Equality? We Are NOT All Equal… And That’s OK.

In this politically correct world we live in today, equality seems to be a big topic of interest. The thing is, equality doesn’t exist, and it’ simply impossible for it to exist. Sure we are ALL equally valuable as human beings. We don’t live in the world of Logan’s Run. No… no one is worthless, discard-able, or needs to be done-away with. But we are not all equal, at least not in skills and strengths. The idea of trying to make everyone equal is crazy. Equality should not be the goal. Equal opportunity is a worthy goal (but it’s probably not realistically possible either).

None of us are equal. We all have different positives and negatives. We all have something we’re good at, and other things we are not. We all have physical attributes that make some things possible and some things impossible. In order to be successful in life, you must figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are. You find self-worth in finding what you’re good at. And contrary to the popular belief of working hard on your weaknesses, you should really double-down on your strengths. Sure, put some effort into bettering some weaknesses, but don’t waste time trying to overcome something that doesn’t matter in the long run… or worse, futilely trying to overcome a weakness that is impossible to overcome.

Bodybuilding and Equality (Inequality)

I was into bodybuilding in my late teens and early twenties. I even worked at Gold’s Gym selling health club memberships and training members while in college. I used to love watching the Mr. Olympia competition (the best of the best in bodybuilders all over the world). The two big fellas featured in the main picture above are former professional bodybuilders Lee Haney and Lee Labrada. Both named Lee. Both professionals. Both trained very hard. Both probably used steroids (but we’re not going to argue about that right now). Both have had successful careers after professional bodybuilding. That’s where they are both the same. How are they different? One black. One white. One American. One Cuban. One normal height. One short. Haney was 5’11” and 255. Labrada was 5’6″ and 185. Both competed in the Mr. Olympia… Haney won 8… in a row (’84-’91). Labrada won zero… he was 1st-3rd runner-up many of those years. Here are some clips from the final pose-down at the 1990 Mr. Olympia…

 

 

Lee Labrada came in 1st Runner up in 1990. That happened to him twice. There’s nothing fair about the fact that Lee Labrada had to compete with someone the size of Lee Haney. And of course, you could make the argument that if Lee Haney had never been born… well Lee Labrada would have won at least two Mr. Olympias. But Lee Haney was born. And Lee Labrada was just a hair less gifted genetically than Lee Haney (Haney was taller and just as proportionate as Labrada).

You have to play the hand you’re dealt.

To be successful in anything, you must play the hand you’re dealt. Why? Because if you spend you’re life crying over what you can’t do or what’s not fair, you’ll never move on to do other (great) things. Lee Labrada could have whined about never winning the Mr. Olympia, and I’m sure it still bugs him, but he eventually created a huge sports nutrition brand. I don’t know what his net worth is, but I know his Labrada brand was and is everywhere. His net worth has to be millions more than Haney’s at this point. And no, money isn’t the only measurement of success… I’m simply trying to point out he moved on and was much better at business than Haney.

I was never a gifted athlete. I wasn’t gifted in school either. I did OK (high C’s, low B’s), but I’ve always had trouble memorizing what I read. And if you can’t memorize when you’re young, you can forget making good grades (no pun intended). I used to think it was a problem, but thanks to the internet, it really doesn’t matter anymore. Most knowledge is a click or search away. And of course, I have some knowledge I do retain when I read, but it’s not historical dates or periodic tables.

Speaking of memorization…

I had a previous post on actors. One skillset that actors need is to be able to memorize. A LOT. If you don’t believe memorization is a gift, you’ve never tried to memorize entire scenes in a script. You have to learn your lines and everyone else’s in your scene. Having this skill does not make you a great actor, but it can certainly hamper your career if you can’t memorize your lines. Doing auditions, I sometimes gave actors a different role, on the spot, to give a reading for (audition). Some truly amazed me at being able to leave the room for a moment and come back in completely in character, knowing the new lines.

You find self-worth in finding out what you’re good at.

Read that again, and let it sink in. You find self-worth in finding out what you’re good at. And I don’t mean Michael-Jordan-basketball GREAT… you don’t have to be as great at something as Michael Jordan was with basketball. You simply have to be good… better than others. Find something you have a bit of a natural gift/knack for. Figuring out the gifts you have that not everyone else has gives you something to build your confidence on. Again, this isn’t an exclusive gift, it’s simply something you’re good at that most others aren’t.

Maybe you’re better than most at adding numbers in your head…

Maybe you CAN memorize what you read easier than others…

Maybe you can you work mathematical formulas with little to no effort…

Maybe you take pictures that capture something most people miss…

Maybe you’re good at saving your money and ignoring the desire to buy stuff…

Maybe you can look at mixed up items and immediately know how to organize them…

Maybe you have a desire to out-work/out-hustle those around you…

I could go on-and-on. Figure out what you’re good at and enjoy. And if you can find a way to make your work related to what you’re good at, then work will be much easier.

I’m NOT saying only pursue your “passion”…

There is an idea floating around that you should only pursue your passions (and if you can’t find work related to your passion, don’t do anything — or worse stay unhappy about your life). That’s wrong. Yes, if you can find work you’re passionate about, you’ll never work another day of your life… but that’s not possible for everyone… at least not out of the gate. You might be good/gifted at something that you don’t realize yet that you’re passionate about. Passion sometimes comes from having (financial) success with something that you’re gifted at. “Follow your passion” is bad advice — your passion may be leading you in the wrong direction. Try to find joy in your work, no matter what you do. Be thankful for your work. Remember, immigrants come here just for the opportunity to work.

Back to the subject of “equality” (and how it relates to money and FIRE)

Inequality is good. The fact that we’re all different gives us the opportunity to excel and be better than others in different areas. If we were all equal, there would be no pursuit of anything. Doesn’t that sound awful?

And being really good at something you’re working at generally brings more money…

And more money brings more savings…

And more savings brings more opportunities, because if you save enough (FIRE), you can choose to do whatever you want to do (work on what you’re passionate about).

So I encourage you to figure out your strengths and weaknesses. Use your strengths to your advantage. You have gifts and skills that not everyone else has.

Now go do the work.

The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.

Aristotle

Passion sometimes comes from having (financial) success with something that you’re unequally gifted at.

Mr. Hobo Millionaire

Me and Lee Labrada around 1987…

And hey, I can’t end this post without showing you an old pic from my college days of me (around 20 years old) and bodybuilder Lee Labrada. Oh and speaking of things in life that are unfair… I don’t have that long, thick, flowing hair anymore…

lee-labrada-mr-hobo-millionaire

Lee Labrada and the future Mr. Hobo Millionaire

 

What do you think? Share your thoughts!

 

Share:
Written by Mr. Hobo Millionaire
I blog about money, financial independence (FIRE), life, and entrepreneurship. I got rich slowly (over 20+ years) with a niche software business. I also failed at a number of other things (and mild success with a few others). I share what I did right along the way, and a lot of what I did wrong, with a goal to encourage you think differently about life and money.