So, I expect this one to be controversial. If you're a very sensitive person that likes to get offended, you might want to skip it. If you're in a hurry, feel free to skim the bold parts.
I didn't come from all that much. My great-grandparents and grandparents were dirt poor. My parents dug out of it a little bit, though I was born when they were young and unestablished. My kids will have more opportunities.
I wish to do much. How much is possible? To know, you have to study history.
So I study history. And looking at the history books, I see a number of differences between people of low birth and high birth.
Now, before I go any further, I recognize this is unfashionable and controversial to talk about in this day and age. But it's definitely a real phenomenon, and I've never shied from the truth even when unfashionable. Also, I think after reading this you'll see that the majority of high born characteristics are superior to low born characteristics, and it's worth learning, training, and becoming better.
You have to do things correctly and consistently in order to become wealthy or powerful and hold on to it for any significant amount of time. People can become wealthy or powerful through evil means in the short term, but it's unsustainable in the long term.
Before we go any further, let's define wealth and power.
Wealth is anything that's suitable to humans that humans want. Reshaping matter and energy into forms more suitable and desirable to humans produces more wealth. There are near unlimited possibilities to reshape energy and matter into more and more suitable forms. Thus, there is near unlimited wealth available.
Wealth, honorably gained, is purely a virtuous thing. If you steal, extort, embezzle, or fraudulently gain control over things people want, that is bad. But gaining wealth by building, innovating, shipping, transporting, taking risks, making the world beautiful and more suitable for humans - this is a purely virtuous thing.
Power is mastery over yourself and your surroundings. Again, power is virtuous if virtuously gained. Definitely, the power that comes from self-mastery and self-discipline is purely virtuous. Power over surroundings also tends to be a good thing - you are more powerful if you have a roof over your head and an umbrella so you don't get wet in the rain, if you have books so that you become more knowledgeable, if you know how to write, if you understand numbers, and so on. You become more powerful by cooperating with other people in an honorable way. And so on.
The first difference between low born people and high born people are their attitudes towards wealth and power.
To put it bluntly, high born people generally pursue wealth and power, while low born people do not. Funny enough, a lot of times high born people actively put down and say bad things about wealth, while accumulating more and more of it. For instance, a notable insurance salesman campaigns for having higher estate taxes, while lobbying the government to make life insurance payments tax free - then he includes in his advertising that his insurance lets people get away from taxes.
This two-faced behavior is perhaps the largest turnoff of high-born people - they advocate for equality and unity while establishing political positions of great power. They find roundabout ways to enjoy all the privileges of wealth while simultaneously condemning it. Yes, I find it insufferable, but we can still learn from it. The first difference between low born and high born people is that high born people are generally steered towards getting wealth and power. (Ignore what they say, look at they do - they're drawn to power)
I think this, in and of itself, is probably the biggest and largest difference. If you actively say, "Okay, I will get wealthy. I will move matter and energy around so that is more suitable for humans, and I will gain a greater mastery over myself and my surroundings" - in that case, you will become wealthier and more powerful. The decision to do it is a big part of the process.
High born people expect to be treated well. Low born people frequently expect to be treated poorly. And thus, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you grow up watching people snap to attention and treat your parents well, you expect it. Thus, paradoxically, you become kinder, friendlier, and less adversarial. High born people tend to have a an expectation that the situation will work out favorably for them, that people will do right by them, and that they're going to get what they want. Thus, they do. Low born people frequently have an expectation that the situation is going to go poorly, that people do wrong by them, and that they're not going to get what they want. Thus, they don't.
High born people generally are more friendly, giving, and helpful than low born people. I understand this goes against what you see in movies, but it's true. Generally speaking, someone who is successful or was raised by successful parents is more likely to do you a favor, introduce you to someone, or otherwise help you out. Low born people tend to be more paranoid and stingy about everything.
High born people don't look to get paid back immediately. They know that you help people who seem friendly with a good character, and a lot of them will do right by you someday, sooner or later. Many won't, but that's okay.
Personally, I've found 90 out of 100 people you do right by kind of forget about it and are ungrateful. 9 out of 100 are gracious, friendly, and cool about it, and then that's the end of it. But then that last 1 out of 100 people changes your life in an amazing way. I'm not looking to get paid back when I do something nice for someone - it's like, do a lot of nice things, and good karma will catch up with me sooner or later. My best friend in the whole world I met because he sent me a long question at a company I was running, and for whatever reason, I was inspired to take two hours to write a long, detailed reply with lots of instructions. Since then, he's helped me put together some really important business deals, we've been snowboarding together in Japan, I stay with him whenever I'm in Los Angeles, and I've learned so much from him.
There's dozens of people I've helped out that didn't even say thanks, but who cares? It doesn't matter. Low born people feel very quid pro quo about things - they expect to get back right away, and will often remind whoever they did a favor for that they did a favor. This is tasteless and turns people off. High born people tend to know better - spread the good around, it'll catch up with you sooner or later.
