Having the life you want means risking the life you have now

Yesterday the Metropolitan Museum of Art held its annual Met Gala.

I know this is because my wife was watching it when I finished work yesterday.

The Gala is one of the most exclusive events in the world. It’s invitation only and being rich and famous isn’t enough to get you an invite.

You must also be someone of cultural significance. So you get a strange group of attendees.

Mega stars like Kim Kardashian and Zendaya share the runway with YouTube influencers like Emma Chamberlin and Casey Neistat.

I watched a few minutes of the livestream with mixed feelings…

Part of me was creeped out by the level of excess on display. The attendees have a very “District One, Hunger Games” vibe.

Here’s an example of what I mean:

It highlights what I see as a growing divide in America between the ultra-wealthy and everyone else.

At a time when credit card delinquencies are up 250%, the event feels out of touch.

But the gala is also a charity for the Costume Institute of Manhattan which preserves seven centuries of fashion for both men and women.

It’s 100% self-funded through events like this, so it’s hard for me to be too critical.

Standing in my living room feeling both a sense of disgust and wonder my thoughts shifted to the way we thing about wealth and opportunity.

Most people view our world in one of two ways:

  1. One of endless opportunity where anything is possible.
  2. One where a handful of elites prevent us from getting what we deserve.

One of them is empowering. The other is limiting. Both are wrong.

If you are talented and driven and you apply your skills and ambition in the right direction you have a chance of success – regardless of where you start.

But reaching the top won’t be easy.

At every stage you’ll find people and institutions trying to prevent you from rising up.

What makes the difference is how you view those challenges.

Will you wallow in self-pity, listing all the reasons why no one can get ahead these days?

Or will you see the challenges you face as a puzzle that must be solved?

Never forget that the road you’re on is well-worn. Millions of people have already overcome the problems you’re trying to solve right now.

If they did it, so can you.

It might take years or decades. How bad do you want your dream to become a reality?

Now much pain, disappointment, rejection and persecution are you willing to endure?

Having the life you want means risking the life you have now.

And everyone walking that carpet yesterday took that risk and came out on top.

Your dream probably isn’t to walk the red carpet at the Met Gala. That’s okay, the dream itself doesn’t matter.

What matters is your willingness to chase your dream for as long as it takes.

I hope you will.


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