7 Easy Steps to Becoming a Modern Slave

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Is slavery really abolished in the modern free world?

While slavery was officially abolished in America in 1865, there is still a large restriction of people’s freedom even in developed western countries.

Now I am not talking about the limitations of freedom that governments are gradually imposing in the name of “security” and “protection” of society. These are definitely real, but unfortunately they are not the only ones.

There is another kind of “slavery”, more insidious and subtle than having chains around your arms or governments restricting your liberties.

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Consider an average, regular person.

The average person works at a job. The fruits of his labor are mainly enjoyed by his boss, while he only receives a nominal “salary”. His “boss” can be one guy or hundred of shareholders of a corporation.

The government also takes a slice of the pie, with overall taxes on his active income reaching 40% or even more.

As Robert Kiyosaki writes in his bestselling book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”:

“Most people work from January to May just for the government.”

Due to the recent financial crisis that affected the world, at many times, he feels lucky to even have a job.

Typically, the average person also has a mortgage. He might also have student loans. Banks are particularly happy to grant mortgages and any kind of loan, for that matter. Due to the fractional reserve system, they create money out of thin air with them.

The average person also buys a load of stuff he does not need, in order to impress people that they do not care about him, and that he does not care about. He is influenced by a massive consumerism trend and a constant advertisement brainwashing he has been receiving since he was a kid.

The bottom line is that today the average person is trapped in a never ending “Rat Race” he can’t get out of. He might think that he is “free”, but the harsh reality is that his amount of freedom is severely limited.

So, how can you easily become a modern slave?

Follow these 7 simple steps and you will make it in no time!

1. Enjoy mindless entertainment on TV or the Internet for hours

I get it. You come home late in the evening exhausted from a long stressful day at work. What is better than to enjoy some casual, careless “entertainment”? You deserve it after all.

You first option would be the TV of course. Excellent choice, preferred by millions over the world. For instance, the average American watches an astounding 153 hours of TV every month at home, more than 5 hours per day on average. Reality shows and mind numbing series are all there for you to savor.

modern-slave_03_tv

Another great option would be the Internet. The Internet is an amazing thing. It offers so many possibilities to explore. You can spend your time watching videos with kittens on Youtube, or you can start building a business on it.

On the mindless “entertainment” part, it never fails to deliver. From Facebook pages with funny pictures and memes, to Instagram pseudo-celebrity profiles, you can spend hours of your time doing nothing with style.

Alternative Path:

Look. Your time is your most precious asset. Time is King. How you spend it will determine whether you are moving forward in life or just existing. Every single moment you are making a choice on that front.

Choose to invest your time in “Net Positive” activities. A “Net Positive” activity is one that will have some overall positive effect in your life, mainly on a long-term basis. Reading books, starting a business, working out, all these are “Net Positive” activities.

In order to facilitate growth in your life, you have to carefully structure your environment. Ditch your TV. Seriously do it now. You can sell the device and invest the money in a small business venture. Or cut the cable and keep the device as a second screen for your computer.

When you are on the Internet, use it for your own benefit, not somebody’s else. Internet is a tool, and should be used as leverage to help you accomplish your goals, not as a huge time sink.

In short, invest your time in activities that will allow you to grow, professionally, mentally and physically.

2. Blindly entrust your future to the government

Most people believe that the government is an entity that they can trust and count on. While governments try at some extend to maintain order and growth in their societies, their main purpose is definitely not to accommodate the needs of the average individual.

On contrast, governments over the world are heavily influenced by the financial elite in order to push forward the agenda of the latter.

Even worse, most governments nowadays are in big trouble.

First of all, most countries in the world are largely in debt. Ironically, we are not talking only about small or “developing” countries in Africa, Asia or Latin America.

According to the World Economic Forum, countries with large economies like Japan, the United States, France and Spain are included in the list of countries with the highest public debt as a percentage of GDP.

modern-slave_02_public-debt
Source: World Economic Forum

The huge public debt, coupled with years of low economic growth after the recent financial crisis, can create a dangerous mix.

The International Business Times write:

“A sovereign debt crisis is generally defined as economic and financial problems caused by the (perceived) inability of a country to pay its public debt. This usually happens when a country reaches critical high debt levels and suffers from (perceived) low economic growth.”

Next, the government’s’ long term promises for pensions and social security are basically worthless. The long term trend is that pensions are going to get slashed since the system is totally unsustainable in its current form, mainly due to the increase in the average lifespan.

Despite the convicting evidence of the incompetence of governments all over the world, people still entrust their future to them. Humans love to leave their fates in the hands of an entity larger than them. It is an indirect way to relinquish responsibility. After all, how many times have you heard a phrase that basically states “It’s the government’s fault”.

