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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by AntiHero, Jul 13, 2012.
Wealth begets wealth. Poverty propagates poverty. And the middle class vacillate between the two, touching the fringes. Right or wrong, that’s just the way it goes. And the 99% hate the 1% due to a total misunderstanding of how one becomes a 1%-er. There are all kinds of theories explaining why this is. But every now and then someone at the poverty end of the spectrum rises up. Sociologists would probably explain it as an aberration that would allow them to protect their social/political views, but 'success' is actually pretty simple (at least in America): work hard, work smart, be educated—and oh yes, also have a “FUCK ADVERSITY” attitude.
Basically we are creatures of appetite. We want. But we also have aversions and fears. The end result of the battle between the two determines the course of action we take. In simple terms it can best be summarized by the ‘I want to see every second of this movie, but I’m going to piss my pants if I don’t get to the lavatory now!” Most people know when to bum-rush the urinals, but they don't really know what they're missing.
The appetite/aversion account as applied to finances can easily be distilled into the following formula: when your desire for a Ferrari is greater than your aversion to saving/working hard/getting an education, you will own a Ferrari. Now, if this was a verbal, one-on-one conversation right about now the person I just said that to would protest with a “but!....” And that’s where self-sabotage comes into it. Excuses. There are a bunch of them. (“I’m too old to go back to school, I don’t have the time, I wouldn’t want to give up my soul to work on Wall St., etc. “ And when excuses win, you lose. Simple as that. And the fucked up thing about being human is we have this special gift of being able to lie to ourselves in very, very convincing ways. We do it very, very well. The implications go way beyond wealth and poverty. Weight loss, staying in a bad relationship, why we’re afraid of spiders—basically excuses are the things that keep us mired in the shit we shat. The newsflash?: excuses don’t exist in the real world. That is correct, my dear reader. Take any excuse you have and attack it. Test it. You’ll be surprised at how thin these excuses are and how easily destroyed they can be. And you’ll be surprised at how resilient and strong you are.
And this all ties into Dr. J. Most people who see a guy driving a flash car tend to think that somehow it was acquired easily. Underestimating the effort others had to expend makes it convenient for the rest of us to dismiss acquiring skills or objects as a possibility. But this guy lived a hard life. He wasn’t given shit. He, in fact, has every excuse in the world to have never achieved anything. I won’t get into his personal details, but it’s safe to say he’s lived a rougher, more difficult childhood or adolescence than most. So how’d he get from where he was to where he is? Hard work and no fucking excuses. I’ll repeat that again, because as simple as it is I don’t think most people really understand: Hard work, no excuses. And through it all this guy has maintained this superhuman level of modesty and an unbelievable sense of generosity and kindness. Blows my mind.
The Dr. J lesson: let fear be the deciding factor in deliberation and you’ll end up living in inescapable conditions. But pursue your appetites, follow your dreams, work hard and confront both real and imagined adversity and you’ll live a life you wouldn’t trade anything for.
And I'm not saying that the only road to happiness involves money. It doesn't. But it has its place. I'll swing my leg over a V-Twin over stepping onto a bus any day of the week.
To cut to the chase, after the chauffeured Panamera Turbo experience, Dr. J shows up on this...
...and absolutely refuses to let me NOT ride it. Not just ride, either....we wrung the bikes out (he on my 1199 and me on the R). And what a bloody, damn, brilliant bike. In a lot of ways it's better than the Panigale. It's far more refined, the fueling is spot-on, the suspension is set up perfectly for both aggressive riding AND NY streets, the brakes are powerful and linear (as is the powerband) and I actually think I prefer the ergonomics more than the 1199. I'm not going to lie--when I saw the Bayliss in pictures I thought it was gaudy. But in real life this thing is anything but. It's gorgeous in a way that a 2 dimensional picture just can't capture. The 1199 looks pedestrian in comparison. And talk about limbic resonance! Those eyes make anyone with a pulse want to kiss the damn thing (or run away in terror--maybe they're one and the same?).
View tucked in the parking lot, Mr. Boy Racer!:
And remember what I said about the 'Norminator' being a seemingly condradictory combination of crass extremes? Recall the picture of us at dinner (or scroll up). Yeah....so when I show up today to change out my brake pads I roll into what thought was the right backyard to find this bruiser and went through a brief moment of panic--it's as if every time I see him he's a different person (as the Myers-Briggs proved):
He's either the most versatile actor on the planet playing 7 or 8 roles, or I'm hallucinating. One moment we're changing out brake pads, another we're examining human skulls (real human skulls), another he's giving me a history lesson on the ancient artifacts in his living room. Most people have one, maybe two alter egos. Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, step aside.
