You are on your way to the art gallery this evening.
From the second you decided to get ready, the seduction has already begun.
You dress up a little more classy tonight.
You spray on your most seductive scent.
You are a tad nervous of who the other people will be…
Will they be rich
Will they be more cool than me.
Will they be better looking than me
You arrive with your date and you see others dressed up really nice too.
In reality, you feel like you don’t belong
You feel a dull quiet refrigerator buzz like hum of anxiety in the background and you feel stiff wearing these clothes
You walk inside
The lights are dim, high heels and boots clicking on the cold marble floors.
You are greeted by perfectly manicured hosts, and your coat is taken for you as you are handed a small glass of champagne and told to look around and enjoy your evening.
You begin to feel a bit better
Dare I say, even a little special.
You can smell sophistication and class in the air
The smell of an upgraded reality that you could see yourself maybe living one day
You see a small spotlight illuminating a painted canvas in the corner of the gallery
It looks ominous and inviting
You slowly walk up to it
There are 8 other people quietly admiring it
The way the light glistens off the paint, and the way it’s displayed, you just know it’s special.
The well put together salesman saunters up with a knowing sly air about him, like he knows something you don’t
He informs you this the newest Michael Todd.
You think “I don’t know who the fuck Michael Todd is”
But the sound of two first names quickly hypnotize you into feeling he must really be somebody
Everyone standing around feels the same way because you all feed off of each other’s energy
“This is only $15,000, he crafted this when he was in Rome last year on his sailboat 3 days after his latest heartbreak. This is a limited edition print, only 30 of these are available world… wide…”
You go ooooooh.
You don’t buy it.
Someone else did.
But you know if you had it in your home, you’d feel a little better about your life
Now, even though you didn’t purchase the painting, you did buy something tonight…
You bought the illusion.
Please let me reveal a powerful mindset shift that could shift the way you look at your entire life.
But it comes with a warning, a danger of achieving status the “wrong” way and how it can fuck you up, eat you, and spit out someone you don’t even recognize.
In the book The Fountainhead, there is a character named Howard Roark. He is a rich man who owns many expensive paintings… and many paintings worth nothing…
the idea being he has elevated himself out of group think and makes his own choices about what he values.
He has his own self-set standards.
So he buys for his own tastes, expensive or cheap, price is virtually irrelevant to his decisions.
Maybe some of the things he likes has not been “anointed” by society as high value, and so the marketplace hasn’t determined it to be expensive by virtue of price and demand.
He achieves for himself.
She achieves for herself.
See, there are multiple forms of status.
Ascribed status is a built in status from say your religion, your race, ethnicity, or generational name standing.
Achieved status is achieved on the basis of merit.
For our purposes as entrepreneurs, we are only interested in achieved status.
We all know how important status is in our lives. Not going to beat a dead horse here.
What I am gonna do is illuminate a crazy distinction and danger.
You can achieve status based on what society determines as having hugh status:
Take men, for example:
– Having a beautiful woman(s)
– Having a sick ass car(s)
– Having expensive watches and toys(sssssss)
– Living in a mansion or dream home
– Being a millionaire
– Having professional success and recognition by winning
– Being fit, muscular, and fashionable
These symbols of high status are achieved, yet are decided on by society.
This is a trap!
Because those things are not what actually gives you the feeling of high status you are looking for…
Because if you get them without becoming a high status person, you won’t FEEL high status, just like standing inside the art gallery.
You can be inside that same art gallery a week later wearing a $1000 suit, and feel like a $50 person inside of it.
You see it all the time.
Someone who seems to have it all, then blows their fucking head off their shoulders.
You see a watch made by Christophe Claret, and you go
Ooooooooh. I want that, it would make me more awesome.
And if you did buy it, it WOULD make you feel more awesome. For a second.
And it would raise your status. For a bit.
And you would also be one step closer to your own suicide.
Because you are paying for group think and it’ll never make you feel like an individual.
If you build your status on loving yourself, then people can feel you are real, your status is real, and they will assume the cheap watch you are wearing IS EXPENSIVE.
See, get the watch if you want.
But it needs to make no difference to your inner status level.