So, the easy choice is to sit on your hands and wait for the government to come to the rescue. You can kick back and wait for governmental aid via social benefits or even look for a job at the public sector. You can also hope and pray for a decent pension after you complete over 40 years on the workforce. Good luck with that.

Alternative Path:

Look. In this world you can’t rely on anyone except yourself and a few individuals of your inner circle, let alone the government. You have to take things on your own hands. If you do not start planning your financial future right now, you will be greeted with some nasty surprises in the not so long future.

You have to educate yourself and understand how things work, especially on the money front. You then have to become a builder, not a passive watcher. Start providing value to this world, start a company that solves a problem or accommodates a need.

You should aim to create wealth for you and your family. It is not going to be easy, making money is hard. But it’s the only way to move towards a better future.

3. Disrespect your own body and let it degrade

We are living in an era of abundance. In stark contrast to how our ancestors lived, we now have effortless access to resources in a way that they could never have imagined.

With the Agricultural Revolution, humans made a transition from a lifestyle of hunting and gathering to one of agriculture and settlement, allowing the ability to support an increasingly large population.

In the modern day, food is readily available at supermarkets, nicely packaged for your convenience. Unfortunately, this convenience has come with a price.

The price is the poor health caused by the modern way of eating. The stats don’t lie.

As the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) states:

“More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese.”

Again from JAMA:

“Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.”

The situation is similar to many other countries in the world. Make no mistake: there is a global obesity epidemic.

Apart from that, the nutritional quality of the food you eat, directly affects your brain and your cognitive functions.

Do you want to make sure that you become docile and inactive, unable to take your life on your own hands? Then double down on junk food, complement of your favorite corporation.

Human beings crave salt, sugar and fat. This is a remnant of our evolutionary past, when access to those items was scarce. Today, junk food is deliberately packed with these ingredients, and it in the current doses, it is killing you.

On the same front, we have the health risks of modern sedentary lifestyle. The scientific results are conclusive and match our real life experience: lack of exercise is a major cause of chronic diseases.

Alternative Path:

The choice is obvious. Your health should be your top priority. Without it, nothing else really matters. For this reason, you should make an active effort to take care of this major part of your life.

Again, education here is crucial. You should educate yourself about nutrition and understand what kind of diet you should follow. You should also work out frequently and follow some kind of strength training regime, especially if you are a male.

Ideally, some form of physical exercise should be performed on a daily basis. I work several hours in front of my computer, so I counterbalance this with by working out at least a little bit every single day.

modern-slave_04_exercise

As part of my productivity ritual, I complete a round of High Intensity Circuit Training, which lasts around 7-10 mins and “hits” all body parts. I also throw some weight lifting here and there to keep my testosterone and dopamine levels in place.

If you are not eating the kind of food your body was designed for, and if you are not “stressing” physically your body as it needs to be “stressed”, you will never be able to work at your optimal level.

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”

– Jim Rohn

4. Be a good obedient consumer and spend more

Another aspect of the abundance that human beings have achieved in modern times is consumerism, i.e. the acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts.

Consumption is the name of the game for modern economies, which achieve growth mainly by consuming more, instead of investing or exporting more. For example, in the United States, consumption as a percentage of GDP is an enormous 85%, where in a growing country like China it stands at only 50%.

Consumerism is favored by governments (they collect more taxes) and corporations (they gain more profits). With big guns like subliminal advertising, consumerism easily trickles down to individuals in society, having them indulge in consumer spending and goods purchasing.

A combination of working a day job and being addicted to consumerism leads to an endless pursuit, known as the “Rat Race”. The term was popularized by author Robert Kiyosaki in his classic book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, and it goes like this:

  • Go to college
  • Get a job
  • Work hard to get a promotion
  • Promotion means more money
  • Upgrade your lifestyle
  • New lifestyle (house, car, stuff) brings debt
  • Work more to pay for expenses and debt
  • Get another promotion
  • Upgrade lifestyle again
  • Get old

Unfortunately, our innate human nature does not help either.

Wired for instant gratification, we are unable to control ourselves and splurge on items that we never actually use but looked nice when we purchased them.

Additionally, consumers are spending money and acquiring luxury goods and services to publicly display their economic power, a phenomenon known as Conspicuous Consumption that has been studied since long time ago.

Bottom line is that being a mindless consumer is detrimental to your wealth building and eventually your lifestyle.

modern-slave_05_shopping

Alternative Path:

Every year, while we are getting closer to Thanksgiving and the Black Friday shopping day, I become more and more excited.

Is it because I am eagerly waiting for some terrific deals?