With that said, high born people are much more comfortable getting compensated for their skills, ability, and contribution. A girl born to a wealthy family will go to a cafe and say, "I made some paintings. Can I hang them in here with price tags on them?" A girl born to a poorer family will be more shy about trying to sell her work, despite the fact that she could use the money more. This is really a shame. High born people are more comfortable asking for money or compensation in exchange for providing value. People of high birth do more nice things for free with no expectation, but are also more comfortable selling themselves and their work.
High born people define themselves less by money and possessions. Thus, you see less asininely stupid purchases. Well, you might see someone who is making $2,000,000 per year buy a $200,000 sports car, and you think that's asinine. But that's only 10% of what he makes in a year, which isn't so much compared to paying $25,000 for a car when you make $40,000. Low born people tend to be more insecure about not appearing well off, so they put a greater fraction of their income into consumption and showing off. This is, of course, not conducive to getting wealthy.
There's lots more, and examples in both directions. I could write another 10-20 other points off the top of my head, but this is getting along. Though, I've got one big important one here -
Low born people often try to do too much in one generation, and wind up overexpanding because of it. If you're familiar with Japanese history, compare Hideyoshi Toyotomi to Tokugawa Ieyasu. Hideyoshi had entirely won and unified all of Japan, but then - inexplicably - he immediately declared war and tried to conquer Korea and China. As a result, his family was overthrown shortly afterwards by the Tokugawa, who then ceased expansion, solidified their position, and ruled Japan for the next 250 years.
Hideyoshi was of low birth, he came from nothing. Really, he's an inspiration, but he's also one of the greatest lessons to low born people - don't go too far. Hey, don't mistake me for someone who is overly cautious - I'm trying to become the greatest strategist of this era. But note that strategist is a captain and advisor, not a general role or a king. My children will be high born, which means they'll see from a young age these lessons - yes, it's virtuous and appropriate to build wealth and become powerful. Expect to be treated well. Be friendly, giving, and helpful and don't expect anything in return. Yet, when you've got something of value, offer good deals and get compensated. Don't define yourself by money and possessions. There's an unlimited amount of wealth and power available, you can gain it by building, inventing, innovating, cooperating, trading, and doing other virtuous things. Don't be stingy and scramble for the last penny, leave something on the table. But don't be too shy either, build and receive a lot in return, because why not do so?
I've learned a lot of these lessons, but many of them too late. I'm still shy about picking up the phone and calling a stranger to ask for help (though, getting better at it). I'm still shy about picking up the phone and asking someone how I can help them (though, getting better at it). I'm still shy about walking into an executive's office and telling him that he should give tens of thousands of dollars to my company to build things for him (though, I'm getting better at it).
But I still have many of the low born mentalities, so I'm going to be careful not to go too far. A captain, not a general, not a king. If one of my sons has the ability, drive, and desire to be a general or king, so be it. He'll be learning lessons at age 5 that I started learning at age 19. When he's 14, he'll know much of what I knew at 24. But not me - no overexpanding, no going too far and losing it all. I'm fit to be a captain, an advisor, a high-ranked servant, but I don't aim to rule. There's still too many screwed up low born ideas in the back of my head.
There's exceptions to this - John Rockefeller was low born, but epitomized all of the high born traits to an exceptional degree. Alexander the Great was high born, but overly expansive and lost his empire because of it. But as a general rule, you'll see these differences. I'd say aim to a most excellent captain, advisor, servant, or merchant if you're low born, but be careful looking to rule. The ideal pedigree to rule starts being constructed young.
Recap, some general helpful things to work on -
1. Consciously decide to pursue wealth and power. These are virtuous things, and there's unlimited amounts of them available. Do it honorably.
2. Expect to be treated well, and act accordingly. Have a calm expectancy that people will agree to do things your way. Don't argue or get upset, but do calmly insist that things be done correctly.
3. Be friendly, helpful, and giving to as many people as you can. Don't be modest - ask people how you can help them, introduce people to each other, look to do good things. Make book recommendations, buy people small gifts, hell even wash the dishes if you're a guest in someone's home. Things like that.
4. Don't expect to be paid back or remind anyone you helped that you helped them. Don't even mention it again. Keep doing good things, don't remind people you did something nice for them. It's insufferable.
5. Yet, feel comfortable asking for compensation when you can bring value to the table. Sell some things you produce, sell some of your skills, get paid. It's cool to ask people for money as long as you know you can deliver 10x the value of what you're being paid.
6. Don't define yourself by money or possessions. Define yourself internally by your ethics, what you stand for, what you mean to the world, what you mean to people who you truly care for, what you intend to do.
7. Be careful about overexpanding - you don't have to do it all in one generation. Have children, raise them well, have your son take over where you left off. There's only so much a person can accomplish in one lifetime, whereas even a modest dynasty can accomplish much, much more.
Oh, I forgot one - high born people generally don't talk about this stuff. Whoops - guess I ain't gettin in polite society any time soon. It's going to be weird having my kids in with polite society and be high bred while I'm so rough and uncivilized. Ah well, life is a circus, as they say. Every dynasty's gotta start somewhere.
Your comments, feedback, and reaction are very welcome. What are your thoughts on this area? Are you comfortable becoming wealthy and powerful in an honorable way?