AAAAaaaahhh and you left us hanging before you told us about the nine-eleven!
What an amazing man Dr. J is --- and a poignant reflection from you D.
I've really enjoyed your RR.
The way you talk about Dr J is the same way I speak of Dr Richard Carmona of Tucson AZ (my hometown)... Dr Carmona had a similar rough and tumble background, from growing up in Hells kitchen dropping out of school to Vietnam to using the GI bill to become a Dr then Trauma surgeon/SWAT officer then Surgeon General of the US.. And he's a really nice guy to boot!
Guys like Dr J and Dr Carmona make people feel good about our own achievements no matter how small they are compared to theirs because maybe one day our hard work will pay off too...
If you want to read a bit about Dr Carmona
Such an amazing post!
What you said is totally in resonance with what David Eagleman says in his book "Incognito: the secret lifes of the brain".
Thanks for sharing with us all these lessons.
Here are a couple of quotes I like, which relate to your discussion above
concerning the artificial limitations people often place on themselves :
“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven..”
- John Milton, Paradise Lost
"Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours"
- Richard Bach, Illusions
"basically excuses are the things that keep us mired in the shit we shat."
I love this. Good timing for me.
Pretty sad I have to live my life vicariously through this RR.....lol
No really, a great RR and it's made me finally start the planning and financial side of my trip.
Keep up the awesome writing and Dr J sounds like a cool guy.
Guess I'll leave one of my favorite and simple quotes as well.
Actually read below.....lol
I don't think the 99% hate the 1%, as you state. I know a lot of people who would qualify as being in the 99% and I have yet to find one who damns people who got wealthy through a combination of hard work, smarts, and ethics. What I think people don't like is folks who got into the 1% by shady means, or who equate financial worth with human worth and look down on people who work just as hard or harder but whose jobs are "below them."
I too like to see people set goals for themselves, sometimes goals that seem beyond them, and yet achieve those goals. Such goals could involve accumulating large stacks of dead presidents, or not. I'm not gonna judge someone by their goals, cause their goals might be different than mine. And I try not to judge them based on whether they achieved all their goals cause well, crap happens sometimes, and sometimes hard work and education don't add up to success. The good doc, and some other folks you've met along your trip, love having lots of toys, but I bet you'd respect the doc just as much if he eschewed all the material goods, ran a bare-bones storefront clinic, and rode an old Honda 175 .... because that was his goal.
Taking your example into consideration, if a person wants a Ferrari but then declines the opportunity to earn the money to buy the Ferrari you say "they lose" but I see it this way: they didn't really want the Ferrari in the first place; when the time came to choose, they chose something else. They only lose if they fail to recognize that they had a choice and that they made a choice. Recognizing your choices leads to understanding yourself, and it frees you to actively make those choices, to participate in your own life. You kind of loaded the dice in the favor of your analysis because you defined the scenario is such a way that the only right answer is for the person to do what it takes to get the Ferrari-everything else is excuses. There are no excuses, there are reasons, and a primary reason is choice. You don't have to choose a Ferrari, or an HP4, but you do have to choose, whether you realize you're choosing or not. That said, you can make impossible choices that can never be achieved, in which case if you like following that path it would probably be more satisfying to make it your goal to follow that path toward that impossible result as far as you can go---keep pushing your personal best even though you know you have no likelihood of achieving your ultimate goal. Again, it's a choice. That said, sometimes circumstances beyond our control and we just have to play the hand we're dealt...limited or no choices. When you're down to your literal last dollar you won't be too choosy about what job to take because you need a paycheck in seven days or you'll be homeless. Beggars can't be choosers. At that point, choice is illusory, but taking that job is saying "fuck adversity". Once you get going again, choices tend to present themselves again, as opportunities. And it's also true that sometimes events outside our control make it impossible for us to achieve our goals no matter how much adversity we're willing to fuck. That's real, but it's important to work to recognize when it's real and when it's not...when it's really not something outside ourselves blocking us, it's US, and we're making a choice but we're hiding it from ourselves, disguising it for some reason to look like it's someone else's doing. Peeling that away is looking deep into a soul mirror...and it can be scary as hell to start to meet the person who's pulling the strings. Some people aren't going to be able to do it....it's too much for them. Terrifying. Afraid it will destroy them. And maybe they're right. I'm not them. I think it's scary for everyone at times, but sometimes some people can do it and emerge differently. But I can't condemn those who won't take that journey... I'm one of them sometimes too...we all are..... Maybe seeing all the choices you make is one of those impossible goals....I think it may well be.....but I think even if it's impossible to live a life of total self-clarity the road that leads there is worth riding.
