#116 - Are You Getting Paid to Do It?

November 17, 2021

Life is so much more interesting when you talk about things that really matter.

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[00:00:00] What's up, everybody? You are listening to another episode of Life in English. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen. And this episode should be short and sweet because I just got one simple question for you. Are you getting paid to do it?

[00:00:21] The Life in English podcast is designed to teach you the real American English that you won't learn in school, and it's made possible by our VIP community. By becoming a VIP member of the Life in English Community, you'll get access to our Private Conversation Group, bonus podcast episodes, interactive transcripts, and vocabulary and grammar guides. If you'd like to join the community, you can visit lifeinenglish.net/vip.

[00:00:46] In the past six or seven months, I've been posting quite a few videos on social media, particularly TikTok. And during that time, a lot of videos have gone viral. I've gained hundreds of thousands of followers and things like that. Lots of views and attention and things of that nature. I don't say that to brag. I'm just stating the facts kind of to set up what I'm about to say. The.. The question of this episode, the real subject of the episode... because I've noticed some things, like, after going, let's say, viral a few times on TikTok and reaching a level of, let's say, I don't know, followers, likes and views, and attention and things like that on social media. You kind of learn, or at least, I've learned a few things or just noticed a few things during that time.

[00:01:37] And one of them is that people really do treat you differently based on your perceived status. You know what I mean? That's something that may sound obvious, and it's kind of always been true. But when you experience it for yourself, it's kind of weird how somebody, for example, if you're a creator, you make YouTube videos, music, you're a streamer, a painter, a photographer, whatever it is, you do some type of creative work and you're posting it online for people to see. And you would hope that one day you can get paid to do what you really enjoy doing. Right? 

[00:02:11] A lot of times, especially in the past, you know, eight to ten years ago, if you told somebody that you made YouTube videos... Like, everybody asks, you know, "What do you do? What do you do for a living?" If you told them, "Oh, I make YouTube videos." They'd look at you like, "Oh... So, but you don't have a job or you just make videos for the internet, is that what you do?" And now there's people making more money than doctors just putting videos on YouTube. It's pretty crazy when you stop and think about it.

[00:02:46] But anyway, getting back to what I was saying, it's like, in the past, people.. It was something that people kind of looked down at, like, as if it was a joke. It was just a hobby. And now people have actually made careers doing those very same activities; posting their photography online, YouTube videos, Instagram videos, and things like that. Online courses, music, all types of content. You know, content creator has become a job that one can do to earn money.

[00:03:15] And I think any content creator, even if you're not a content creator, so to speak, you're just posting things online. A lot of people want to get attention and notoriety and likes and views and subscribers and followers, and, you know, to feel or to be famous for something. Now, maybe they don't think about it in that way, but you want to get lots of attention and notoriety for what you do. You want to be famous on some level, even if that's not your main motivation. You want to be known. You want your work or what you do to be known. Right? 

[00:03:47] And it's funny because I noticed that people... Like, celebrities, for example, people act different around a lot of celebrities because they see celebrities as these superior, hard to reach, unattainable figures. They don't see them as people anymore because you see them all the time on TV or on stage or whatever it is, and they're famous. And for whatever reason, you just don't see them as a human being anymore.

[00:04:14] Like your favorite musician or actor or whatever, if you just saw them walking down the street, that's not a normal person to you. They're on, they're on a different level socially in terms of status, for whatever reason. They're just a person, but because they're famous, because they do something that you love and appreciate on a regular basis, and because it's loved and appreciated by hundreds or thousands of millions of people, they elevate the status in your mind. 

[00:04:40] For that reason, you treat them differently, you see them differently, you value them differently. And what I noticed is that it's the same concept with people that go viral on social media, people that get famous on social media. Now, of course, social media is fucking fake. It's artificial, it's not real life. But at the same time, attention is real, you know? And when you start to get a certain level of attention or a following or whatever you want to call it, people look at you and treat you different.

[00:05:08] Like, if you tell somebody, "I make YouTube videos. You know, the first thing they want to know is what? How many followers do you have? How many subscribers do you have? Right? 

[00:05:19] And based on your response, that's how seriously they're going to take you. If you say, "Oh, you know, one hundred two hundred."

[00:05:27] "Oh, that's cool. So it's like a hobby for you, right? You just started? Or how long have you been doing it?" They don't take you seriously.

[00:05:34] But if you ask.. If they ask you the same question and you say, "Ah, four point six million subscribers."

[00:05:39] "Wow. Wow, what's your channel? Let me, what do you do? Let me check it out." Now, they're interested. 

[00:05:44] Now they want to see why so many people are interested or follow what you do. Now that.. Now you have their respect. Based on this number of people that have clicked a button to follow the work that you do. Now, it's valuable. Now, it has meaning. You know? 

[00:05:59] And I'm not saying that like... I understand that not all content is equal in value, and I also understand that value is subjective because what I think is good content, you might not. So I'm not trying to make any point when I say that. It's just an observation that people respect you.. The same way people might respect you if you're famous or not famous or if you're rich or poor. It's the same thing with this social media shit.

[00:06:23] Just because you got a million followers on social media, people really like, look at you and treat you differently. You know, like if somebody asked you, "Oh, you got a TikTok?" Or "Are you on TikTok?"

[00:06:35] "Yeah, yeah, I make videos, blah blah blah."

[00:06:37] "Oh, what's your profile? Oh, OK."

[00:06:39] They look at it, and what are they looking for? How many likes and followers you have. They just want to check your status. And what I noticed is, like, I could be.. This has happened to me, I'd be talking to somebody and, of course, the fucking boring ass question, "What do you do?" Always comes into the conversation if it's somebody you don't know that well. And I'll say, "Oh, I teach English online, that kind of thing, and I post videos on YouTube and TikTok, I have a podcast."

[00:07:09] "Oh, that's cool. You know, do you have a link to some of your stuff?"

[00:07:13] You send them a link. And I remember back when I had like sixty thousand followers on TikTok and I was talking to these girls and they pulled up my profile. And as soon as I saw had sixty thousand followers, they were like, "Oh my God, you're famous! I've actually seen one of your videos before. I can't believe I'm talking to a famous person." 

[00:07:33] And it kind of caught me off guard, it was kind of weird, like, nobody has ever said something like that to me before. So it was kind of weird. And then the conversation was kind of, like, different. The way they spoke to me was a little bit different, like, they were more interested in the conversation, and you could feel that there was more respect or admiration in the conversation.

[00:07:52] And the same thing happened recently. I showed one of my family members or I shouldn't say it that way. One of my family members downloaded TikTok and saw one of my videos that had went viral, had a few million views on it, and called me and was like, "Yo, I just saw one of your videos on TikTok. And it's got millions of views, man, you got hundreds of thousands of followers, man. Like, I remember you had mentioned this TikTok thing before, but I didn't know, like, you were big like that! Wow, man, that's awesome. I'm really proud of you, blah blah blah."

[00:08:25] And although that's cool, it's like, that kind of goes back to my point, I had mentioned to this person before, I had a podcast, I was making YouTube videos, Tik Tok videos, and everything. It's like, "Oh, that's cool. Yeah."

[00:08:39] But then when they see that almost eight hundred thousand other people love and follow what you do. Then it's like, "Oh, wow, that's so cool. You're great, man, you're awesome. I'm proud of you. Man, I didn't know you were famous. I didn't know that you were actually good at what you do. I just thought, you know, you were making silly little videos or whatever."

[00:09:00] So just because they see this big number on your profile or something like that, then they take you seriously, right? It's like that saying, "Nobody loves you or supports you until everybody loves you or supports you." which is kind of funny to me. You know? Because, it's like so many people are going to respect, appreciate, and admire you or what you do based on everybody else's opinion of what you do and who you are. You know? 

[00:09:27] It could be as simple as that. Nothing could change from today to tomorrow, except the amount of followers or attention you're getting, and that simple thing will change the amount of respect that somebody has for you. Isn't that fucking weird? That's weird.

[00:09:42] And what's even more strange, trying to get to the point of this episode, is what I noticed during these last six to seven months that I've been posting a lot more videos and content and growing my, let's say, audience and my reach and getting more attention and notoriety and things like that for the stuff I'm doing, is that the number one question I get from everybody... Man, woman, young, old, doesn't matter what country they're from. The number one question people always ask when I tell them I have a podcast or I'm making videos on TikTok or YouTube videos, I teach English and stuff like that. The number one question is,

[00:10:20] "Are you getting paid to do it?"

[00:10:23] "How much money do you make?" 

[00:10:24] "How much money is YouTube paying you?"

[00:10:26] "How much money are you making on TikTok?"

[00:10:28] "Which social media platforms pay you to do what you do?"

[00:10:31] "Are you getting paid?"

[00:10:34] It's the number one question. But you know what somebody has never asked me in the three years I've been teaching English online and this last six to eight months that I've been really posting a lot of content? No one has ever asked me, "Are you happy doing what you're doing?"

[00:10:50] "Do you enjoy doing what you're doing?"

[00:10:52] "Why are you doing what you're doing?"

[00:10:56] Not once... Not once. Isn't that fucking weird... You know? Maybe it's not weird to you, but the reason I say that, the reason I believe is weird is because it's... It's just kind of, it's like, revealing in a sense, it kind of reveals the way a lot of people think about what they do all day, every day.

[00:11:17] It's like, if I'm not going to get paid to do it, then I shouldn't do it. If you're not getting paid to do it, why should I respect it? You know, it's just a hobby. You're not getting paid to do it. You're not famous. Nobody cares about it. So why should I care? Why should I be impressed? You see what I'm saying? 

[00:11:37] Because if I had fifty followers, the same amount of content, the same type of content, and I only have 50 followers, somebody looks at it and it's like, "Oh, that's cool. Good for you, man."

[00:11:50] But if they.. If they see I'm getting thousands of dollars every month to do what I'm doing, you know, making more than them at their full-time jobs, it's like, "Oh, wow, that's.. That's awesome, man. That's super dope. I didn't know you were famous like that. How much are you getting paid? That's cool, man."

