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On Being Pragmatic

It is important to be optimistic and curb negativity. However, pragmatism is what will help us not fall prey into the trappings of the modern world.

I wrote about curbing negativity in the last post and about optimism in a post earlier. I’d like to add a few words about pragmatism in this article.

A lot of young people want happiness and success in life. That is the exact moment they will be presented with all kinds of scams and snake oil salesmen. They will come in the form of social media advertisements or in the shape of a friend/colleague. We indeed have to take things positively in life and assume the best of others’ intentions. However, we also have to be pragmatic and be aware of the reality of the world.

It is wrong to fool others, and also incorrect to be fooled by others. Because a smart person does not make the same mistake twice.

When I was in school, my friend and I came across a flyer that said you can earn a considerable sum of money from working part-time from home. We got excited and paid a small amount of money (which seemed large back then) in exchange for two Video CDs.

We got home with the CDs and watched it eagerly to see what it was about. It turned out to be a tutorial on creating a blog on Blogger.com and earning via Google Ads. We tried setting up a blog. However, we could not monetize it. While it may have worked for some people, we were disappointed because we did not earn a cent from buying that CD. The point of this short narrative – although we did not gain from that incident – was that we did learn about pragmatism and about not falling prey to any scams or potential scammers.

Besides, that idea may have told me what the word “blogging” means. I haven’t earned a single cent directly from writing on my own blog. But writing has definitely helped me shape a career in software development and writing as a guest author on popular blogs – one of them being Smashing Magazine, which has millions of readers.

What I would like to emphasize young folks is to not fall into any kind of scams. If you think something is too good to be true, chances are it is! There are many online courses and books that seem to sell a shortcut to success, aka “get rich quick” schemes. I’d like to share the tweet of Naval Ravikant about the reality of these schemes.

So, the next time someone offers you a get rich quick scheme, know that they are the people getting rich off of your money.

I see many online “businessmen” selling these types of “products” and wanted to write this post so that we do not get cheated by any such “entrepreneurs.” I hope this short article gave you some insight into one aspect of this “modern world.”

There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs.

Zig Ziglar
staircase

Success may come sooner to some and later to others. The important thing is that we do not lose what we have in trying to get success without putting in the effort. Often, what you earn working hard stays, and what comes easy may go easy.

Let me end with one quote from Twitter’s co-founder that encourages hard work, patience, and perseverance.

Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.

Biz Stone