Two Perspectives: A Ladder or a Bed

“Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves. They therefore remain bound. “ – James Allen

Two Perspectives for Two Types of People

There are a million ways to categorize individuals along the lines of outlook, personality type, skills, etc. I am going to add one more – their paradigm or perspective on the world – they either see it as a ladder or a platform

Fair disclosure: this is a bit of a rant, but there will be some structure to it, so bear with me.

Those That See a Ladder

These are the kind of people who see life as a ladder – each step carries with it a better perspective, more opportunities and more rewards. You can’t climb a ladder by standing still – you won’t move! In order to climb this ladder, these people understand that they need to work hard, develop skills, and bring those skills to the market.

They understand that each stage in life is a step – and they are eager to move onto the next step. For this reason they buy the books, take the courses and attend the meetings. Everyone wants better circumstances, but only those who are prepared to work for them will see the fruits of their labour.

Seeing the world as a ladder might be conveyed by some as manipulative – but I am not talking about seeing people as ‘stepping stones’ and such, I am talking about the idea of personal development. The realization that to take the next step, you must do the work, develop the skills and improve as a person – you need to grow in order to take the next step, no one will give it to you!

Those That See a Bed

For these people, the most dangerous words in their vocabulary is deserve and entitled. They deserve the public support systems that are available to them – perhaps they are even entitled to them! They deserve a pay raise every year, regardless of whether or not they are doing a better job or improving. They are entitled to a pension, they are entitled to healthcare, and they are entitled to the benefits that others enjoy. They just don’t want to keep up with the Jones’; they deserve to keep up with the Jones’.

You will know these people when you see them – in the work place they are easily identifiable. They believe in yearly wage increases, job guarantees, yearly vacation increases and the 35 hour work week. They have no problem in getting a coffee on company time, but heaven forbid they stay 30 minutes late – well they deserve overtime!

These people have no desire to improve – they seek the circumstances but are unwilling to improve themselves, they therefore remain bound!

What’s My Point?

Over the last 50 or so years, the West has enjoyed the longest bull market in recent history – everything has gone up! As the saying goes, a rising tide raises all ships. We have been able to increase everyone’s standard of living, regardless of the value they were bringing to society, and the effort they were putting into improving themselves.

However, an audit is coming. Already Western governments are realizing they are out of money and out of time. Wage’s are getting realigned (especially in the public sector), pension plans that used to be a given are becoming a thing of the past, and expenses are getting re-evaluated.

This is my opinion – that’s all – but I think it resonates now more than ever. To end, I want to share two quotes that my Grandmother shared with me when I was young, and still resonate:

“If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.” – Winston Churchill

“The main vice of capitalism is the uneven distribution of prosperity. The main vice of socialism is the even distribution of misery.” – Winston Churchill


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