[00:12:07] And it's just like... It kind of made me stop and think that it's just.. It's strange that that's the first question that comes out of people's mouths, that's the most common question that I get asked, "Are you getting paid to do it? How much money do you make?" And it's just like, is that the only reason that we have to do stuff? 

[00:12:26] Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not, like, anti-money, anti-capitalism, anti-business, anti-work... Not even in the slightest. I am pro all of those things, so don't get me, you know, don't get it twisted or don't misunderstand what I'm trying to say.

[00:12:44] It's just, like, weird that people decide how much they're going to respect and or admire you based on how much money you have or how much social status you have. And instead of, like, what you are actually doing, you see what I'm saying? It doesn't really matter what I'm doing. It matters like how much I'm getting paid to do it, that's what a lot of people care about, you know? And that's just weird. It's really weird.

[00:13:17] Like, I think a better question than, "What do you do?" is "What are you passionate about?" Or "Why are you doing what you're doing?" What's your motivation for doing what you do every day?" Your job or your career or whatever it is. Or your hobbies, what's the motivation? Why do you like those things? Are you happy doing those things? Do you wish you could be doing something else?

[00:13:38] But it's always, what do you do? And based on that question, they're going to create this idea of who you are or what your status is and then give you a certain amount of respect based purely on that. And I think that's fucking stupid, you know? For so many reasons. For so many reasons.

[00:13:57] Now, at the end of the day, I don't give a fuck if somebody respects what I do or not or somebody admires what I do or not. That's not really the point because I really don't give a fuck. It's just something that I noticed that's kind of interesting to think about. And I'm sure somebody's asked you that question before, "What do you do?" Or if you're.. If you haven't gotten a job or you haven't started a career yet, "Well, where are you going to go to school? Where are you going to study? What are you going to do with your life?"

[00:14:22] And based on your answer, that's the respect or treatment, you know, you get a certain level of respect or a certain kind of treatment. I'm sure you've experienced that on some level before, and I just think it's weird, man. I think it's really weird. You know? 

[00:14:51] It's like, don't get me wrong, I love money for what it can do because money is nothing more than options, when you stop and think about it. The more money you have, the more options you have in every situation. So I'm not, like, saying money isn't important. I'm not saying that you shouldn't get paid because you definitely should. But at the same time, you know, at the risk of sounding cliche, it's like, it's not all about the money, man. It's not.

[00:15:19] Obviously, getting paid is important and, you know, it should be one of your top priorities. But at the same time, like judging somebody based on how much they get paid or that being your number one interest when meeting somebody or getting to know this person, that's weird. You know?

[00:15:38] The fact that nobody ever asks, like, "Are you happy doing what you're doing or what's the motivation for doing what you're doing? What are you hoping to achieve doing what you're doing right now? Where are you going with this? What's your vision? What's your plan? You know, what are the difficulties? What are the easy parts? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Could I help you, you know, achieve more or something like that?" Nobody.

[00:16:05] Most people never ask these kinds of questions. You know? It's kind of weird, no? It's always just, "Are you getting paid to do it? How much do you get paid? How much do you get paid?" That's it. 

[00:16:24] I don't know, man. And I'm not saying like... Hmm. What am I not saying?

[00:17:05] I don't know, like I said a few times already, I just think it's weird, man. I just... It's weird. Like...

[00:17:23] Like, the fact that even the people close to you, it could be your parents, your brothers and sisters, your best friends, a lot of times are not at all interested in your happiness or your level of fulfillment or your sense of purpose or meaning in life. All they care about is your status. You don't think that's strange? Like... 

[00:17:47] And maybe it's human nature. I don't know. I don't know. Maybe it's human nature, but that's... That's fucking weird. It's weird. All people care about is your status and all you lower, equal to, or higher than them in status. And based on that, that's how they treat you. That's how much interest they have in you. You know? 

[00:18:13] Stupid... It's really stupid because at the end of the day, bro... When you really stop and think... There's a... There's a couple of things to think about. The first one is once you make a certain amount of money, your life isn't going to change, bro. Once you have enough money to easily cover all your bills and expenses and entertainment and things like that, you know... Adding more money than you can actually spend isn't going to change the quality of your life. Hopefully, you can agree with me on that.

[00:18:46] That's just one more reason that money is not as important as people make it seem. It's very important, extremely important. But what I'm saying is it's not everything. And I know that sounds obvious and cliche, but a lot of people really don't think about it that way. It's like we just need more money, more money, more money so I can do more stuff. But if you stop and think about what you really want to do, you probably don't need as much money as you think you do. Your main problem is probably that you spend too much money, but that's a whole nother conversation. 

[00:19:14] And thing number two... How can I say this?

[00:19:33] And then number two is that you could be making $100,000 a year, $500,000 a year, a million dollars a year and be fucking miserable. Miserable with all the problems that money brings, all the stress of maintaining that level of wealth, let's say. You could be miserable doing the job that you fucking hate, working 50, 60, 80 hours a week, doing something you don't even like, but you've got the respect and admiration of everybody because you got more dollars in your bank account than they do or because you're on TV more than they are. That is fucking stupid, bro. That's fucking stupid.

[00:20:13] Whereas somebody over here could be making $40,000 a year... Happiest person, you know, in their state. You know what I'm saying? The happiest person amongst a million people could be making $40,000 a year doing something that they love. And not only something that they love, but that has a genuine impact on the people around them, a positive impact on the people around them. They're just not famous for it or they're not getting paid a crazy amount of money for it. Which one is more valuable? You know what I'm saying? 

[00:20:46] Obviously, it's just.. it's a question of opinion. We might not agree on this, and I'm not saying, again, that like, money isn't important. I'm just saying it's not the only thing. And that's why I think it's fucking weird that the number one question people always ask is, what do you do and how much do you get paid for it? It's never like, are you happy? Do you have a sense of meaning and purpose? Do you have any direction in your life? Are you trying to get somewhere in particular? You know, why are you doing what you're doing? Never.

[00:21:27] I don't know, man. I don't know. I guess.. What I'm trying to say is I just noticed something that was kind of already obvious, but when you experience it for yourself, you feel like you're just having this revelation where it's like, man... So many people are worried about the wrong things, the wrong things in life, like, for real. 

[00:21:56] And I'm not... I'm also, again, I'm not saying that happiness is the most important thing in life either, because I don't think it is. Happiness, like every other feeling, comes and goes. Now, you can, of course, do things that bring happiness to you, and that's cool, but I think meaning, purpose, and impact are some of the most important things in life... Doing something meaningful, purposeful, something that has an impact on yourself and or the people around you in a positive way. I think that's important. I think doing something meaningful brings happiness. When you have a reason, a compelling reason to get up and go to work in the morning. Maybe that sounds cliche to you, but I still think it's real shit. You know? That's important. Not like how much more money you make than the people around you or how many people recognize you when you leave the house, how many fucking people click a follow button on their cell phone while they're scrolling on social media. Who gives? Who gives a fuck? You know? Who gives a fuck, bro? Who cares? Who cares? 

[00:23:04] I don't give a fuck how much money you make. I don't give a fuck how many followers you got. I don't give a fuck how much attention you get. Are you doing anything meaningful with your life? Are you happy? You like what you see when you look in the mirror? You know? What do you do for fun? And why do you do it? Aren't those interesting questions? Not like how many fucking dollars you got in your bank account? Who gives a shit? Who cares?

[00:23:35] It's like, so many people, that's the topic of their conversation... Other people and what they got going on in their lives, what their status is, how much money they have, their drama and shit like that. I don't know, man. I don't know. I don't even know if I've arrived at any particular point with everything I've said in this episode, it was just something that I was thinking about, so I decided I was going to sit down and talk and try to figure out what I really think because I know how I feel, but I don't know exactly what I think about that yet. I just think it's really strange. It's always, "What do you do? And how much do you make?"

[00:24:18] And I just think, especially for young people, I hope with all my rambling up until this point that somebody, regardless of their age, but particularly young people, if you're listening to this right now, this is something I wish I would have heard at 16, 17, 18, 20, 21.

[00:24:36] I wish somebody would have sat down and told me, like, you have to understand that your life is yours and yours only, and you are going to fuck up your entire life trying to follow somebody else's dreams or live by somebody else's guidelines or meet somebody else's standards. You are going to fuck up your entire life. The.. Some of the best years of your life. Some of the most important years of your life. 

[00:24:59] Every year is important, but I really think, you know, 16 to 28, bro, you know, good time and life, man. Not too many responsibilities, as long as you're smart. You can take a lot of risks. You can fuck up and people will forgive you for it. You know what I'm saying? You can recover from big mistakes, from big perceived failures and shit like that. You know, you're probably a lot more fearless because you feel like you have time, you feel that you can do anything. You know, you're creative. You probably still have a little bit of spirit left if public school and your parents haven't fucking murdered it inside you already, you feel what I'm saying? 

[00:25:39] And I just think so many young people have the wrong idea of what success actually is. So many young people have the wrong idea of what it means to live a happy, meaningful life, of what's actually going to bring them lasting happiness, not just fleeting, momentary, artificial, cheap happiness. You know what I'm saying?

[00:25:59] So, so many young people think, "I got to go to school because that's going to get me a job, that's going to get me money, and then I'll be successful. That's going to give me security."

[00:26:08] But who says that's the only way to get happiness, money, and security? Why are you doing that? Is it because you genuinely want to? Or is it because you feel like you need to? Is it because you feel like people are going to judge you if you don't? Is it because you don't really know what you want to do and this just seems like the best option at the time? It's the best of a bad situation? Why are you doing it?

[00:26:32] What do you really want to do? There's no wrong answers here. And if you can imagine what you want to do, that means you can do it. God didn't give you an imagination for no reason. And you can't imagine shit that's not possible. Now, I'm speaking, obviously within reason. Right? You can't grow a fucking extra arm or some shit like that, as far as I know. So hopefully, you can follow me and understand I'm saying within reason. But if you can imagine yourself doing something for a living or living a certain lifestyle or whatever it is, like, that means it's possible. You just gotta figure out how. And it's, I know it's easier said than done. But that means it's possible.

