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The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest

Who Wants to Be Rich

Late in getting this one out there, but it's interesting to see people's responses. Especially to my story.

As a kid we hear stories that we can do anything if we work hard enough. 35 years later, bum shoulder, bad joints, I realize that talent affects a lot of what we do as well. My dreams of playing sports or music likely wouldn't come true no matter how much I practiced because of the lack of talent. I can accept that, I'm not invincible, and never was.

But that doesn't mean I can't work hard or shouldn't. Physically I've felt a lot better in the last year than I have in the previous 3 or 4. I'm working my body harder and smarter and that's making me wealthier in that aspect of my life.

As far as in business, I've got a couple businesses going (JumpstartTV and End to End Training) and if one of them makes me a bunch of $$, great, if not, they're still doing well. I'll continue with my day job here at SQLServerCentral and I'm likely to always work. Be nice not to have to, but I'm not sure what I'd do with myself if I didn't have to work.

Comments

Posted by Anonymous on 20 October 2008

Pingback from  Sports News  » Blog Archive   » Who Wants to Be Rich

Posted by K. Brian Kelley on 21 October 2008

I finally admitted the same thing with respect to sports. I had to face the fact that a 5'7" goalkeeper faced severe disadvantages against higher caliber play. At the high school and college level, reflexes, judgment, experience, and tenacity can overcome a lot. But past that? Not going to happen. Of course, I learned that lesson only after ripping apart an ankle, a hip, both knees, and my wrist.

But then I think about what would have happened if I had been able to "make it." Would I have met and married my wife? Would I have had the children when I did? There are too many blessings in my life that might not have happened had my life path been different.

Posted by Shavais on 22 October 2008

I've never aspired to be a sports star or a celebrity of any kind, really, but I have very much desired to escape the 9 to 5 rat race, somehow. And I've tried quite a few different ways, so far without lasting success.  

It's not that I think I'm "owed a living" or that I particularly mind contributing to society/civilization in some at least semi-productive way, I just wish we didn't have to spend such a huge portion of our lives doing it.  And I wish we had more time and resources to put into doing whatever we feel like doing, without having to make money doing those things.

It seems to me that most of us are more-or-less slaves to the almighty dollar.  5 days a week, 49 weeks a year, I get up in the morning, shower, dress, eat, and go to work.  After work I come home, eat, do dishes and chores, spend a little time with family, and go to bed.  The dog in my neighbor's back yard almost has more freedom than me.  Certainly he has more free time.  

There's a class of rich people who can spend a lot of time and money on whatever they want to.  They are enviable.  I'm not mad at them, I'm glad they exist.  I wouldn't want to live in a world in which they didn't; far from it - I wish all of us could be in that position.  Everyone.

Basically I dream of a world in which robots do all the work, and people just play, hehe.  Or do whatever they feel like (so long as they don't harm anyone else's person or property).  Build 60 billion (very) intelligent robots, and assign 10 to each man woman and child on the earth, hehe.  The robots go to work for the people, and the people get the results.  Pay, produce, whatever.  But I guess that's a few thousands years off, yet, /sigh.

As you can tell, I'm a passionate non-believer in the theory that all people necessarily become bored and purposeless or even destructive if they don't have to work for a living.  I was a (relatively) high paid consultant for a while, and managed to save up enough money to live reasonably well for over a year without working.  18 months, in fact.  Far from being bored, I had many interests to pursue, with as much time as I wanted to devote to them!  It was soooo cool!  The only thing that would have been better would be if I'd had more money and more than just 18 months to put into those interests.  

If I won the $50 million lottery or something, my first order of business would be to secure a small estate and a $350,000 a year income (in addition to the cost of taxes and maintenance for the estate) for the rest of my life, increasing with inflation, along with the best health and dental insurance and so forth that money can buy.  I'd consult a variety of professional financial advisors in the effort to secure my unending income.  All of my financial instruments necessary to insure that income would have their principle protected, one way or another.  

Then I'd take art, writing and music classes, literature and history classes, computer programming classes, I'd paint, write, compose, play computer games, work on creating computer games, practice martial arts, fly, sky, play racquetteball and tennis, join clubs of various kinds, travel, spend LOTS of time actually Doing Things and Going Places with family, support a variety of humanitarian efforts with time and money, design and build dream houses and yards and gardens, et etc. etc. etc.  Buy a boat!  Hire a tutor, go sailing!  Scuba diving!  Far from being listless, I'd be about as happy as a man can be.  

People talk about retirement, and thank goodness we have at least that, to whatever extent we do.  But it's such a monumentally tragic waste, in a way.  How ironic and sad is it to finally get to the point where you can do whatever you want with your time.. but only have maybe 5 or 10 years left of your life to do it in.  And the last 5 or 10 at that.  By then, you're not really physically or mentally up for really doing much.  Nor do you have enough time left to accomplish a whole lot anyway!  It's one of life's many clever ironic torture devices.  Retirement, for most of us, is the morsel of tasty cheese at the exit to the rat-prison-maze of working life that's mostly molded through by the time it's possible to reach it.

There's a TV show that points out people who spiral down when they get money.  But I've never in my whole life, whether rich or poor or sick or healthy, ever even been the slightest bit tempted to drink heavily or use drugs or get into Jerry Springer style sex or relationship drama, or blow money away as though it had no end. It's just not tempting to me at all, not even a little bit! I can't believe everyone is as unbelievably moronic as those idiots. They've got to be the exception, and this show is just zooming in on them.  Think of all the whole class of rich people who exist and continue to exist for generation upon generation.  The vast majority of them don't act that way!

Motivational speakers talk about finding ways to turn your natural passions into a livelihood, but I find my passions severely dampened, in fact, pretty much completely thrashed when money gets involved.  The requirement of making money kills it for me.  It's just not freedom if I have to be on the clock, or if I have to deliver some product or service that someone else appreciates enough to pay for.

Well, thank goodness we have at least as much spare time and resources as we do.  I guess we are quite a bit better off that way, here, today, than at various other times and places in our history.  But I hope and pray that a day will come when all people, every living human being, can put the vast majority of their time, and a lot resources as well into whatever they feel like, owing nothing to anyone.  Without being prone to act moronically.

Posted by Steve Jones on 22 October 2008

Who knows. I wish I had been able to throw harder, hit harder, etc. But I've had a great life and I don't regret things. I'v gone from trying to teach my kids to drive forward, to teaching them to understand themselves, explore, and then work hard.

No regrets here. I've had a great life. I'm happy, and mostly proud of the path I've taken.

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