Some Really, Really Bad Advice

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomburg recently stated, to a graduating class of City University of New York – Staten Island, that in order to get ahead in business you need to be the first to arrive in the morning and the last to leave at night, take fewer vacation days and never have a sick day.  Sarah Schaefer Munoz, in her blog The Juggle, writes: Do you think this is sound advice for recent grads?” With all due respect to Mayor Bloomberg, I couldn’t disagree more. This isn’t good advice for anyone. I know what he’s talking about. I grew up in a culture that drilled that ethic into my very being.”

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, while addressing the graduating class of City University of New York – Statten Island, had this advice to offer to those looking to get ahead in business:

“You’ve got to be highly motivated. Don’t make any mistake about it. Life is not easy. If you’re the first one in in the morning and the last one to leave at night, and you take fewer vacation days and never take a sick day, you will do better than the people who don’t do that. It’s very simple.”

Here’s the video clip (the remarks I’ve quoted come 5:03 into the clip):

Sara Schaefer Muñoz, in her The Juggle blog, asks: “Do you think this is sound advice for recent grads?”With all due respect to Mayor Bloomberg, I couldn’t disagree more. This isn’t good advice for anyone.I know what he’s talking about. I grew up in a culture that drilled that ethic into my very being. It went something like this:

If you just work hard enough and long enough your life will turn out fine – eventually – and it will all be worth it in the end.

Tim Ferriss refers to this as the deferred life plan and equates it with three words: Slave/Save/Retire.

Take it from someone who tried that plan – me – it doesn’t work out quite that way. What happens is that you keep postponing things until tomorrow, and tomorrow never comes. You wind up feeling regretful of all the time you lost that you know you’ll never recapture. You wind up never beginning to live your life.

Mayor Bloomberg is right about one thing: life is not easy.

I would argue, however, that life doesn’t have to be as hard as he’s suggesting either.

Life is too short. Don’t let antiquated conventions cause you to be unhappy or unfulfilled.

Re-examine your basic assumptions and turn those paradigms on their heads.

Start living today.

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