[00:27:12] So why not focus all of your time and energy on that as opposed to taking this other route that somebody else laid for you, even though they've never been you? They don't fucking know you, or what you've been through, or who you are, what you want, what's important to you. You decide those things and then you create the life around those things. So that way you love the life that you live. You see what I'm saying? 

[00:27:40] Now, obviously, not everybody's going to be a famous soccer player or a musician or a painter or fucking whatever, obviously. But I'm just saying, like, if money and status are the only things motivating you to do something, bro... Good fucking luck, man. Good luck. Let me know how long it lasts. You know what I'm saying? I really wish somebody would have sat me down at 17 or 18 and told me, like, bro, you just need to spend some time by yourself. Put your phone down. Say peace to the friends. Leave the girls alone. Turn off the TV. Stop smoking. Whatever, whatever you do to pass the time or to waste time or distract yourself. Put it all to the side. Just sit down with yourself and figure out what do, what do I want to do? What am I interested in? What makes me tick? What would I like to get up in the morning and do? What seems cool to me? Regardless of what anybody else thinks about that. Regardless of how much money I would make doing it. Just figure out what you want first.

[00:28:47] Until you figure that out, in my opinion, you're going to waste a lot of time. Now, obviously, it takes time to figure out what you want, and sometimes you have to try many different things to figure out what you want. But that's the point, is you're trying. A lot of people aren't trying to get anywhere in particular or they're not trying to get to where they want to be. They're just trying not to fail. And their idea of failure is somebody else's idea of failure. They're just trying not to disappoint somebody, maybe their parents or their husband or their kids or whoever the fuck or people that don't even know or care about them. Just trying not to disappoint those people or be judged by those people.

[00:29:25] They're not trying to get to where they want to be. They're just trying to stay away from this place that other people think is the wrong place to be. I don't even know if that makes sense, but it's like, a lot of people are not trying to get to someplace in particular or achieve a goal that's important to them. A lot of people are just... Just trying to survive and do what everybody else does and impress everybody else and win a game that everybody else is playing. But what you got to realize is you can't... You can't win the game, I don't know how to say that.

[00:30:12] I don't know. 

[00:30:29] I guess what I'm trying to say is a lot of young people, old people as well, but especially young people... We fuck up our lives and waste so much time trying to live up to somebody else's expectations or just do what we were told is the right thing to do... Do what we were told is the only thing to do... Or just do what we think is going to impress or satisfy other people. You know, or distract ourselves from what we know we should be doing, distract ourselves from what's difficult because it's not... You don't get that immediate gratification from chasing your dreams all the time. You just don't.

[00:31:13] So for that reason, it's like, "Oh, I don't know. It's a big decision. What if it's the wrong decision? What if I make a mistake?" Then you start doubting yourself and rationalizing your laziness, your anxiety, your fear, and you use all that as an excuse not to do what you know you want to do.

[00:31:30] "I'll do it later. Let me get a job, make some money first, and, you know, get established, be secure. And then I'll take a risk. Then I'll do what I like." By that time, you've already killed any desire, creativity, imagination inside you. And now you've created this whole other life for yourself that you didn't even want, and now you have that burden, that responsibility, and then you're going to think about trying to go back to the other side? While managing all this shit that you've created for yourself over here? It's stupid, it's fucking dumb. It's fucking dumb. Don't do it. 

[00:32:06] If you're a young person listening to this right now, I'm not trying to be on some cliche, like, "You can do whatever you want and be whatever you want." Fuck that. It is true, but that's not the entire idea. You can do or be whatever you want if you're willing to do the work every single motherfucking day. And it's going to suck sometimes it's going to be hard sometimes. Nobody's going to help you. Nobody gives a fuck about you. If you win or lose. Most people want to see you lose. So you can do whatever you want. Not going to be easy. You can be whatever you want. Nobody cares. So you better make sure whatever you're trying to do or be is important to you. That's all that matters, especially as a young person with no wife, no husband, no girlfriend, boyfriend, no kids, no mortgage, no car payment, no bills. What you want to be and do is the most important thing. That's what I'm trying to say.

[00:33:09] You can do or be whatever you want in this life, I truly believe that and I'm not saying that just because I'm an American. I really believe that, bro. I really do. But you have to put in the work. It's the only thing that separates most people. It's not talent, it's not luck or any of that. All that shit is secondary or tertiary in comparison to effort, consistent effort over time. Intentional, focused effort over time.

[00:33:45] So if you're hearing this right now and you can identify with what I'm saying, like, you've thought about these things before, you've heard these things before, you've had these conversations with your parents or friends or other people, I'm telling you, man, just take some time to be by yourself and figure out, "What exactly do I want?" And once you figure that out, no matter how long it takes, it might take months or years, you might have to do five or six different jobs. You might go through different relationships. All these things will contribute to what you want your life to be like. But you have to live to figure out how to live.

[00:34:21] It takes a lifetime to figure out how to live properly. You know what I'm saying, the only way you can figure out how to live properly is by living... Engaging with life, the world around you. Experimenting, trying things, making mistakes, learning from the mistakes, and then waking up tomorrow and doing better than you did it yesterday. You can't fucking figure out those things or get to where you want to be in life sitting on the fucking sidelines of the game or watching other people play the game or playing somebody else's game. It's not going to happen, bro. It's not going to happen. It's just not. 

[00:35:02] So all this talk about, you know, what do you do and how much do you get paid for it? Bro, fuck that shit. Fuck that shit. It's boring, it's stupid, it's meaningless. The question is what's your purpose? Are you happy doing what you're doing? Why are you doing it? Are you fulfilled? Are you having an impact on yourself or other people around you? That's what you should be thinking about. Not what your social status is, although, you know, to a certain extent, that stuff is important, I get it. How much money you make, your certain status, and all that type of stuff but, bro... If nobody else cared about how much money you make or your social status, would you care? Would you?

[00:35:53] I don't know. I'm just saying, man, you got, as far as we know, I don't know what you believe, but as far as we know, you got one life. Nobody has been able to prove otherwise until now, as far as I know. So let's just assume that's true. You got one life. You're going to spend it worrying, like, how much more money you can make? How many more people you can impress, how much more attention you can get? How much more status you can attain? That's what life is about for you, bro? That's all you think about when you meet somebody for the first time, somebody new? I wonder what they do and how much they get paid to do it? That's it? 

[00:36:42] I'm not judging, I mean, if that is life for you, then more power to you, my friend. I'm just saying it's something to think about. Maybe you've never thought about it before. That's all I'm saying. It's just... I don't know.

[00:37:16] I don't know, man, I guess really what I'm saying is conversations in general, and life, in general, get so much more interesting when you talk about the shit that really matters. I guess that's what I'm trying to say. And we'll leave it like that. And have fun fucking editing this shit. We'll see.

[00:37:44] Peace.

[END OF PODCAST]

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[00:00:00] What's up, everybody? You are listening to another episode of Life in English. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen. And this episode should be short and sweet because I just got one simple question for you. Are you getting paid to do it?

[00:00:21] The Life in English podcast is designed to teach you the real American English that you won't learn in school, and it's made possible by our VIP community. By becoming a VIP member of the Life in English Community, you'll get access to our Private Conversation Group, bonus podcast episodes, interactive transcripts, and vocabulary and grammar guides. If you'd like to join the community, you can visit lifeinenglish.net/vip.

[00:00:46] In the past six or seven months, I've been posting quite a few videos on social media, particularly TikTok. And during that time, a lot of videos have gone viral. I've gained hundreds of thousands of followers and things like that. Lots of views and attention and things of that nature. I don't say that to brag. I'm just stating the facts kind of to set up what I'm about to say. The.. The question of this episode, the real subject of the episode... because I've noticed some things, like, after going, let's say, viral a few times on TikTok and reaching a level of, let's say, I don't know, followers, likes and views, and attention and things like that on social media. You kind of learn, or at least, I've learned a few things or just noticed a few things during that time.

[00:01:37] And one of them is that people really do treat you differently based on your perceived status. You know what I mean? That's something that may sound obvious, and it's kind of always been true. But when you experience it for yourself, it's kind of weird how somebody, for example, if you're a creator, you make YouTube videos, music, you're a streamer, a painter, a photographer, whatever it is, you do some type of creative work and you're posting it online for people to see. And you would hope that one day you can get paid to do what you really enjoy doing. Right? 

[00:02:11] A lot of times, especially in the past, you know, eight to ten years ago, if you told somebody that you made YouTube videos... Like, everybody asks, you know, "What do you do? What do you do for a living?" If you told them, "Oh, I make YouTube videos." They'd look at you like, "Oh... So, but you don't have a job or you just make videos for the internet, is that what you do?" And now there's people making more money than doctors just putting videos on YouTube. It's pretty crazy when you stop and think about it.

[00:02:46] But anyway, getting back to what I was saying, it's like, in the past, people.. It was something that people kind of looked down at, like, as if it was a joke. It was just a hobby. And now people have actually made careers doing those very same activities; posting their photography online, YouTube videos, Instagram videos, and things like that. Online courses, music, all types of content. You know, content creator has become a job that one can do to earn money.

[00:03:15] And I think any content creator, even if you're not a content creator, so to speak, you're just posting things online. A lot of people want to get attention and notoriety and likes and views and subscribers and followers, and, you know, to feel or to be famous for something. Now, maybe they don't think about it in that way, but you want to get lots of attention and notoriety for what you do. You want to be famous on some level, even if that's not your main motivation. You want to be known. You want your work or what you do to be known. Right? 

[00:03:47] And it's funny because I noticed that people... Like, celebrities, for example, people act different around a lot of celebrities because they see celebrities as these superior, hard to reach, unattainable figures. They don't see them as people anymore because you see them all the time on TV or on stage or whatever it is, and they're famous. And for whatever reason, you just don't see them as a human being anymore.

[00:04:14] Like your favorite musician or actor or whatever, if you just saw them walking down the street, that's not a normal person to you. They're on, they're on a different level socially in terms of status, for whatever reason. They're just a person, but because they're famous, because they do something that you love and appreciate on a regular basis, and because it's loved and appreciated by hundreds or thousands of millions of people, they elevate the status in your mind. 

[00:04:40] For that reason, you treat them differently, you see them differently, you value them differently. And what I noticed is that it's the same concept with people that go viral on social media, people that get famous on social media. Now, of course, social media is fucking fake. It's artificial, it's not real life. But at the same time, attention is real, you know? And when you start to get a certain level of attention or a following or whatever you want to call it, people look at you and treat you different.

[00:05:08] Like, if you tell somebody, "I make YouTube videos. You know, the first thing they want to know is what? How many followers do you have? How many subscribers do you have? Right? 

[00:05:19] And based on your response, that's how seriously they're going to take you. If you say, "Oh, you know, one hundred two hundred."

[00:05:27] "Oh, that's cool. So it's like a hobby for you, right? You just started? Or how long have you been doing it?" They don't take you seriously.

[00:05:34] But if you ask.. If they ask you the same question and you say, "Ah, four point six million subscribers."

[00:05:39] "Wow. Wow, what's your channel? Let me, what do you do? Let me check it out." Now, they're interested. 

[00:05:44] Now they want to see why so many people are interested or follow what you do. Now that.. Now you have their respect. Based on this number of people that have clicked a button to follow the work that you do. Now, it's valuable. Now, it has meaning. You know? 

[00:05:59] And I'm not saying that like... I understand that not all content is equal in value, and I also understand that value is subjective because what I think is good content, you might not. So I'm not trying to make any point when I say that. It's just an observation that people respect you.. The same way people might respect you if you're famous or not famous or if you're rich or poor. It's the same thing with this social media shit.

[00:06:23] Just because you got a million followers on social media, people really like, look at you and treat you differently. You know, like if somebody asked you, "Oh, you got a TikTok?" Or "Are you on TikTok?"

[00:06:35] "Yeah, yeah, I make videos, blah blah blah."

[00:06:37] "Oh, what's your profile? Oh, OK."

[00:06:39] They look at it, and what are they looking for? How many likes and followers you have. They just want to check your status. And what I noticed is, like, I could be.. This has happened to me, I'd be talking to somebody and, of course, the fucking boring ass question, "What do you do?" Always comes into the conversation if it's somebody you don't know that well. And I'll say, "Oh, I teach English online, that kind of thing, and I post videos on YouTube and TikTok, I have a podcast."

[00:07:09] "Oh, that's cool. You know, do you have a link to some of your stuff?"

[00:07:13] You send them a link. And I remember back when I had like sixty thousand followers on TikTok and I was talking to these girls and they pulled up my profile. And as soon as I saw had sixty thousand followers, they were like, "Oh my God, you're famous! I've actually seen one of your videos before. I can't believe I'm talking to a famous person." 

[00:07:33] And it kind of caught me off guard, it was kind of weird, like, nobody has ever said something like that to me before. So it was kind of weird. And then the conversation was kind of, like, different. The way they spoke to me was a little bit different, like, they were more interested in the conversation, and you could feel that there was more respect or admiration in the conversation.

[00:07:52] And the same thing happened recently. I showed one of my family members or I shouldn't say it that way. One of my family members downloaded TikTok and saw one of my videos that had went viral, had a few million views on it, and called me and was like, "Yo, I just saw one of your videos on TikTok. And it's got millions of views, man, you got hundreds of thousands of followers, man. Like, I remember you had mentioned this TikTok thing before, but I didn't know, like, you were big like that! Wow, man, that's awesome. I'm really proud of you, blah blah blah."

[00:08:25] And although that's cool, it's like, that kind of goes back to my point, I had mentioned to this person before, I had a podcast, I was making YouTube videos, Tik Tok videos, and everything. It's like, "Oh, that's cool. Yeah."

[00:08:39] But then when they see that almost eight hundred thousand other people love and follow what you do. Then it's like, "Oh, wow, that's so cool. You're great, man, you're awesome. I'm proud of you. Man, I didn't know you were famous. I didn't know that you were actually good at what you do. I just thought, you know, you were making silly little videos or whatever."

[00:09:00] So just because they see this big number on your profile or something like that, then they take you seriously, right? It's like that saying, "Nobody loves you or supports you until everybody loves you or supports you." which is kind of funny to me. You know? Because, it's like so many people are going to respect, appreciate, and admire you or what you do based on everybody else's opinion of what you do and who you are. You know? 

[00:09:27] It could be as simple as that. Nothing could change from today to tomorrow, except the amount of followers or attention you're getting, and that simple thing will change the amount of respect that somebody has for you. Isn't that fucking weird? That's weird.

[00:09:42] And what's even more strange, trying to get to the point of this episode, is what I noticed during these last six to seven months that I've been posting a lot more videos and content and growing my, let's say, audience and my reach and getting more attention and notoriety and things like that for the stuff I'm doing, is that the number one question I get from everybody... Man, woman, young, old, doesn't matter what country they're from. The number one question people always ask when I tell them I have a podcast or I'm making videos on TikTok or YouTube videos, I teach English and stuff like that. The number one question is,

[00:10:20] "Are you getting paid to do it?"

[00:10:23] "How much money do you make?" 

[00:10:24] "How much money is YouTube paying you?"

[00:10:26] "How much money are you making on TikTok?"

[00:10:28] "Which social media platforms pay you to do what you do?"

[00:10:31] "Are you getting paid?"

[00:10:34] It's the number one question. But you know what somebody has never asked me in the three years I've been teaching English online and this last six to eight months that I've been really posting a lot of content? No one has ever asked me, "Are you happy doing what you're doing?"

[00:10:50] "Do you enjoy doing what you're doing?"

[00:10:52] "Why are you doing what you're doing?"

[00:10:56] Not once... Not once. Isn't that fucking weird... You know? Maybe it's not weird to you, but the reason I say that, the reason I believe is weird is because it's... It's just kind of, it's like, revealing in a sense, it kind of reveals the way a lot of people think about what they do all day, every day.

[00:11:17] It's like, if I'm not going to get paid to do it, then I shouldn't do it. If you're not getting paid to do it, why should I respect it? You know, it's just a hobby. You're not getting paid to do it. You're not famous. Nobody cares about it. So why should I care? Why should I be impressed? You see what I'm saying? 

[00:11:37] Because if I had fifty followers, the same amount of content, the same type of content, and I only have 50 followers, somebody looks at it and it's like, "Oh, that's cool. Good for you, man."

[00:11:50] But if they.. If they see I'm getting thousands of dollars every month to do what I'm doing, you know, making more than them at their full-time jobs, it's like, "Oh, wow, that's.. That's awesome, man. That's super dope. I didn't know you were famous like that. How much are you getting paid? That's cool, man."

[00:12:07] And it's just like... It kind of made me stop and think that it's just.. It's strange that that's the first question that comes out of people's mouths, that's the most common question that I get asked, "Are you getting paid to do it? How much money do you make?" And it's just like, is that the only reason that we have to do stuff? 

[00:12:26] Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not, like, anti-money, anti-capitalism, anti-business, anti-work... Not even in the slightest. I am pro all of those things, so don't get me, you know, don't get it twisted or don't misunderstand what I'm trying to say.

[00:12:44] It's just, like, weird that people decide how much they're going to respect and or admire you based on how much money you have or how much social status you have. And instead of, like, what you are actually doing, you see what I'm saying? It doesn't really matter what I'm doing. It matters like how much I'm getting paid to do it, that's what a lot of people care about, you know? And that's just weird. It's really weird.

[00:13:17] Like, I think a better question than, "What do you do?" is "What are you passionate about?" Or "Why are you doing what you're doing?" What's your motivation for doing what you do every day?" Your job or your career or whatever it is. Or your hobbies, what's the motivation? Why do you like those things? Are you happy doing those things? Do you wish you could be doing something else?

[00:13:38] But it's always, what do you do? And based on that question, they're going to create this idea of who you are or what your status is and then give you a certain amount of respect based purely on that. And I think that's fucking stupid, you know? For so many reasons. For so many reasons.

[00:13:57] Now, at the end of the day, I don't give a fuck if somebody respects what I do or not or somebody admires what I do or not. That's not really the point because I really don't give a fuck. It's just something that I noticed that's kind of interesting to think about. And I'm sure somebody's asked you that question before, "What do you do?" Or if you're.. If you haven't gotten a job or you haven't started a career yet, "Well, where are you going to go to school? Where are you going to study? What are you going to do with your life?"

[00:14:22] And based on your answer, that's the respect or treatment, you know, you get a certain level of respect or a certain kind of treatment. I'm sure you've experienced that on some level before, and I just think it's weird, man. I think it's really weird. You know? 

[00:14:51] It's like, don't get me wrong, I love money for what it can do because money is nothing more than options, when you stop and think about it. The more money you have, the more options you have in every situation. So I'm not, like, saying money isn't important. I'm not saying that you shouldn't get paid because you definitely should. But at the same time, you know, at the risk of sounding cliche, it's like, it's not all about the money, man. It's not.

[00:15:19] Obviously, getting paid is important and, you know, it should be one of your top priorities. But at the same time, like judging somebody based on how much they get paid or that being your number one interest when meeting somebody or getting to know this person, that's weird. You know?

[00:15:38] The fact that nobody ever asks, like, "Are you happy doing what you're doing or what's the motivation for doing what you're doing? What are you hoping to achieve doing what you're doing right now? Where are you going with this? What's your vision? What's your plan? You know, what are the difficulties? What are the easy parts? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Could I help you, you know, achieve more or something like that?" Nobody.

[00:16:05] Most people never ask these kinds of questions. You know? It's kind of weird, no? It's always just, "Are you getting paid to do it? How much do you get paid? How much do you get paid?" That's it. 

[00:16:24] I don't know, man. And I'm not saying like... Hmm. What am I not saying?

[00:17:05] I don't know, like I said a few times already, I just think it's weird, man. I just... It's weird. Like...

[00:17:23] Like, the fact that even the people close to you, it could be your parents, your brothers and sisters, your best friends, a lot of times are not at all interested in your happiness or your level of fulfillment or your sense of purpose or meaning in life. All they care about is your status. You don't think that's strange? Like... 