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself FDR - 1933 Inaugural address.
Forego trepidation - Live, move and ride forward !
Truth. Sometimes hard work and education don't add up to a Ferrari either. And when working hard and working smart doesn't get you educated, or you're not educated enough to work smart, only hard, you're in a great spot to get screwed. The part of the 1% (really more like the .01%) that the 99% hate are the ones who regularly take the opportunity to screw the 1% on the other end of the spectrum. If you get wealthy through working hard, working smart, and being educated, then good on you, but if you get wealthy because you're lucky, ruthless, and mean, then we've got a problem.
P.S. Great report with great insights. I've been following since you came through Minneapolis.
All good points, Blader. And yeah, estimation/respect for someone should have nothing to do with making a judgement regarding whether or not they choose to pursue the same interests or goals as we do. I respect someone who is living an authentic life--or as close to it as possible. (Authenticity is inversely proportional to self-deception; self-deception is (nearly always) the root of all aversion).
I will still emphasize the distinction between "wants," though. It's important to clarify that the process of making a decision involves this clash of desires versus the aversion required to get there. It's an oversimplification to conclude that someone is in the situation they are because that's what they want. The end result is based on a process--a synthesis of sorts (although it's usually a binary synthesis).
Great quotes--read both. The former I would not recommend to anyone unless they're writing a novel and are struggling to figure out how to make the villain more interesting than the protagonist. The latter is definitely worthwhile reading. Especially the intro.
Great post, and what I believe of America. Glad to know that someone else shares my thoughts on the matter.
Keep of the great work. Enjoying the pictures and stories.
Hey Ben--I knew I'd seen that name before!
I think the big issue is that very few would see a guy in a (insert supercar here) and think, yeah, that guy worked hard for it, fuck yeah, kudos to him. The default is always to think that he/she was born into it or fucked people over to get it. In psychology it's called the fundamental attribution error--the tendency to devalue the success of others through environmental-based explanations while over-emphasizing one's own effort that is/was/would be required to achieve the same level of performance or success.
The typical conclusion to seeing a hot girl with an old, fat, bald dude in a Lambo would be that 'she's only into him because he has money'. However--if that old fat dude was us, we'd say "she's attracted to my intellect and passion for success." Either could be true. Either could be self-deception. Truth can only be found by validating what we think and/or testing what we think experimentally (it's why morality ALWAYS requires action).
But most people lack the desire to transcend their own beliefs, god forbid try and test the holiness of them. Such a state prohibits progress. We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. - Solzhenitsyn
I'm not much for philosophying about my fellow man for the simple reason they will inevitably make me wrong but having said that, this is America and what you believe you can do , you really can take a good stab at it if you prepare.
Mark Donahue said, Luck is when preparation meets opportunity and while historically there have been a few cases where opportunity just wasn't there for some, even then someone proved that wrong and did great historical things or made great head roads into what some deem as success.
What pisses me off is when politicians make statements and decide policy that pits any percentage up against the other thereby giving the downtrodden an excuse for failure and perpetuates the myth that if you have achieved great wealth or fame it was all on the back of the little man. It just ain't so and the fact that a country boy from appalachia achieved the supercar status with barely a high school education , four years of military , a GI bill education and one hell of a lot of sweat equity is proof enough to me that anyone can do whatever that will themselves to do .
Keep up the good pictures and to someone else' point , what WAS up with the GT3 picture. LOL
Sweat Equity. Exactly, exactly, exactly.
GT3 experience has to begin with an ADV salute. There were a good three or so years of me reading all the ride reports I could on this site....to finally be a part of it all wouldn't have been possible without the "fuck it, I'm riding off into the sunrise" (on a KLR, KTM, 50cc scooter, BMW Battlebot) motherfuckers who did it before. Here's to all of you bastards: