How to get what you want. Or not.

Posted on November 3, 2013


Lazy parents cartoon

Son, your amazing ability to want everything you see is equaled only by your tireless commitment to not expending any energy to get it. Go figure.

I get it: you want a Bugatti. It looks cool and it goes super fast. Well, actually, it has the potential to go fast–about 5 times faster than you’ll ever be able to drive it. You’ll be lucky to ever get it out of second gear anywhere around here. Which means it’s a million and a half bucks of basic transportation from point a to point b. That’s a lot of unmet potential.

Bugatti Veyron

Credit: Manju/CC-BY-SA-3.0

The ironic bit is that if you fail to one day own a Bugatti it will be because of unmet potential–only this time it’ll be yours–caused by your constant desire to get from point a to point b quickly without actually doing anything.

See, here’s the thing: there are three ways to obtain a Bugatti (or anything else, for that matter).

        1. Be born rich.
        2. Steal it.
        3. Actually work for it.

Regarding being born rich: Sorry, I messed that one up. Not an option.

As for stealing one, you can’t just steal a Bugatti; you’ve got to work your way up from Smart Cars to Minis, Hondas, maybe steal some Ferraris, and eventually you’ll be ready to take on a Bugatti. Clearly, stealing is not an option because it involves having to do some truly evil things: practice and planning. That’s probably why stealing is two whole commandments above thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s Bugatti (modern interpretation).

That leaves actually working for it and, well, that’s just plain silly, right?

Given the options, the only viable course of action would be to sit on the couch and play Minecraft until the Universe reorganizes itself into a more satisfactory reality. This new reality will be the one in which your commitment to doing nothing is rewarded, not unfairly punished.

The mistake that so many of us make is to assume that the fastest route to our desired destination is a straight line. The successful people know that it’s not the direction you’re heading that determines your final destination. Out of a hundred turns along the way, only the very last one points you directly to the goal.

So here’s the bad news: Want a Bugatti some day? Go mow the lawn.