Of course not. It is because I am offering or promoting those deals. On November, my companies post record monthly revenue figures, due to the effect of the Black Friday shopping spree.

As author MJ Demarco writes in his terrific book, “The Millionaire Fastlane”, there are two teams in this world: Team Consumer and Team Producer.

Team Consumer is where the majority of the population belongs. Their focus is to consume more. They essentially earn money to spend it later in consumer goods (“Rat Race”).

Team Producer is where only a few special ones belong. Their focus is to build and create those things that consumers will consume.

In order to break free from the consumerism slavery, the choice is clear: be a producer first, and a consumer later.

It is not easy to build things, that is why so important and only a few engage into it. You need to have a solid plan and be consistent in your efforts.

The more valuable stuff you produce, the more you will be rewarded by society with money. This is how wealth is gradually built. By producing value.

You do not have to build the next Apple. Start slowly. Build a simple product prototype or launch a small online business venture. After you gain experience and your mindset adjusts, you will be able to scale things up.

5. Be an employee for the rest of your life

If I had to put it in the most cynical way possible, then being an employee is the closest thing to being a slave.

Despite the fact that working conditions have improved in the last centuries, working a job is undoubtedly a relinquishment of a huge portion of your life freedom.

Author Robert Kiyosaki encapsulates this perfectly with the following phrase:

“Somewhere along the way, people become more desirous of security and have paid the price by selling their freedom. You may have noticed that schools today focus primarily on job security rather than financial freedom. The problem is most people do not know that the cost of that security is their freedom. If you choose security, someone is always telling you what hours to work, how much you make, and even when you can eat your lunch. That is the price of security.”

The term “corporate slavery” was not devised without a reason.

Even worse than that, the promised “security” is merely an illusion. Having a job is not a secure proposition any more, quite the contrary. With the world moving from the Industrial Age to the Information age and the age of automation, jobs are in danger more than ever.

The most recent wake-up call was the financial crisis of 2008 that led to the loss of 7 million jobs worldwide, with 2.6 million of those in the United States, the strongest economy in the world.

Unfortunately, the concept of getting a job to “secure your future” is so rooted in our collective mind that even that massive employment loss was not enough to wake people up. The “job security” myth still stands very strong in society.

In fact, we are indoctrinated to becoming obedient employees since our childhood, where we are primed to “get a good job” in order to be able to support our lifestyle. First school and then college, do an excellent job producing obedient employees that will populate corporate positions.

Alternative Path:

Look. Being an employee sucks. The reasons are many, but the most major ones are that you have minimum control over your financial future, and limited upside and reward for your efforts.

Working as an employee is the least efficient way to make money. Everyone gets a portion of the value you produce: your bosses, the company’s shareholders, the government.

On top of that, there is enormous competition among other wannabe employees, since society leans towards “getting a job”. Even worse, a large percentage of jobs are expected to be replaced by robots or computers in the near future in an upcoming automation wave.

Unless you are working in a sophisticated job you absolutely love AND offers you an amazing compensation, you will need to reevaluate your approach towards employment. The sad truth however is that the majority of the working population does not fit this description.

Of course, it is not always possible to skip being an employee. There are occasions where having a job totally makes sense for the short or mid term. The most notable cases are:

  • You are accumulating capital which will then be used to start your own venture.
  • You are gathering knowledge in a particular industry as an insider.
  • You are acquiring specific skills (usually hard technical skills).

If you would like to break free from the Rat Race and achieve Financial Freedom, then you will need to follow a different route.

modern-slave_06_office

The two main available options are becoming a freelancer and starting your own business. Both of them have their own set of challenges and difficulties, but when done properly, they offer many benefits and allow for great upside. They might seem like scary options, but they are not rocket science and millions of people are already doing it.

A common path to follow is to start as an employee in order to gain technical knowledge and connections in a specific industry. Then you make the jump to becoming a freelancer and work directly with customers and clients.

Finally, after you mature and hone your business skills, you start your own business in the space. Choosing a scalable online business, you can reach a $1M Net Worth in a decade or less.

If you want to avoid spending 40 years (or more) in a dead end job, you have to take things into your own hands. Plan accordingly and make the jump.

6. Stop reading books and educating yourself

Another gigantic misconception spread in modern society is that people obtain education during their years at school and college. There is a belief that the curriculum there is adequate to mold young people into able members of society. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Of course, the great men of this world have already verbalized this fallacy:

“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.”

– Isaac Asimov

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

– Mark Twain

Unfortunately, the education system does such an awful job raising young people, that as soon as they finish school and college they already despise anything related to reading and stop their education on the spot.

Graduates might have attained some basic technical knowledge, something that will help them become competent employees, but they lack real life skills that will be more important to them in the long run.

