Seth Godin (On Thinking Big) compares a roomful of credit card execs with a roomful of CPAs. He concludes:
The difference, i think, was that a long time ago, the people in the second room had made a decision about what they deserved, or what they were capable of, or what they were going to stick with. And it was a bad decision.
Wow. What strikes me are the sweeping assumptions that Seth makes here. I enjoy Seth’s writing and I’ve said before that he seems to have a very individualistic worldview: so he ascribes the different outcomes in these people’s lives to an individual decision. He also appears to see the guys in the first room as the more successful, a view which Tim at the Nub eloquently questions:
According to Seth, the advantage the credit card execs had over the CPAs was better food and handouts. But these are things we can see with our eyes – what about the things we can’t see like stress levels, family situations, personal life satisfaction? Who is to say the CPA’s weren’t a happier bunch of souls than the credit card execs?
Seth’s “it’s up to you” perspective is interesting and familiar; what I feel it lacks is a sense of context and taken too far could leave us all feeling rather lonely and isolated. I wouldn’t argue with Seth’s conclusion
In a world where the past matters a lot less than it ever did before, where it’s easier than it ever was to hit the reset button, it’s sad to see someone choosing to be stuck
but I think it’s a big assumption to say the highly paid execs aren’t stuck and the CPAs are.