Because the danger of doing it the other way around is too great.
If you buy the high status item to get high status, by definition you are buying what you don’t believe you already have… status.
And you may not have status, so buying it might very well raise it!
That means you put the value of status on the thing vs the you, the person with the thing.
When the thing breaks down, gets a scratch on it, or you become ACCUSTOMED TO IT… then that’s when really bad things begin to happen.
Familiarity breeds contempt.
When you get bored of your object, which you WILL, your feeling of confidence and status will slip away in direct proportion.
Which creates a feeling of lack and needing to upgrade.
Not for the right reasons… From a place of “missing”.
As you begin to status slip, you begin acting differently.
This is virtually imperceptible to you and so you think the world is against you.
It’s an endless pit that works in it’s reverse over time psychologically, sliding down the self esteem ladder emotionally while looking more high status from the outside than ever.
Most women can’t go outside without putting on makeup. I know women who are petrified to leave their house without being done up. PETRIFIED.
Perpetuating a feeling of being “fake and never arriving” and that the wind can blow down your house of cards at any moment. It’s a real insecurity. A shaky fortress built around random objects and symbols.
From the moment we become attracted to the opposite sex, we are on this race to paint our faces, and jack up our rides in order to show we are worthy of love.
It’s understandable. We are an organism wired to survive and mate at all costs, to climb the ranks and have access to the best versions of resources we can get.
But the paradox of all this is that by coming at it SOLELY through the superficial channel, that is, making societies material standards as your bedrock foundation of value, then you give up any chance of having the REAL power you are so desperately wanting all this stuff in the first place for.
When we are hypnotized by these surface forms of status, we tend to see things that aren’t really there.
Guys, how many times have you seen or met who seem like the PERFECT girl. And you went crazy over her, only to realize after you got to know her, she’s like… just a human being.
Even standing in a line at Starbucks, ladies, you see that super hot guy who seems perfectly together and you are almost instantly in love because he fits a narrative. It’s like you are hypnotized.
But the longer you look, the more you see the truth. And he becomes just another human again. Unless you are one of those crazy chicks or dudes, you know the ones, who are SO hypnotized by society and think SO low of themselves, they get creepy af and think you are a princess who can do no wrong.
The same illusion goes for nice suits, or a car. We attribute good emotions to it and build up the mystique of it… a seductive aura… we hypnotize ourselves.
One of my best friends Ryan, recently got rid of an empire he spent his entire life building.
Sold his multi million dollar business, million dollar home, Tesla, Harley, 4 other vehicles, and reduced himself to a backpack.
Because he realized he built his entire identity and the STRENGTH OF IT, on all the things that weren’t him.
He is now is naked with himself for the first time in his life.
That takes incredible guts and I don’t know many people on earth willing to be that real and raw.
Am I saying “don’t strive for these things in life?”
Not at all.
The opposite actually.
Go get all of it! It’s fun!
I’m saying be careful to let those things define you.
A better way of putting it is to create true emotional status for yourself in your own body through your VALUES and personal relationship you’ve built with yourself.
By deciding you are the luxury brand and holding your own values, you may now buy these things for YOU.
Because if you buy them to control other people’s perceptions of you, guess who’s reactions can play you like a puppet? Theirs.
And a by-product of first attaining self status is you end up making anything you buy cool and high value no matter the cost. But you don’t even care about that.
And that’s why it works.
Look at things through your own eyes you can be your own tastemaker and mover and shaker.
When I had the logo for Opposed Media made up, I didn’t have to ask people what they thought of it before I made it. I didn’t need to read up on if a skull and GUNS is a bad idea for doing business, and I didn’t research color palettes. I didn’t consult a branding expert to do a fucking SWOT analysis to see where I could fit into the market.
I see the world through my own eyes and I decide what is cool. For me.
It’s ok to have your own tastes. And own them. You don’t need to borrow them from others or get permission from them that yours are okay.
You can create your own status based on how you feel about yourself, then you can go out and decide what status symbols are for you, cheap or expensive, and now they don’t own you, society doesn’t own you, and Rolex doesn’t own a piece of your soul.