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Abusive upbringings, and questions about the aftermath.

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Millions of children grow up with verbally/physically abusive parents, and suffer as adults due to the after-effects.

Often, intelligent and capable, they are sacrificed and denied opportunity due to their parent's brutish behavior. The trauma of which can cause permanent psychological damage and loss of potential.

I have struggled to overcome this. As such, I did not learn to begin to value myself until age 25 (30 now), and am still in the process of growth.

As people do not choose where they come from or who their parents are, does background matter as much as what one does to provide value?

Are people to be held responsible for the atrocities which others committed which prevented the creation of value and growth?

Does having a rough start in life due to the limitations and evils imposed by "caring" people mean that one is not deserving of success and happiness?

Are only those born into healthy environments who were encouraged from a young age worthy of success or can people forge their own future?

Is it possible to be a "late-bloomer"?

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Julia Childs first learned to cook when she was 40 and got pretty good by 50. Stan Lee started drawing Spidey in his 40's. Harrison Ford Played his first significant role as Han Solo when he was 33. Or for real inspiration, read about Buckminster Fuller's experimental life.

I think it takes kids from rough backgrounds 5 or 10 years, once out of the environment, to a) decide conclusively that what happened to them was not their fault and B) that, ultimately, it doesn't matter whose fault it was because the only one who can change their life going forward is themselves. Some do and some don't. I recommend the former. It's harder than it seems to those who haven't experienced it, so congratulations.

Of course you'll have some limitations, but everyone does. You can do almost anything you want, but not everything you want, so your life and choices have already closed off some possibilities...olympic gymnastics and whatnot...but like I said, that's the nature of life, not the nature of abuse.

It's ironic, I suppose, but I have heard people use their lack of abuse as an excuse for why they have accomplished little. As though the trial by fire would have granted them a magical source of willpower which would have been more valuable than their initial psychological health and personal, family-made safety net. All it comes down to, ultimately, is your own decision to disregard your discomfort, ignore your excuses and act with purpose on what you love. Love what you do more than yourself and you'll be halfway there, wherever the hell there is.

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Thanks for this.

I share this because well, I want perspectives from Objectivists, and also because I want to use my past as a source of strength rather than weakness.

I have always been interested in music, and I've been talking with people of various backgrounds about how we can improve the way we create and interact with it. (i.e. make more affordable instruments, make it easier for people to learn how to make their own sounds, etc.) this on top of working on material itself.

I just feel a bit of shame because I'm 30 and not a success, especially since I attended school with many who did not experience the setbacks in their youth I did.

Is that considered sacrificing myself to others irrationally?

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I apologize for not being clear and making a blanket statement. It was meant to be a generalization.

Am I sacrificing myself by taking responsibility for what I had no control over? Of course moving forward as best as I am able is what I must do, but I feel intense guilt for stumbling so much because I had to learn that I had worth.

I see a great deal of opportunity to not only enrich lives by creating music, but improving the technology which makes the creation, distribution, and attainment of knowledge better/cheaper. All of these things are interconnected.

I always have to learn.

I always have to create.

I always have to spread the material.

Why can't others benefit from this?

Why is it immoral to profit from something creative?

Why must an artist suffer when an artist can create art, but also facilitate its creation?

A paintbrush does not do the painting.

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Why can't others benefit from this?

Why is it immoral to profit from something creative?

Why must an artist suffer when an artist can create art, but also facilitate its creation?

It seems like you're getting upset over things that you can't control. It's impossible to get everyone to think a certain way, especially when rationale is not something they care much about. I think it's important to try to let go of things you can't control, and focus on the things you can. As Anthony Robbins says, "You can’t always control the wind, but you can control your sails."

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It doesn't do any good to expend energy needlessly.

It is most certainly irrational of me to take responsibility for variables which I can not control. This is the opposite of giving all personal power away to others, which I am guilty of.

I will continue to be wary of those who guarantee freedom from a future which cannot be predicted with 100% accuracy.

To deny uncertainty is to deny reality.

We are fortunate in this day and age that we can find people to share our thoughts with in a constructive manner.

I will continue to seek out people who believe in progress and the pursuit of one's happiness, and leave those behind who wish for destruction of individuality.

