Stop Selfishly Following Your Heart
If money is what you seek
You can make money in this world in two ways, the economic means and the political means. Here, I am focusing on the economic means.
Let’s start with a basic premise:
Anyone who complains about the distribution of wealth in the system of capitalism and has not given all of his wealth away is, by the very nature of his complaint, demonstrating that he desires more wealth.
In other words, if you don’t like it, there’s always a method to rectify being too rich. You can undo being too rich really quickly if that’s what you wanted.
So what’s the problem?
You must feel, no matter your current level of wealth, that the market has not rewarded you enough.
We can summarize this feeling into two broad categories:
People that do not feel properly compensated for their work. This is selfishness masquerading as stubborn pride. They want to do the work their way and only their way. Customers and employers be damned!
People that choose career paths knowing the market does not demand their work. This is selfishness masquerading as following the heart.
I will focus on this latter category.
They Followed Their Heart
You might argue that some people have found their calling and have no need for the material well being the market can provide. But if that were true, they wouldn’t be complaining about the distribution of wealth. Perhaps we could make rare exception for the truly altruistic - and misguided - soul that sermonizes about wealth inequality simply out of concern for others. Perhaps.
But even the most caring yogi is talking in a blatant contradiction when he says that wealth inequality is a problem of the market. Why? Because the market is everyone, at least it is everyone that is using the economic means to create wealth. “The market” is just another way of saying, “people using their labor to serve each other’s wants and needs.” The market includes the people that are being supposedly victimized by it. So are they victimizing themselves? It’s an obvious contradiction. So we can dispense with that.
Let’s focus on those that choose career paths knowing that their work will be poorly compensated. They followed their heart. Notice that they didn’t follow anyone else’s heart…
My Heart Loved Video Games
When I was struggling to build a professional career, I spent my share of time blaming the market. It’s what we are taught growing up. Most of us, at least. But as I learned about libertarianism and Austrian School economics, my mind was opened to the idea that all I needed was to ask a simple question,
“What does the market want me to do?”
So instead of asking “what do I want to do?” as I had done my whole life, I started to research things. I was in the computer field and so I would ask questions like “what is the highest paying IT certification?” Then I would research job openings and job descriptions for ideas about the current trends in the market.
I started building my cv with the skills the market wanted, rather than simply what I wanted to do. Heck, what I wanted to do was play video games and be a mediocre sysadmin for the rest of my life. But the market needed cyber security engineers. So rather than playing video games, I spent nearly two years working on certifications and training until I was hired to start a new career in cyber security.
I didn’t selfishly follow my heart. I selfishly followed the wants and needs of others. My heart said to play video games.
(I was never very enlightened.)
Do What You Love In A Way That Others Will Love
Today I look at things a little differently. Before you leave here thinking that one should never do what they love, the important point here is that you need to figure out how to make other people happy if you want to be successful using the economic means in a market economy. You can, of course, follow your heart and make others happy too. But that only works if you are unselfish enough to actually put your talents out there and accept the feedback that is going to come from the market. You have to be doing it for others.
Even a yoga teacher can make millions following her heart if she learns what parents want for their kids’ yoga classes. This channel earns an estimated $266,840 per year and has a net worth over a million. A woman that acts out kids’ movies as interactive yoga play sessions? Sign parents up! Did this woman really want to do this her whole life? Probably not, but who knows. What’s important is that the market is rewarding her for fulfilling their need, not hers. Parents need ways to encourage their children to move and be healthy. She provides that.
This isn’t complicated stuff. Perhaps one day even the gurus and saints will figure this out and we’ll stop having to sit through their sermons on wealth inequality.