[00:17:47] And maybe it's human nature. I don't know. I don't know. Maybe it's human nature, but that's... That's fucking weird. It's weird. All people care about is your status and all you lower, equal to, or higher than them in status. And based on that, that's how they treat you. That's how much interest they have in you. You know? 

[00:18:13] Stupid... It's really stupid because at the end of the day, bro... When you really stop and think... There's a... There's a couple of things to think about. The first one is once you make a certain amount of money, your life isn't going to change, bro. Once you have enough money to easily cover all your bills and expenses and entertainment and things like that, you know... Adding more money than you can actually spend isn't going to change the quality of your life. Hopefully, you can agree with me on that.

[00:18:46] That's just one more reason that money is not as important as people make it seem. It's very important, extremely important. But what I'm saying is it's not everything. And I know that sounds obvious and cliche, but a lot of people really don't think about it that way. It's like we just need more money, more money, more money so I can do more stuff. But if you stop and think about what you really want to do, you probably don't need as much money as you think you do. Your main problem is probably that you spend too much money, but that's a whole nother conversation. 

[00:19:14] And thing number two... How can I say this?

[00:19:33] And then number two is that you could be making $100,000 a year, $500,000 a year, a million dollars a year and be fucking miserable. Miserable with all the problems that money brings, all the stress of maintaining that level of wealth, let's say. You could be miserable doing the job that you fucking hate, working 50, 60, 80 hours a week, doing something you don't even like, but you've got the respect and admiration of everybody because you got more dollars in your bank account than they do or because you're on TV more than they are. That is fucking stupid, bro. That's fucking stupid.

[00:20:13] Whereas somebody over here could be making $40,000 a year... Happiest person, you know, in their state. You know what I'm saying? The happiest person amongst a million people could be making $40,000 a year doing something that they love. And not only something that they love, but that has a genuine impact on the people around them, a positive impact on the people around them. They're just not famous for it or they're not getting paid a crazy amount of money for it. Which one is more valuable? You know what I'm saying? 

[00:20:46] Obviously, it's just.. it's a question of opinion. We might not agree on this, and I'm not saying, again, that like, money isn't important. I'm just saying it's not the only thing. And that's why I think it's fucking weird that the number one question people always ask is, what do you do and how much do you get paid for it? It's never like, are you happy? Do you have a sense of meaning and purpose? Do you have any direction in your life? Are you trying to get somewhere in particular? You know, why are you doing what you're doing? Never.

[00:21:27] I don't know, man. I don't know. I guess.. What I'm trying to say is I just noticed something that was kind of already obvious, but when you experience it for yourself, you feel like you're just having this revelation where it's like, man... So many people are worried about the wrong things, the wrong things in life, like, for real. 

[00:21:56] And I'm not... I'm also, again, I'm not saying that happiness is the most important thing in life either, because I don't think it is. Happiness, like every other feeling, comes and goes. Now, you can, of course, do things that bring happiness to you, and that's cool, but I think meaning, purpose, and impact are some of the most important things in life... Doing something meaningful, purposeful, something that has an impact on yourself and or the people around you in a positive way. I think that's important. I think doing something meaningful brings happiness. When you have a reason, a compelling reason to get up and go to work in the morning. Maybe that sounds cliche to you, but I still think it's real shit. You know? That's important. Not like how much more money you make than the people around you or how many people recognize you when you leave the house, how many fucking people click a follow button on their cell phone while they're scrolling on social media. Who gives? Who gives a fuck? You know? Who gives a fuck, bro? Who cares? Who cares? 

[00:23:04] I don't give a fuck how much money you make. I don't give a fuck how many followers you got. I don't give a fuck how much attention you get. Are you doing anything meaningful with your life? Are you happy? You like what you see when you look in the mirror? You know? What do you do for fun? And why do you do it? Aren't those interesting questions? Not like how many fucking dollars you got in your bank account? Who gives a shit? Who cares?

[00:23:35] It's like, so many people, that's the topic of their conversation... Other people and what they got going on in their lives, what their status is, how much money they have, their drama and shit like that. I don't know, man. I don't know. I don't even know if I've arrived at any particular point with everything I've said in this episode, it was just something that I was thinking about, so I decided I was going to sit down and talk and try to figure out what I really think because I know how I feel, but I don't know exactly what I think about that yet. I just think it's really strange. It's always, "What do you do? And how much do you make?"

[00:24:18] And I just think, especially for young people, I hope with all my rambling up until this point that somebody, regardless of their age, but particularly young people, if you're listening to this right now, this is something I wish I would have heard at 16, 17, 18, 20, 21.

[00:24:36] I wish somebody would have sat down and told me, like, you have to understand that your life is yours and yours only, and you are going to fuck up your entire life trying to follow somebody else's dreams or live by somebody else's guidelines or meet somebody else's standards. You are going to fuck up your entire life. The.. Some of the best years of your life. Some of the most important years of your life. 

[00:24:59] Every year is important, but I really think, you know, 16 to 28, bro, you know, good time and life, man. Not too many responsibilities, as long as you're smart. You can take a lot of risks. You can fuck up and people will forgive you for it. You know what I'm saying? You can recover from big mistakes, from big perceived failures and shit like that. You know, you're probably a lot more fearless because you feel like you have time, you feel that you can do anything. You know, you're creative. You probably still have a little bit of spirit left if public school and your parents haven't fucking murdered it inside you already, you feel what I'm saying? 

[00:25:39] And I just think so many young people have the wrong idea of what success actually is. So many young people have the wrong idea of what it means to live a happy, meaningful life, of what's actually going to bring them lasting happiness, not just fleeting, momentary, artificial, cheap happiness. You know what I'm saying?

[00:25:59] So, so many young people think, "I got to go to school because that's going to get me a job, that's going to get me money, and then I'll be successful. That's going to give me security."

[00:26:08] But who says that's the only way to get happiness, money, and security? Why are you doing that? Is it because you genuinely want to? Or is it because you feel like you need to? Is it because you feel like people are going to judge you if you don't? Is it because you don't really know what you want to do and this just seems like the best option at the time? It's the best of a bad situation? Why are you doing it?

[00:26:32] What do you really want to do? There's no wrong answers here. And if you can imagine what you want to do, that means you can do it. God didn't give you an imagination for no reason. And you can't imagine shit that's not possible. Now, I'm speaking, obviously within reason. Right? You can't grow a fucking extra arm or some shit like that, as far as I know. So hopefully, you can follow me and understand I'm saying within reason. But if you can imagine yourself doing something for a living or living a certain lifestyle or whatever it is, like, that means it's possible. You just gotta figure out how. And it's, I know it's easier said than done. But that means it's possible.

[00:27:12] So why not focus all of your time and energy on that as opposed to taking this other route that somebody else laid for you, even though they've never been you? They don't fucking know you, or what you've been through, or who you are, what you want, what's important to you. You decide those things and then you create the life around those things. So that way you love the life that you live. You see what I'm saying? 

[00:27:40] Now, obviously, not everybody's going to be a famous soccer player or a musician or a painter or fucking whatever, obviously. But I'm just saying, like, if money and status are the only things motivating you to do something, bro... Good fucking luck, man. Good luck. Let me know how long it lasts. You know what I'm saying? I really wish somebody would have sat me down at 17 or 18 and told me, like, bro, you just need to spend some time by yourself. Put your phone down. Say peace to the friends. Leave the girls alone. Turn off the TV. Stop smoking. Whatever, whatever you do to pass the time or to waste time or distract yourself. Put it all to the side. Just sit down with yourself and figure out what do, what do I want to do? What am I interested in? What makes me tick? What would I like to get up in the morning and do? What seems cool to me? Regardless of what anybody else thinks about that. Regardless of how much money I would make doing it. Just figure out what you want first.

[00:28:47] Until you figure that out, in my opinion, you're going to waste a lot of time. Now, obviously, it takes time to figure out what you want, and sometimes you have to try many different things to figure out what you want. But that's the point, is you're trying. A lot of people aren't trying to get anywhere in particular or they're not trying to get to where they want to be. They're just trying not to fail. And their idea of failure is somebody else's idea of failure. They're just trying not to disappoint somebody, maybe their parents or their husband or their kids or whoever the fuck or people that don't even know or care about them. Just trying not to disappoint those people or be judged by those people.

[00:29:25] They're not trying to get to where they want to be. They're just trying to stay away from this place that other people think is the wrong place to be. I don't even know if that makes sense, but it's like, a lot of people are not trying to get to someplace in particular or achieve a goal that's important to them. A lot of people are just... Just trying to survive and do what everybody else does and impress everybody else and win a game that everybody else is playing. But what you got to realize is you can't... You can't win the game, I don't know how to say that.

[00:30:12] I don't know. 

[00:30:29] I guess what I'm trying to say is a lot of young people, old people as well, but especially young people... We fuck up our lives and waste so much time trying to live up to somebody else's expectations or just do what we were told is the right thing to do... Do what we were told is the only thing to do... Or just do what we think is going to impress or satisfy other people. You know, or distract ourselves from what we know we should be doing, distract ourselves from what's difficult because it's not... You don't get that immediate gratification from chasing your dreams all the time. You just don't.

[00:31:13] So for that reason, it's like, "Oh, I don't know. It's a big decision. What if it's the wrong decision? What if I make a mistake?" Then you start doubting yourself and rationalizing your laziness, your anxiety, your fear, and you use all that as an excuse not to do what you know you want to do.

[00:31:30] "I'll do it later. Let me get a job, make some money first, and, you know, get established, be secure. And then I'll take a risk. Then I'll do what I like." By that time, you've already killed any desire, creativity, imagination inside you. And now you've created this whole other life for yourself that you didn't even want, and now you have that burden, that responsibility, and then you're going to think about trying to go back to the other side? While managing all this shit that you've created for yourself over here? It's stupid, it's fucking dumb. It's fucking dumb. Don't do it. 