Edited by VoltageControl
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It's not too late to pursue your career in the field of music, or in any other pursuit you're interested in. I think it's important to remember that when an individual starts a new skill, they are not starting as a blank slate as they were when a beginner in life. What I mean is that previous knowledge of all that has been integrated in ones life will help to speed up a new career and/or interest. (I think Steve Jobs had said something along the lines of "You can only connect the dots looking backwards") You may be surprised in what can be done in a short amount of time, if you have the passion for it. Have fun while learning the essentials, the principles and elements of the chosen skill. When you can see yourself making errors and are conscious of them, then you're on a good path in that you can improve faster. Videotape/record yourself to speed up the process of learning. Read a lot, reflect. Keep coming back to the same activity because you'll do it better than before and take advantage of that spiral theory of knowledge.

Anyways, I don't think one should live life thinking as if the past has a debt on them, or that they should try to be consistent with previous choices, when a new context has opened up which was closed earlier in life. For instance, "I shouldn't do action x because if I do that then what could I have done when I was younger, etc." I think that since an individual can only make decisions based on the knowledge they have, if new opportunities open up later in life in combination with all they can see with their 20/20 hindsight, then go for it.

Interesting that a young individual starting a skill only has the advantage of a potential in that they potentially have more time to master a skill since they may live longer. The older individual has the advantage of an actual, in that they actually start a new skill with more knowledge(from a different field and walk of life. (While age is not necessarily a prerequisite for knowledge, I assume that the older an individual is, with integration, the more knowledge they may have.) Use what you've learned at your given age to your advantage. I assume that an older individual would waste less time the older they are, knowing that they may have less time, compared to a wild youth unsure of what they want to pursue. The wild ones figure out what they want though and can pursue it when older.

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Well, I've never completely given up on it, so it's not like I'm starting at square one.

I've been learning production skills and practicing off and on for years.

I've just never devoted a lot of energy to pursuing it because of low self-esteem, and being told by many people that my purpose in life wasn't to think or create, but sacrifice myself to a "good" Union job or depend on the government to give me a "good" job.

(I do think Unions are one of the most evil things ever created because they teach people that their life is not their responsibility, and it is their God-given right to a high wage, healthcare, and an expensive retirement package, and that anyone who is not part of the Union gang, is evil.)

Old enough to have had some life experience (30), still young enough to have youthful energy and look young for my age.

I am starting to feel that I don't have a lot of time left already, especially when I see how young some of the talent is. Of course, maybe people just give up on creativity when they reach a certain age.

Especially with all of the uncertainty in the world, and the fact that people and their contributions to society are seen as commodities to be bought and sold by the looters of all walks of life, it's worth Moving The World if I can.


Why is the entertainment industry full of so many Communists/Liberals? It's quite Capitalistic in nature.

Edited by VoltageControl
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I am starting to feel that I don't have a lot of time left already, especially when I see how young some of the talent is. Of course, maybe people just give up on creativity when they reach a certain age.

It sounds like you're trying to make yourself measure up to some standard that you haven't even defined. Are you trying to be the best artist that ever lived? Do you want to make sure you are "better" than the people you speak badly of? The focus really shouldn't be on any of these things. The point of doing anything is that it fulfills you, *not* to be admired by others, or for others to see how good you are at something. While those things are nice, including being one of the best at something, when they become the focus, you'll become overly concerned with being "good enough". With Objectivism, virtue isn't about fitting into some detached-from-reality image of perfection. Virtue is about achieving your own goals, and a great quality of life.

Edited by Eiuol
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One of the reasons I'm having trouble putting together tutorials and patches to benefit other musicians, and moving forward with a couple of projects, on top of finishing some songs is the "not good enough" mentality.

Not to mention, that I am around a lot of very negative people, who are not supportive at all, especially when I can benefit so many other people, as well as myself. They think that I am wasting my time. At present, I am having difficulty getting away from them.

However, I do use technology to connect with people who do believe in the power of the Individual.

I think suffering and leaving your future up to the whims of another person is a waste of time and causes a great deal of pain.

Why do so many people think suffering to make someone else rich or doing work which brings them no joy is so damn virtuous and wonderful?

So many people in my life are always eager to tell me what I should be doing. But, I don't take them seriously because they aren't successful, wealthy, or happy.

