Bamboozled No More, Escape The Matrix
After returning from Vegas, I have a better appreciation for travel and doing the things you enjoy doing without having to worry about work. This reminded me of my old friend, Mitchell, who recently returned from a vacation of his own. Let’s just say his trip was longer, grander, and more exotic, to say the least. He and his long time girlfriend, who runs a successful online business, cruised through Turkey, Greece, and Rome.
When we were growing up, we and a few other friends formed a tight knit group. Our teenage years of hanging at our favorite diner, playing basketball, and hitting clubs on the weekends are a distant, yet fond memory. We are not as close as before since we live in different cities. We can no longer meet up on the weekends and hang out like The Breakfast Club or any other classic, John Hughes gang. Thankfully, everyone is just an email or text away. Funny how technology changes, but still manages to keep people connected.
Mitchell and I formed a special bond because we were the late bloomers of the bunch. He and I had similar upbringings. But we thought and acted slightly different from the rest. We both tried to excel and focus on school to the detriment of other activities associated with high school and college. After graduating, we riled each other up and questioned, “Were we bamboozled? Hoodwinked? Had the wool pulled over our eyes? Were we tricked into thinking all that mattered was getting good grades in school? Are we stuck in the Matrix?”
We continued on our own seperate paths. I played it safe and chiseled out a traditional IT career. Mitchell, who flies by the seat of his pants ala Maverick from Top Gun, learned to work the stock market. He always marched to a different beat and didn’t care too much about other people’s opinions of him. He worked from home and studied everything he could get his hands on about investing. He created his own income streams while others hammered out their resumes. I remember it wasn’t all smooth sailing. But because he was passionate and dedicated, I’m sure he met Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours and made himself a master of his craft. It’s amazing we got along so well because till this day I am still Mr. Follow the Rules and Mr. Seek Approval from Others. After hearing about his latest globe trotting adventures, I am both happy and inspired by my old friend. For the most part, he figured it out. I need to take a page out of his playbook. I need to fly by the seat of my pants and march to a different beat. I need to break rules and stop seeking approval. I need to stop being bamboozled and escape from the Matrix.
I know you’re out there. I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid… afraid of us. You’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell how it’s going to begin. I’m going to hang up this phone, and then show these people what you don’t want them to see. I’m going to show them a world without you. A world without rules or controls, borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you. – Neo