Breaking All The Rules

“It is one of the triumphs of the human that he can know a thing and still not believe it.” – East of Eden, John Steinbeck

What a fitting quote for Day 74 of Claudia’s book Become An Idea Machine.

Today’s list is 10 areas where you used to think in one way and then you changed your mind.

Steinbeck’s book East of Eden is an amazing story. According to Wikipedia, “The book explores themes of depravity, beneficence, love, and the struggle for acceptance, greatness, and the capacity for self-destruction and especially of guilt and freedom. It ties these themes together with references to and many parallels with the Biblical book of Genesis, especially Genesis Chapter 4 containing the story of Cain and Abel.”

The above quote shows how interesting that humans can know something to be true yet deny it.

This is a watershed post. You may be offended or uncomfortable by it.

I ask you to see it as what it is, my story. If you disagree, I am fine with that. I’m not trying to make you accept what I have, but encourage you to at least read and consider what I have to say.

BC

10 areas where I used to think in one way and then I changed my mind:

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1 Religion

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I was an enemy of God.

I hated Christians.

Also I was living in a lot of sin. At one point I even tried to convince myself there was no such thing as “sin”. But we all have the eaten of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Then an incredible series of events transpired in my life. I wouldn’t, and wasn’t, headed into the life of a born again Christian, but God loved me way more than I loved myself.

And my mind was renewed on my views of what it means to be a Christian.

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2 Politics

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They say don’t talk about religion. Already did that.

So I might as well break the second rule about not talking about politics.

I’ve never been a fan of the establishment. The party system is flawed.

At the time I didn’t idenyify, understand, or know the official political terms for my views. Looking back now, I would call them, progressive, libertarian, or maybe even far left. how far? I voted for Dennis Kucinich in the 2004 primary. It was mostly a single issue vote. I even was signed up with MoveOn.org and the Democratic Underground.

Now I would self-identify as conservative.

A huge shift, I know.

Not exactly the tea-party type. But I see why people are. I think it is mostly to be a part of a movement.

I think most people just want to vote for the winner. Which is ironic.

National politics don’t mater much though. It is local politics that have a more direct impact on your day to day life . Live local to my area and want to know more? Sign up for my class: POWER TO THE PEOPLE: POLITICS AT THE LOCAL LEVEL starting Thursday 4/16/15.

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3 Taxes

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I used to think we could collectively all pool our money then everyone would have all their needs taken care of. See last topic on my old political views.

My mind changed on taxes when I started making monthly payments instead of getting a big refund check to go waste on frivolous spending. Working hard and then having to give you income away sucks.

And thinking that you can demand it from “rich” people because “they can afford it” is uniformed thinking. Most wealthy people do not realize most of their income, meaning that they do not actually ever see it in the form of a paycheck. They have it in investments that do not get taxed at the same rate as income.

It’s a complicated subject.

But the bottom line is I used to be okay with the thought of the government taking up to 80% of my income in exchange for their protection and beneficence.

Now I would re keep every cent I earn and take care of myself.

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4 My Future

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I used to think my future was predetermined to be a middle class drone. Now that is a nightmare to me.

James Altucher has declared the middle class dead. He writes:

“A few weeks ago I visited a friend of mine who manages a trillion dollars. No joke. A trillion. If I told you the name of the family he worked for you would say, “they have a trillion? Really?” But that’s what happens when ten million dollars compounds at 2% over 200 years.

He said, “look out the windows”. We looked out at all the office buildings around us. “What do you see?” he said. “I don’t know.” “They’re empty! All the cubicles are empty. The middle class is being hollowed out.” And I took a closer look. Entire floors were dark. Or there were floors with one or two cubicles but the rest empty. “It’s all outsourced or technology has taken over for the paper shufflers,” he said.

“Not all the news is bad,” he said. “More people entered the upper class than ever last year.” But, he said, more people are temp staffers than ever.

And that’s the new paradigm. The middle class has died. The American Dream never really existed. It was a marketing scam.

And it was. The biggest provider of mortgages for the past 50 years, Fannie Mae, had as their slogan, “We make the American Dream come true.” It was just a marketing slogan all along. How many times have I cried because of a marketing slogan. And then they ruined it.”

And he is not the only one saying this.

Rob Asghar said the same thing basically, based on James, in The Coming Death Of The Middle Class: Your Biggest Opportunity

“The middle class is almost dead. But perhaps there’s no reason to grieve. … Today, opportunity in America has spread well beyond white males and the occasional overachieving Pakistani guy like my father. So has economic uncertainty.”

So I changed my mind on this. I am now working on taking this opportunity to make more of my life.

How you might ask?

Well check out my first self-published book Conspire To Inspire available now here on CreateSpace and soon on Amazon and Kindle.

Also my blogging and following Claudia’s book Become An Idea Machine. And starting a media company (more on that in the future). And my wife Sarah and I are working on our first collaborative effort on a book (more on this later too).

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5 The Need To Pay Off Debt/Mortgage

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I’ve been in debt for quite some time now. I have always made my payments (thankfully). I had the mindset that I needed to get out of debt. I am still going to pay it off.

But what has changed is that I do not have to pay it off before I start making changes in my life.

Before I felt like my life would finally start one I was free from the debt.

Now I know the debt is just there. So I cannot use that as an excuse not to do things.

Some debt may never be paid off (like my mortgage) and that’s okay. I plan to see my house before I ever reach that 30 year mark.

Which leads me to the change of mind on

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6 Money In General

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Realistically money now is just data.

My net-worth (which isn’t and never was much) is not my self-worth.

I know this is a little cliche but I used to, and sometimes do, get really depressed and sad when my bank account is near $0. As in $.47 or $3.92 or even $(-13.43) with me rushing to the bank to deposit a $20 before I get hit with an insufficient funds charge.

One day I finally got that the value of my bank account, thankfully, does not mean I am more or less of a person of value.

Money comes and goes. It can hold you back if you let it. Or you can buy a house for $63 dollars out of pocket.

Despite what people say, money is not the root of all evil, but “ the LOVE of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.”

It’s not money’s fault for evil. It’s those that love it more than the people they are supposed to love.

I used to think I would be okay with not making much money. It turns out, no matter how okay I might think I would be, I still need to to you know… eat and other stuff.

Plus who doesn’t like some nice things once in awhile?

This is not wrong. And now my mind is changed on it.

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7 Wanting To Get Out Of Texas

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I used to want to get out of Texas as soon as possible. Now I love it.

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8 Guns

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This one is simple. I used to be against guns. It was because I was afraid of them and didn’t understand why people had them.

Now I own one.

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9 Drinking

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I am not a teetotaler. Does any one even use that term anymore?

I will have a drink every now and then. I used to drink more. And unfortunately at times in my past too much.

Now I mostly don’t drink for health reasons. I feel tired and depressed the next few days after drinking. I get acne breakouts every time I drink alcohol. Probably has something to do with putting toxins in my body and my body is like “what! get those out of me!” Probably the same reason why drunk people vomit.

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10 Binge Watching TV

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This has become a socially acceptable bad behavior. We joke about it. But I stopped doing it because I always felt bad after.

Friends don’t let friends binge watch Friends (or any show).

Is there a hotline for help with this? Maybe there should be.

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What do you know but don’t believe?

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Have something you want advertised?

You can have it posted here at the end of my blog via my Fiverr gig.
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