[00:32:06] If you're a young person listening to this right now, I'm not trying to be on some cliche, like, "You can do whatever you want and be whatever you want." Fuck that. It is true, but that's not the entire idea. You can do or be whatever you want if you're willing to do the work every single motherfucking day. And it's going to suck sometimes it's going to be hard sometimes. Nobody's going to help you. Nobody gives a fuck about you. If you win or lose. Most people want to see you lose. So you can do whatever you want. Not going to be easy. You can be whatever you want. Nobody cares. So you better make sure whatever you're trying to do or be is important to you. That's all that matters, especially as a young person with no wife, no husband, no girlfriend, boyfriend, no kids, no mortgage, no car payment, no bills. What you want to be and do is the most important thing. That's what I'm trying to say.

[00:33:09] You can do or be whatever you want in this life, I truly believe that and I'm not saying that just because I'm an American. I really believe that, bro. I really do. But you have to put in the work. It's the only thing that separates most people. It's not talent, it's not luck or any of that. All that shit is secondary or tertiary in comparison to effort, consistent effort over time. Intentional, focused effort over time.

[00:33:45] So if you're hearing this right now and you can identify with what I'm saying, like, you've thought about these things before, you've heard these things before, you've had these conversations with your parents or friends or other people, I'm telling you, man, just take some time to be by yourself and figure out, "What exactly do I want?" And once you figure that out, no matter how long it takes, it might take months or years, you might have to do five or six different jobs. You might go through different relationships. All these things will contribute to what you want your life to be like. But you have to live to figure out how to live.

[00:34:21] It takes a lifetime to figure out how to live properly. You know what I'm saying, the only way you can figure out how to live properly is by living... Engaging with life, the world around you. Experimenting, trying things, making mistakes, learning from the mistakes, and then waking up tomorrow and doing better than you did it yesterday. You can't fucking figure out those things or get to where you want to be in life sitting on the fucking sidelines of the game or watching other people play the game or playing somebody else's game. It's not going to happen, bro. It's not going to happen. It's just not. 

[00:35:02] So all this talk about, you know, what do you do and how much do you get paid for it? Bro, fuck that shit. Fuck that shit. It's boring, it's stupid, it's meaningless. The question is what's your purpose? Are you happy doing what you're doing? Why are you doing it? Are you fulfilled? Are you having an impact on yourself or other people around you? That's what you should be thinking about. Not what your social status is, although, you know, to a certain extent, that stuff is important, I get it. How much money you make, your certain status, and all that type of stuff but, bro... If nobody else cared about how much money you make or your social status, would you care? Would you?

[00:35:53] I don't know. I'm just saying, man, you got, as far as we know, I don't know what you believe, but as far as we know, you got one life. Nobody has been able to prove otherwise until now, as far as I know. So let's just assume that's true. You got one life. You're going to spend it worrying, like, how much more money you can make? How many more people you can impress, how much more attention you can get? How much more status you can attain? That's what life is about for you, bro? That's all you think about when you meet somebody for the first time, somebody new? I wonder what they do and how much they get paid to do it? That's it? 

[00:36:42] I'm not judging, I mean, if that is life for you, then more power to you, my friend. I'm just saying it's something to think about. Maybe you've never thought about it before. That's all I'm saying. It's just... I don't know.

[00:37:16] I don't know, man, I guess really what I'm saying is conversations in general, and life, in general, get so much more interesting when you talk about the shit that really matters. I guess that's what I'm trying to say. And we'll leave it like that. And have fun fucking editing this shit. We'll see.

[00:37:44] Peace.

[END OF PODCAST]

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[00:00:00] What's up, everybody? You are listening to another episode of Life in English. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen. And this episode should be short and sweet because I just got one simple question for you. Are you getting paid to do it?

[00:00:21] The Life in English podcast is designed to teach you the real American English that you won't learn in school, and it's made possible by our VIP community. By becoming a VIP member of the Life in English Community, you'll get access to our Private Conversation Group, bonus podcast episodes, interactive transcripts, and vocabulary and grammar guides. If you'd like to join the community, you can visit lifeinenglish.net/vip.

[00:00:46] In the past six or seven months, I've been posting quite a few videos on social media, particularly TikTok. And during that time, a lot of videos have gone viral. I've gained hundreds of thousands of followers and things like that. Lots of views and attention and things of that nature. I don't say that to brag. I'm just stating the facts kind of to set up what I'm about to say. The.. The question of this episode, the real subject of the episode... because I've noticed some things, like, after going, let's say, viral a few times on TikTok and reaching a level of, let's say, I don't know, followers, likes and views, and attention and things like that on social media. You kind of learn, or at least, I've learned a few things or just noticed a few things during that time.

[00:01:37] And one of them is that people really do treat you differently based on your perceived status. You know what I mean? That's something that may sound obvious, and it's kind of always been true. But when you experience it for yourself, it's kind of weird how somebody, for example, if you're a creator, you make YouTube videos, music, you're a streamer, a painter, a photographer, whatever it is, you do some type of creative work and you're posting it online for people to see. And you would hope that one day you can get paid to do what you really enjoy doing. Right? 

[00:02:11] A lot of times, especially in the past, you know, eight to ten years ago, if you told somebody that you made YouTube videos... Like, everybody asks, you know, "What do you do? What do you do for a living?" If you told them, "Oh, I make YouTube videos." They'd look at you like, "Oh... So, but you don't have a job or you just make videos for the internet, is that what you do?" And now there's people making more money than doctors just putting videos on YouTube. It's pretty crazy when you stop and think about it.

[00:02:46] But anyway, getting back to what I was saying, it's like, in the past, people.. It was something that people kind of looked down at, like, as if it was a joke. It was just a hobby. And now people have actually made careers doing those very same activities; posting their photography online, YouTube videos, Instagram videos, and things like that. Online courses, music, all types of content. You know, content creator has become a job that one can do to earn money.

[00:03:15] And I think any content creator, even if you're not a content creator, so to speak, you're just posting things online. A lot of people want to get attention and notoriety and likes and views and subscribers and followers, and, you know, to feel or to be famous for something. Now, maybe they don't think about it in that way, but you want to get lots of attention and notoriety for what you do. You want to be famous on some level, even if that's not your main motivation. You want to be known. You want your work or what you do to be known. Right? 

[00:03:47] And it's funny because I noticed that people... Like, celebrities, for example, people act different around a lot of celebrities because they see celebrities as these superior, hard to reach, unattainable figures. They don't see them as people anymore because you see them all the time on TV or on stage or whatever it is, and they're famous. And for whatever reason, you just don't see them as a human being anymore.

[00:04:14] Like your favorite musician or actor or whatever, if you just saw them walking down the street, that's not a normal person to you. They're on, they're on a different level socially in terms of status, for whatever reason. They're just a person, but because they're famous, because they do something that you love and appreciate on a regular basis, and because it's loved and appreciated by hundreds or thousands of millions of people, they elevate the status in your mind. 

[00:04:40] For that reason, you treat them differently, you see them differently, you value them differently. And what I noticed is that it's the same concept with people that go viral on social media, people that get famous on social media. Now, of course, social media is fucking fake. It's artificial, it's not real life. But at the same time, attention is real, you know? And when you start to get a certain level of attention or a following or whatever you want to call it, people look at you and treat you different.

[00:05:08] Like, if you tell somebody, "I make YouTube videos. You know, the first thing they want to know is what? How many followers do you have? How many subscribers do you have? Right? 

[00:05:19] And based on your response, that's how seriously they're going to take you. If you say, "Oh, you know, one hundred two hundred."

[00:05:27] "Oh, that's cool. So it's like a hobby for you, right? You just started? Or how long have you been doing it?" They don't take you seriously.

[00:05:34] But if you ask.. If they ask you the same question and you say, "Ah, four point six million subscribers."

[00:05:39] "Wow. Wow, what's your channel? Let me, what do you do? Let me check it out." Now, they're interested. 

[00:05:44] Now they want to see why so many people are interested or follow what you do. Now that.. Now you have their respect. Based on this number of people that have clicked a button to follow the work that you do. Now, it's valuable. Now, it has meaning. You know? 

[00:05:59] And I'm not saying that like... I understand that not all content is equal in value, and I also understand that value is subjective because what I think is good content, you might not. So I'm not trying to make any point when I say that. It's just an observation that people respect you.. The same way people might respect you if you're famous or not famous or if you're rich or poor. It's the same thing with this social media shit.

[00:06:23] Just because you got a million followers on social media, people really like, look at you and treat you differently. You know, like if somebody asked you, "Oh, you got a TikTok?" Or "Are you on TikTok?"

[00:06:35] "Yeah, yeah, I make videos, blah blah blah."

[00:06:37] "Oh, what's your profile? Oh, OK."

[00:06:39] They look at it, and what are they looking for? How many likes and followers you have. They just want to check your status. And what I noticed is, like, I could be.. This has happened to me, I'd be talking to somebody and, of course, the fucking boring ass question, "What do you do?" Always comes into the conversation if it's somebody you don't know that well. And I'll say, "Oh, I teach English online, that kind of thing, and I post videos on YouTube and TikTok, I have a podcast."

[00:07:09] "Oh, that's cool. You know, do you have a link to some of your stuff?"

[00:07:13] You send them a link. And I remember back when I had like sixty thousand followers on TikTok and I was talking to these girls and they pulled up my profile. And as soon as I saw had sixty thousand followers, they were like, "Oh my God, you're famous! I've actually seen one of your videos before. I can't believe I'm talking to a famous person." 

[00:07:33] And it kind of caught me off guard, it was kind of weird, like, nobody has ever said something like that to me before. So it was kind of weird. And then the conversation was kind of, like, different. The way they spoke to me was a little bit different, like, they were more interested in the conversation, and you could feel that there was more respect or admiration in the conversation.

[00:07:52] And the same thing happened recently. I showed one of my family members or I shouldn't say it that way. One of my family members downloaded TikTok and saw one of my videos that had went viral, had a few million views on it, and called me and was like, "Yo, I just saw one of your videos on TikTok. And it's got millions of views, man, you got hundreds of thousands of followers, man. Like, I remember you had mentioned this TikTok thing before, but I didn't know, like, you were big like that! Wow, man, that's awesome. I'm really proud of you, blah blah blah."

