“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure.” – Mark Twain, 1887
How do I know what I should do in life?
I see the world differently – everything before today is only a blink, a tag line of one kind; an uninteresting one at that. Sounds familiar? I now see everyone as a Mark Twain, having read a book on the famous author yesterday.
I have a fine education; I can still show you the expense to prove it. I can spin a tale on many topics, but in my own mind; I am a legend in business. I always thought I could put together any business: the unearned confidence, built from years of attending our modern day education system; a naive trait shared by many of my peers.
There lays the Mark Twain in me. I am an idiot – every business venture I ever committed in earnest, all have turned out to be a complete and utter failure. Like Mark Twain, I only have one talent; unlike Mark Twain my one talent is questionable.
Seemingly, the only optimistic part was I knew what that one talent is: I have more than my fair share of luck as a stock picker; it seems whenever I was in need of money I could simply put some time into researching and investing in a few value stocks; this has rescued me far more times than I care to recall. To me my one talent: rare, like an old friend, always there to lend a supportive hand, sadly, the same friend who could easily be lost to us; one never realize what one has until perhaps it’s too late.
Completely like Mark Twain, I spent the great deal of my time doing businesses I had no reason to be in – I am utterly incompetent; to put it mildly. In Mark Twain’s life he always wanted to be rich; as if being a famous author wasn’t enough.
This obsession Mark Twain had: like a strategically trap leading him to form one business venture after the next – the curse; that almost destroyed his illustrious reputation as an author; put him in contentions among friends; one could even argue – almost killed his profoundly admirable and very supportive wife. All of these things happened because selfishly, he simply wanted, to be rich enough to comfortably support his family; terrible isn’t it.
I thought to myself – here is a remarkable man unequaled, perhaps no other person can confess to possess his monumental talent as a writer, here wasting his time on things he knew nothing of (building businesses), simply because of greed; might I label it so.
It was obvious from the book with much help from the author, implied directly; how illogical. Why? All Mark Twain had to do to earn a living or even to amass wealth was to use his God given talent; write a few great books, easily at will. Nothing else is needed in this simple recipe, to any observer of Mark Twain’s life, but oddly, this is undoubtedly a very secret recipe of success to this otherwise brilliant man himself.
Now, maybe you can see in your life, a few Mark Twain characters, driven by mad ambitions of the seemingly logical kind; in disguise really, the logical part, maybe not. For me, the apparent truth of Mark Twain’s trouble, as I read, came fast as a falling brink from a construction site; accidentally, not from any effort on my behalf, maybe incidental because the author summarized the obvious.
I realized, I am indeed that very crazy fellow too, the entrepreneur side of the famous Mark Twain; again pointing out that my similarity has one difference; his talent was assured whereas mine is still in question.
I have wasted considerable time and money I don’t have going for things I do not need. I have pursued and tried my best to court all kinds of businesses, only to appreciate, like an ill-faith couple, ending in less than complete satisfaction; not even close; a close observer might utter. All my pursuit of wealth finally succeeded in giving me a life of poverty.
The lesson to partake in life if you happen to have Mark Twain’s ‘good’ business judgment is to reflect seriously. Failing which I suggest you follow what Mark Twain did after his bankruptcy experiences, focus on what you are good at and to a lesser extent on what you are interested in.
Interest is like one of those crazy desires we all have – the one that we can never satisfy. Like the kind of thirst that makes you drink, the kind of thirst that you can never quenched. After a while you are forced to give it up or face with a revolt and have a major bolt of pain.
Copyright 2009 by Farting Camel