Feb 112018
 

by Kim Pederson…….

There must be someone or something I can blame for my failure to reach the 1% (or the 5% or the 10%, etc., etc.). It can’t be me. I want to be wealthy as much as the next person (feel free to insert your own definition of “wealthy”—I have mine). As evidence for this, President Trump has kindly informed us that all Americans are dreamers, as in we all want the American Dream to come true. Just to ensure we are on the same page with this, here’s what I’m talking about:

The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, the set of ideals (democracy, rights, liberty, opportunity and equality) in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, as well as an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.

Photo Credit: Max Pixel

Oh. Shoot. I didn’t know about that “hard work” part. Whatever. I refuse to believe that my lack of hutzpah and gogetterbility and ambitiology is the real reason I’m not rolling in it yet. And I have been vindicated in this belief thanks to MyDomaine writer Christie Calucchia, who tells us that there are other factors at work in one’s chronic unsuccess. Unfortunately, they all point back to me, not to something or someone else. In “5 Common Habits of Unsuccessful People (Are These Holding You Back?)” Calucchia tells us we need to recognize our bad habits and drop them in favor of those successful people share. The five baddest in the pejorative sense habits are these: tardiness, conformity, procrastination, lying, and burning bridges. (I know what you’re thinking. How credible can this assessment be when a certain head of country has four of these five terrible habits with no obvious intention of changing them? But then he’s an outlier [think about it]).

Of the FBHs (five bad habits), I, to avoid #4, must admit to the conformity and procrastination ones, the latter more so than the former. I’m pretty much on time for things, I don’t lie as a rule, and I have a decided deficiency in the bridge-building department and so am in little danger of burning any. One would think, at least I would, that avoiding three of the five bad habits would get you over the wealth hurdle. But alas.

So, the solution for me to clamber up the tax brackets, apparently, is to drop the conformity and procrastination habits. I can also work to adopt the habits of successful people. Calucchia helpfully includes a link in her piece to another story: “10 Successful Women Share Their Morning Routines.” These, says writer Genevieve Fish, are worth setting you alarm earlier than usual. If you’re curious, I can summarize here. Publisher Arianna Huffington practices yoga and meditation. Model Rosie Huntington-Whitely spends quality time with her husband. Businesswoman Payal Kadakia goes for a 30-minute run. Businesswoman Michelle Kohanzo makes wardrobe decisions. Publisher Anna Wintour plays tennis. Most of the other morning routines involve workouts of some kind. These seem like simple practices to adopt, although I’m not sure how Rosie would feel about me spending quality time with her husband.

Well, this has been a productive day so far. I’ve taken the first step on the road to success, which is recognizing my bad habits. I feel much better about not being rich and my hope for personal largesse has been rekindled. Oh, and as for the hard work part of realizing the American Dream? I did walk to the local store this morning to buy lottery tickets. That counts, doesn’t it?

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Visit Kim Pederson’s blog RatBlurt: Mostly Random Short-Attention-Span Musings.

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Kim Pederson
Kim Pederson has been a freelance writer and editor since 1996. Prior to that, he was Senior Editor with Charles River Associates, an international economics consulting firm. Kim earned a B.A. in English (Honors) from the University of Montana and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa Playwrights Workshop. His plays have won awards and been produced in Seattle and other locations; his screenplays have won awards and been optioned, and he has done work-for-hire scripts for film production companies. Kim lives in Key West with his wife Kalo and two Maine coon cats, VeuDeu and Pazuzu.
 February 11, 2018  Posted by at 12:30 am Issue #255, Kim Pederson  Add comments