For example, financial illiteracy reigns today. People are unable to comprehend simple financial concepts (like saving and investing) and perform rudimentary calculations (like loan rates comparison), something that might cost them thousand of dollars in their lifespan.

Look, the world around us has grown so complex that the moment you stop learning, is the moment you start becoming irrelevant and obsolete.

A surefire way to a life of mediocrity is to stop educating yourself and rely on what you “learned” at school.

Alternative Path:

Guess what great entrepreneurs and leaders do. The opposite of what the masses do of course. The examples abound, but I will give you one that really blew my mind.

Do you happen to know Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk? In his book, “Smartcuts”, author Shane Snow writes about him:

“The young Elon preferred books to sports, and he was always making things. Around age ten, he ran out of books, so he read the encyclopedia, “out of desperation,” he says. At age twelve, he programmed a space-battle video game and sold it. At sixteen, he tried to open a video arcade, but he couldn’t get government permission to use the location he’d picked. He kept reading books. By age 31 he was living in California and had sold two successful companies. The second, the online payments company PayPal, made him $165 million.”

This guy is so passionate about learning that he read an entire encyclopedia “out of desperation”. Does that passion give him an advantage in business and life? You bet.

modern-slave_07_books

Another favourite hero of mine, legendary investor Warren Buffett (a Billionaire too), has also a strong opinion in the matter:

When asked how to get smarter, Buffett once held up stacks of paper and said:

“Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge builds up, like compound interest.”

So, what is the takeaway from these?

First, that you should not believe that the education you have received during your schooling years will be enough to prepare you for the real world. At best, school at its current form will give some basic (hard) skills to help you become an efficient employee.

Second, that you should make self-education a top priority in your life. We are living in an era of information abundance and the whole knowledge of the world is literally at your fingertips.

Make sure to allocate the necessary resources (time, money, energy) to keep yourself educated. Specifically, if you wish to build wealth, money related books are a solid start. On top of that, you can read articles and attend online courses. The options are really unlimited.

“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”

– Jim Rohn

7. Associate with losers and whiners

If you want to go nowhere in life, a foolproof way to achieve it, is to associate with other people that go nowhere. By spending time with people who are not trying to improve themselves and just let life pass by (i.e. losers), you are digging your own hole.

The old saying is true:

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

– Jim Rohn

We have emphasised this again and again: Time is your most precious asset.

If you systematically find yourself around people who are not successful and do not take action into reaching success, then you need to seriously reevaluate how you spend your time.

An even worse category of people to associate with is “whiners”. These are the people that not only lack success, but attribute it to factors other than themselves (the government, the rich, their parents, their girlfriend, the weather).

Even worse, they constantly externalize this by whining and complaining to anyone in sight. Why? Because it makes them feel better. In their head, complaining about how unfair life is, lifts the burden of responsibility from their shoulders.

Unfortunately, you can find these people everywhere. They will waste your time and bring your morale down at the same time. Avoid.

Alternative Path:

Your first step is to minimize time around people who have a negative effect in your life and do not help you improve and become a more successful person. You have to make a serious and difficult assessment of which individuals in your social circle are worthy of your time and cut loose from the rest.

Cutting loose of these people might be difficult since there is usually an emotional bond involved. In most cases, you should keep the bond intact (friendship etc.) and adjust how much time you spend with them.

If you want to climb Mount Everest, you should actively pursue to hang around climbers who have already made it, or are in the process of trying to accomplish that feat.

On the same spirit, instead of people that are complacent and fail to move forward, you should seek to socialize with those that have already attained success or at least are actively doing their best to make it.

These people will be on the same page with you and help you reinforce your money mindset. Additionally, they will help you on your current projects and you can even cooperate in joint ventures to build a win-win scenario.

Bottom line is that you should protect your mind from the toxic influence of people with loser mentality and engage with individuals that are truly worth your time and will have a positive effect on your life.

modern-slave_08_freedom

Conclusion

Becoming a modern slave is the easiest thing in the world. Unfortunately, many people slip into that state without even realizing it.

If you are looking for unbeatable ways to degrade into that state, here are seven of them:

1. Enjoy mindless entertainment on TV or the Internet for hours
2. Blindly entrust your future to the government
3. Disrespect your own body and let it degrade
4. Be a good obedient consumer and spend more
5. Be an employee for the rest of your life
6. Stop reading books and educating yourself
7. Associate with losers and whiners

For each of those, do the opposite and your chances of success will dramatically increase.

Who knows, you might start an online company in the process and end up with $1M in Net Worth.

Every week day I am dropping short-form value-bombs on LinkedIn. Connect with me now!

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