -
The vast majority of successful people who ever lived are people you’ve never heard of. If we are to drill down further and consider happy successful people, it’s almost certain that we haven’t heard of them. The reason for that is something called the survivorship bias. Only a very small number of…

James and the best advice ever...

“When I start a business, I make sure everyone I hire is smarter than me, so I can learn.
When I do a podcast, I assume my guests are all smarter than me, to feed my curiosity.
I’m blessed to have so many of my superheroes answer all my questions on my podcast.
The best advice I’ve gotten lately (from billionaires, super-comedians, artists, athletes): be honest, be who you are, be humble, be curious, sincerely network, show up every day.
It’s that simple. I will add: be stupid”

Here's more from James:

The Smartest Piece Of Financial Advice I Ever Got - James Altucher
“You are stupid.” This one piece of advice has made me millions. That sounds like bragging. “Millions”. Blech. But I have to use the word. Because this is the most important advice ever. Without this advice I almost certainly would be dead. Or crying. A lot of crying. Like I did for many years. It’s…

Comparing Bullshit to Science - It's in the details...

This guy is a guilty pleasure. He’s old, grumpy, and rich.

He also pulls no punches.

Advertising: The Science Is Terrible
Named one the world’s most influential advertising and marketing blogs by Business Insider

It Ain't Benjamin Button, but she makes a good point.

Simple, but powerful story. But then, most powerful stories are simple.

Progress And Potential
All progress is about taking a small step into the unknown, towards the uncharted territory of the never been done before.

Elon is not Elvis and that's not good.

Chris is someone who pretty much has one thing on his mind: making money. Not making excuses.

He’s not a fan of Musk’s “Enron on Wheels” company.

When Hero Worship Is Taken Seriously
Hero worship. It’s a mental illness, and it’s come knocking on Elon Musk’s door. There are online groups numbering in the tens of thousands dedicated solely to posting Musk material: what he’s wearing, saying, where and when he’s defecating. There have been others before him that have gathered worsh…

Yep. We're putting this here right after Elon

This little tale written 200 years ago lives on.

The way I heard it, Abraham, Oscar, and Mary made a wager as to who could write the most frightening story over a long weekend in the country.

Oscar Wilde painted the tale of a never-aging Dorian Gray and ‘Bram Stoker drew Dracula out of the darkness into the light of day. But both men felt that nineteen-year old Mary Shelly won the bet.

Shelly brought her monster to life with such force that  200 years later scientists are still fascinated by her Frankenstein.

Of course, the real story is here:

200 Years of Frankenstein: Mary Shelley’s Masterpiece as a Lens on Today’s Most Pressing Questions of Science, Ethics, and Human Creativity
“The labours of men of genius, however erroneously directed, scarcely ever fail in ultimately turning to the solid advantage of mankind.”

Personal progress does have its cost

What? You thought this was going to be easy?

“Our painful moments are important moments. When we confront something painful, we are left with a choice between an ugly and painful truth or a beautiful delusion. Many of us opt for the latter and it slows our progress.”
Pain Plus Reflection Equals Progress - Farnam Street
Our most painful moments are also our most important. Rather than run from pain, we need to identify it, accept it, and learn how to use it to better ourselves.

*Feature photo by Pascal B. on Unsplash

*Originally appeared June 21, 2018