[00:08:25] And although that's cool, it's like, that kind of goes back to my point, I had mentioned to this person before, I had a podcast, I was making YouTube videos, Tik Tok videos, and everything. It's like, "Oh, that's cool. Yeah."

[00:08:39] But then when they see that almost eight hundred thousand other people love and follow what you do. Then it's like, "Oh, wow, that's so cool. You're great, man, you're awesome. I'm proud of you. Man, I didn't know you were famous. I didn't know that you were actually good at what you do. I just thought, you know, you were making silly little videos or whatever."

[00:09:00] So just because they see this big number on your profile or something like that, then they take you seriously, right? It's like that saying, "Nobody loves you or supports you until everybody loves you or supports you." which is kind of funny to me. You know? Because, it's like so many people are going to respect, appreciate, and admire you or what you do based on everybody else's opinion of what you do and who you are. You know? 

[00:09:27] It could be as simple as that. Nothing could change from today to tomorrow, except the amount of followers or attention you're getting, and that simple thing will change the amount of respect that somebody has for you. Isn't that fucking weird? That's weird.

[00:09:42] And what's even more strange, trying to get to the point of this episode, is what I noticed during these last six to seven months that I've been posting a lot more videos and content and growing my, let's say, audience and my reach and getting more attention and notoriety and things like that for the stuff I'm doing, is that the number one question I get from everybody... Man, woman, young, old, doesn't matter what country they're from. The number one question people always ask when I tell them I have a podcast or I'm making videos on TikTok or YouTube videos, I teach English and stuff like that. The number one question is,

[00:10:20] "Are you getting paid to do it?"

[00:10:23] "How much money do you make?" 

[00:10:24] "How much money is YouTube paying you?"

[00:10:26] "How much money are you making on TikTok?"

[00:10:28] "Which social media platforms pay you to do what you do?"

[00:10:31] "Are you getting paid?"

[00:10:34] It's the number one question. But you know what somebody has never asked me in the three years I've been teaching English online and this last six to eight months that I've been really posting a lot of content? No one has ever asked me, "Are you happy doing what you're doing?"

[00:10:50] "Do you enjoy doing what you're doing?"

[00:10:52] "Why are you doing what you're doing?"

[00:10:56] Not once... Not once. Isn't that fucking weird... You know? Maybe it's not weird to you, but the reason I say that, the reason I believe is weird is because it's... It's just kind of, it's like, revealing in a sense, it kind of reveals the way a lot of people think about what they do all day, every day.

[00:11:17] It's like, if I'm not going to get paid to do it, then I shouldn't do it. If you're not getting paid to do it, why should I respect it? You know, it's just a hobby. You're not getting paid to do it. You're not famous. Nobody cares about it. So why should I care? Why should I be impressed? You see what I'm saying? 

[00:11:37] Because if I had fifty followers, the same amount of content, the same type of content, and I only have 50 followers, somebody looks at it and it's like, "Oh, that's cool. Good for you, man."

[00:11:50] But if they.. If they see I'm getting thousands of dollars every month to do what I'm doing, you know, making more than them at their full-time jobs, it's like, "Oh, wow, that's.. That's awesome, man. That's super dope. I didn't know you were famous like that. How much are you getting paid? That's cool, man."

[00:12:07] And it's just like... It kind of made me stop and think that it's just.. It's strange that that's the first question that comes out of people's mouths, that's the most common question that I get asked, "Are you getting paid to do it? How much money do you make?" And it's just like, is that the only reason that we have to do stuff? 

[00:12:26] Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not, like, anti-money, anti-capitalism, anti-business, anti-work... Not even in the slightest. I am pro all of those things, so don't get me, you know, don't get it twisted or don't misunderstand what I'm trying to say.

[00:12:44] It's just, like, weird that people decide how much they're going to respect and or admire you based on how much money you have or how much social status you have. And instead of, like, what you are actually doing, you see what I'm saying? It doesn't really matter what I'm doing. It matters like how much I'm getting paid to do it, that's what a lot of people care about, you know? And that's just weird. It's really weird.

[00:13:17] Like, I think a better question than, "What do you do?" is "What are you passionate about?" Or "Why are you doing what you're doing?" What's your motivation for doing what you do every day?" Your job or your career or whatever it is. Or your hobbies, what's the motivation? Why do you like those things? Are you happy doing those things? Do you wish you could be doing something else?

[00:13:38] But it's always, what do you do? And based on that question, they're going to create this idea of who you are or what your status is and then give you a certain amount of respect based purely on that. And I think that's fucking stupid, you know? For so many reasons. For so many reasons.

[00:13:57] Now, at the end of the day, I don't give a fuck if somebody respects what I do or not or somebody admires what I do or not. That's not really the point because I really don't give a fuck. It's just something that I noticed that's kind of interesting to think about. And I'm sure somebody's asked you that question before, "What do you do?" Or if you're.. If you haven't gotten a job or you haven't started a career yet, "Well, where are you going to go to school? Where are you going to study? What are you going to do with your life?"

[00:14:22] And based on your answer, that's the respect or treatment, you know, you get a certain level of respect or a certain kind of treatment. I'm sure you've experienced that on some level before, and I just think it's weird, man. I think it's really weird. You know? 

[00:14:51] It's like, don't get me wrong, I love money for what it can do because money is nothing more than options, when you stop and think about it. The more money you have, the more options you have in every situation. So I'm not, like, saying money isn't important. I'm not saying that you shouldn't get paid because you definitely should. But at the same time, you know, at the risk of sounding cliche, it's like, it's not all about the money, man. It's not.

[00:15:19] Obviously, getting paid is important and, you know, it should be one of your top priorities. But at the same time, like judging somebody based on how much they get paid or that being your number one interest when meeting somebody or getting to know this person, that's weird. You know?

[00:15:38] The fact that nobody ever asks, like, "Are you happy doing what you're doing or what's the motivation for doing what you're doing? What are you hoping to achieve doing what you're doing right now? Where are you going with this? What's your vision? What's your plan? You know, what are the difficulties? What are the easy parts? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Could I help you, you know, achieve more or something like that?" Nobody.

[00:16:05] Most people never ask these kinds of questions. You know? It's kind of weird, no? It's always just, "Are you getting paid to do it? How much do you get paid? How much do you get paid?" That's it. 

[00:16:24] I don't know, man. And I'm not saying like... Hmm. What am I not saying?

[00:17:05] I don't know, like I said a few times already, I just think it's weird, man. I just... It's weird. Like...

[00:17:23] Like, the fact that even the people close to you, it could be your parents, your brothers and sisters, your best friends, a lot of times are not at all interested in your happiness or your level of fulfillment or your sense of purpose or meaning in life. All they care about is your status. You don't think that's strange? Like... 

[00:17:47] And maybe it's human nature. I don't know. I don't know. Maybe it's human nature, but that's... That's fucking weird. It's weird. All people care about is your status and all you lower, equal to, or higher than them in status. And based on that, that's how they treat you. That's how much interest they have in you. You know? 

[00:18:13] Stupid... It's really stupid because at the end of the day, bro... When you really stop and think... There's a... There's a couple of things to think about. The first one is once you make a certain amount of money, your life isn't going to change, bro. Once you have enough money to easily cover all your bills and expenses and entertainment and things like that, you know... Adding more money than you can actually spend isn't going to change the quality of your life. Hopefully, you can agree with me on that.

[00:18:46] That's just one more reason that money is not as important as people make it seem. It's very important, extremely important. But what I'm saying is it's not everything. And I know that sounds obvious and cliche, but a lot of people really don't think about it that way. It's like we just need more money, more money, more money so I can do more stuff. But if you stop and think about what you really want to do, you probably don't need as much money as you think you do. Your main problem is probably that you spend too much money, but that's a whole nother conversation. 

[00:19:14] And thing number two... How can I say this?

[00:19:33] And then number two is that you could be making $100,000 a year, $500,000 a year, a million dollars a year and be fucking miserable. Miserable with all the problems that money brings, all the stress of maintaining that level of wealth, let's say. You could be miserable doing the job that you fucking hate, working 50, 60, 80 hours a week, doing something you don't even like, but you've got the respect and admiration of everybody because you got more dollars in your bank account than they do or because you're on TV more than they are. That is fucking stupid, bro. That's fucking stupid.

[00:20:13] Whereas somebody over here could be making $40,000 a year... Happiest person, you know, in their state. You know what I'm saying? The happiest person amongst a million people could be making $40,000 a year doing something that they love. And not only something that they love, but that has a genuine impact on the people around them, a positive impact on the people around them. They're just not famous for it or they're not getting paid a crazy amount of money for it. Which one is more valuable? You know what I'm saying? 

[00:20:46] Obviously, it's just.. it's a question of opinion. We might not agree on this, and I'm not saying, again, that like, money isn't important. I'm just saying it's not the only thing. And that's why I think it's fucking weird that the number one question people always ask is, what do you do and how much do you get paid for it? It's never like, are you happy? Do you have a sense of meaning and purpose? Do you have any direction in your life? Are you trying to get somewhere in particular? You know, why are you doing what you're doing? Never.

[00:21:27] I don't know, man. I don't know. I guess.. What I'm trying to say is I just noticed something that was kind of already obvious, but when you experience it for yourself, you feel like you're just having this revelation where it's like, man... So many people are worried about the wrong things, the wrong things in life, like, for real. 

[00:21:56] And I'm not... I'm also, again, I'm not saying that happiness is the most important thing in life either, because I don't think it is. Happiness, like every other feeling, comes and goes. Now, you can, of course, do things that bring happiness to you, and that's cool, but I think meaning, purpose, and impact are some of the most important things in life... Doing something meaningful, purposeful, something that has an impact on yourself and or the people around you in a positive way. I think that's important. I think doing something meaningful brings happiness. When you have a reason, a compelling reason to get up and go to work in the morning. Maybe that sounds cliche to you, but I still think it's real shit. You know? That's important. Not like how much more money you make than the people around you or how many people recognize you when you leave the house, how many fucking people click a follow button on their cell phone while they're scrolling on social media. Who gives? Who gives a fuck? You know? Who gives a fuck, bro? Who cares? Who cares? 

[00:23:04] I don't give a fuck how much money you make. I don't give a fuck how many followers you got. I don't give a fuck how much attention you get. Are you doing anything meaningful with your life? Are you happy? You like what you see when you look in the mirror? You know? What do you do for fun? And why do you do it? Aren't those interesting questions? Not like how many fucking dollars you got in your bank account? Who gives a shit? Who cares?

[00:23:35] It's like, so many people, that's the topic of their conversation... Other people and what they got going on in their lives, what their status is, how much money they have, their drama and shit like that. I don't know, man. I don't know. I don't even know if I've arrived at any particular point with everything I've said in this episode, it was just something that I was thinking about, so I decided I was going to sit down and talk and try to figure out what I really think because I know how I feel, but I don't know exactly what I think about that yet. I just think it's really strange. It's always, "What do you do? And how much do you make?"

[00:24:18] And I just think, especially for young people, I hope with all my rambling up until this point that somebody, regardless of their age, but particularly young people, if you're listening to this right now, this is something I wish I would have heard at 16, 17, 18, 20, 21.

[00:24:36] I wish somebody would have sat down and told me, like, you have to understand that your life is yours and yours only, and you are going to fuck up your entire life trying to follow somebody else's dreams or live by somebody else's guidelines or meet somebody else's standards. You are going to fuck up your entire life. The.. Some of the best years of your life. Some of the most important years of your life. 

[00:24:59] Every year is important, but I really think, you know, 16 to 28, bro, you know, good time and life, man. Not too many responsibilities, as long as you're smart. You can take a lot of risks. You can fuck up and people will forgive you for it. You know what I'm saying? You can recover from big mistakes, from big perceived failures and shit like that. You know, you're probably a lot more fearless because you feel like you have time, you feel that you can do anything. You know, you're creative. You probably still have a little bit of spirit left if public school and your parents haven't fucking murdered it inside you already, you feel what I'm saying? 

[00:25:39] And I just think so many young people have the wrong idea of what success actually is. So many young people have the wrong idea of what it means to live a happy, meaningful life, of what's actually going to bring them lasting happiness, not just fleeting, momentary, artificial, cheap happiness. You know what I'm saying?

[00:25:59] So, so many young people think, "I got to go to school because that's going to get me a job, that's going to get me money, and then I'll be successful. That's going to give me security."

[00:26:08] But who says that's the only way to get happiness, money, and security? Why are you doing that? Is it because you genuinely want to? Or is it because you feel like you need to? Is it because you feel like people are going to judge you if you don't? Is it because you don't really know what you want to do and this just seems like the best option at the time? It's the best of a bad situation? Why are you doing it?

[00:26:32] What do you really want to do? There's no wrong answers here. And if you can imagine what you want to do, that means you can do it. God didn't give you an imagination for no reason. And you can't imagine shit that's not possible. Now, I'm speaking, obviously within reason. Right? You can't grow a fucking extra arm or some shit like that, as far as I know. So hopefully, you can follow me and understand I'm saying within reason. But if you can imagine yourself doing something for a living or living a certain lifestyle or whatever it is, like, that means it's possible. You just gotta figure out how. And it's, I know it's easier said than done. But that means it's possible.

[00:27:12] So why not focus all of your time and energy on that as opposed to taking this other route that somebody else laid for you, even though they've never been you? They don't fucking know you, or what you've been through, or who you are, what you want, what's important to you. You decide those things and then you create the life around those things. So that way you love the life that you live. You see what I'm saying? 

[00:27:40] Now, obviously, not everybody's going to be a famous soccer player or a musician or a painter or fucking whatever, obviously. But I'm just saying, like, if money and status are the only things motivating you to do something, bro... Good fucking luck, man. Good luck. Let me know how long it lasts. You know what I'm saying? I really wish somebody would have sat me down at 17 or 18 and told me, like, bro, you just need to spend some time by yourself. Put your phone down. Say peace to the friends. Leave the girls alone. Turn off the TV. Stop smoking. Whatever, whatever you do to pass the time or to waste time or distract yourself. Put it all to the side. Just sit down with yourself and figure out what do, what do I want to do? What am I interested in? What makes me tick? What would I like to get up in the morning and do? What seems cool to me? Regardless of what anybody else thinks about that. Regardless of how much money I would make doing it. Just figure out what you want first.

[00:28:47] Until you figure that out, in my opinion, you're going to waste a lot of time. Now, obviously, it takes time to figure out what you want, and sometimes you have to try many different things to figure out what you want. But that's the point, is you're trying. A lot of people aren't trying to get anywhere in particular or they're not trying to get to where they want to be. They're just trying not to fail. And their idea of failure is somebody else's idea of failure. They're just trying not to disappoint somebody, maybe their parents or their husband or their kids or whoever the fuck or people that don't even know or care about them. Just trying not to disappoint those people or be judged by those people.

[00:29:25] They're not trying to get to where they want to be. They're just trying to stay away from this place that other people think is the wrong place to be. I don't even know if that makes sense, but it's like, a lot of people are not trying to get to someplace in particular or achieve a goal that's important to them. A lot of people are just... Just trying to survive and do what everybody else does and impress everybody else and win a game that everybody else is playing. But what you got to realize is you can't... You can't win the game, I don't know how to say that.

[00:30:12] I don't know. 

[00:30:29] I guess what I'm trying to say is a lot of young people, old people as well, but especially young people... We fuck up our lives and waste so much time trying to live up to somebody else's expectations or just do what we were told is the right thing to do... Do what we were told is the only thing to do... Or just do what we think is going to impress or satisfy other people. You know, or distract ourselves from what we know we should be doing, distract ourselves from what's difficult because it's not... You don't get that immediate gratification from chasing your dreams all the time. You just don't.

[00:31:13] So for that reason, it's like, "Oh, I don't know. It's a big decision. What if it's the wrong decision? What if I make a mistake?" Then you start doubting yourself and rationalizing your laziness, your anxiety, your fear, and you use all that as an excuse not to do what you know you want to do.

[00:31:30] "I'll do it later. Let me get a job, make some money first, and, you know, get established, be secure. And then I'll take a risk. Then I'll do what I like." By that time, you've already killed any desire, creativity, imagination inside you. And now you've created this whole other life for yourself that you didn't even want, and now you have that burden, that responsibility, and then you're going to think about trying to go back to the other side? While managing all this shit that you've created for yourself over here? It's stupid, it's fucking dumb. It's fucking dumb. Don't do it. 

[00:32:06] If you're a young person listening to this right now, I'm not trying to be on some cliche, like, "You can do whatever you want and be whatever you want." Fuck that. It is true, but that's not the entire idea. You can do or be whatever you want if you're willing to do the work every single motherfucking day. And it's going to suck sometimes it's going to be hard sometimes. Nobody's going to help you. Nobody gives a fuck about you. If you win or lose. Most people want to see you lose. So you can do whatever you want. Not going to be easy. You can be whatever you want. Nobody cares. So you better make sure whatever you're trying to do or be is important to you. That's all that matters, especially as a young person with no wife, no husband, no girlfriend, boyfriend, no kids, no mortgage, no car payment, no bills. What you want to be and do is the most important thing. That's what I'm trying to say.

[00:33:09] You can do or be whatever you want in this life, I truly believe that and I'm not saying that just because I'm an American. I really believe that, bro. I really do. But you have to put in the work. It's the only thing that separates most people. It's not talent, it's not luck or any of that. All that shit is secondary or tertiary in comparison to effort, consistent effort over time. Intentional, focused effort over time.

[00:33:45] So if you're hearing this right now and you can identify with what I'm saying, like, you've thought about these things before, you've heard these things before, you've had these conversations with your parents or friends or other people, I'm telling you, man, just take some time to be by yourself and figure out, "What exactly do I want?" And once you figure that out, no matter how long it takes, it might take months or years, you might have to do five or six different jobs. You might go through different relationships. All these things will contribute to what you want your life to be like. But you have to live to figure out how to live.

[00:34:21] It takes a lifetime to figure out how to live properly. You know what I'm saying, the only way you can figure out how to live properly is by living... Engaging with life, the world around you. Experimenting, trying things, making mistakes, learning from the mistakes, and then waking up tomorrow and doing better than you did it yesterday. You can't fucking figure out those things or get to where you want to be in life sitting on the fucking sidelines of the game or watching other people play the game or playing somebody else's game. It's not going to happen, bro. It's not going to happen. It's just not. 

[00:35:02] So all this talk about, you know, what do you do and how much do you get paid for it? Bro, fuck that shit. Fuck that shit. It's boring, it's stupid, it's meaningless. The question is what's your purpose? Are you happy doing what you're doing? Why are you doing it? Are you fulfilled? Are you having an impact on yourself or other people around you? That's what you should be thinking about. Not what your social status is, although, you know, to a certain extent, that stuff is important, I get it. How much money you make, your certain status, and all that type of stuff but, bro... If nobody else cared about how much money you make or your social status, would you care? Would you?

[00:35:53] I don't know. I'm just saying, man, you got, as far as we know, I don't know what you believe, but as far as we know, you got one life. Nobody has been able to prove otherwise until now, as far as I know. So let's just assume that's true. You got one life. You're going to spend it worrying, like, how much more money you can make? How many more people you can impress, how much more attention you can get? How much more status you can attain? That's what life is about for you, bro? That's all you think about when you meet somebody for the first time, somebody new? I wonder what they do and how much they get paid to do it? That's it? 

[00:36:42] I'm not judging, I mean, if that is life for you, then more power to you, my friend. I'm just saying it's something to think about. Maybe you've never thought about it before. That's all I'm saying. It's just... I don't know.

[00:37:16] I don't know, man, I guess really what I'm saying is conversations in general, and life, in general, get so much more interesting when you talk about the shit that really matters. I guess that's what I'm trying to say. And we'll leave it like that. And have fun fucking editing this shit. We'll see.

[00:37:44] Peace.

[END OF PODCAST]

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