For example, everyone around me is wondering why I am "foolishly" pursuing this instead of focusing on working hard to defer life until I'm 65. Honestly, I see my grandmother in a nursing home and see how bitter and angry many old people are. A lot of pension plans are going the way of the dodo, and people don't stay with the same organization for 30+ years.

I keep telling them that never before in history has there been so much opportunity to form connections with others and trade value for value, there are also people who are more experienced/knowledgeable than I am at various things related to music/business/marketing that think I have potential, we discuss all sorts of things.

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We live in an age of technology and infinite connections.

People ignore reality and live in some fantasy world where the world is still like the one my grandparents lived in.

A world of entitlement, safety, and security.

Anyone who dares speak of the truth is evil or doesn't want "work hard".

If I am going to take on all the pain and the risk, it is going to be for my benefit, and not for the benefit of those who demand that I become a sacrificial lamb to the animal existence they are OK with because they lack courage and imagination..

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This came to mind. You can easily replace 'parents' with 'friends,' 'coworkers,' 'family,' etc:

"Your parents would rather you be OK than have a remarkable career at the cost of great personal risk. More than any other third party you might look to, your parents are going to give you fear-driven advice. Fear-driven advice is geared toward not losing. Thinking about not losing is not the way to win! Winners take risks. They think about where they want to go—not where the rest of the pack is. Fear-driven career planning is more likely to land you in a cubicle farm for the rest of your life than on the path to greatness. Sure, it’s safe, but it’s no fun. A generation ago, fun wasn’t a deciding factor when we talked about career choices. Jobs aren’t supposed to be fun. They’re supposed to bring home the bacon. Fun is what you do on your off days. Fun happens in the evenings and weekends. But if your job isn’t fun, as we’ve come to realize, you don’t do a fantastic job at it. It’s not so much that things are different now, but our cultural understanding of what it means to work has shifted for the better. More of us understand that passion leads to excellence. And without fun, there’s unlikely to be any passion in a software job." [1]

If you look at it this way, the 'negative' people you mentioned probably really care about you, and just want to see you succeed.. But their idea of 'success' and 'work' is different than yours.

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Far too many people have outdated values and don't even question what other people tell them.

(As for my upbringing it's more than just traditional values getting in the way. There was actual abuse, but I don't need to get into that.)

Everyday I read the news reports of pensions going away, people who've worked at organizations for years with great track records being laid off at the drop of a hat, and knowing that Social Security isn't going to be there for us.

So, frankly I'm not going to shove my head in the sand and do what the herd thinks is right, but it's obviously not working any more.

I connect with creative types and entrepreneurs who are building things. They are at various levels of success.

These are my people.

These are the people I believe in.

These are the people who believe in me.

Some of them are like me, and are dropouts; people who just didn't fit into the rigidity of the faulty educational systems of the world which destroy individuality and demand only one right way of thinking. Some of them are people with extensive formal education.

It's a great collection across the board. One of them is a high school dropout who makes more in a year than most Ivy League graduates.

The "safety" first people think I'm doing everything wrong. The creative/entrepreneurial people expect mistakes, but learn from them, rather than avoid them. The "safety" first people believe there is one path. The creative/entrepreneurial people forge their own path.

I don't believe in the work until you die crowd. I think they're foolish for believing that someone is going to take care of them, especially when they start protesting the "evil" of Capitalism ala OWS.

People also very much are against failure, they want perfection.

Failure is probably the best teacher.

I fail all the time.

I love learning, but I hate being told there is only one right path. (Birth-Elementary-Junior High-High School-College-Grad School-Work-Death).

Where is there time to live and be you in all of that? Where is the time to spend growing yourself if it's all about pleasing society?

Life isn't safe and predictable.

No one cares how hard you worked or how long when they're handing out pink slips.

No amount of education or experience is going to save you in today's world.

When people are in a job where they are rigidly controlled as cogs, they honestly believe their boss will and should take care of them. These are the same people who are eager to decry capitalism as evil.

Building something wonderful is a risk, as is staying in a "safe" career. It's just that certain risks are seen as "better".

Unless you went to Harvard or mom and dad are rich, you're unlikely to stay working and advancing in the same company for life.

There's a whole world out there I want to see while I am still young enough to do it, not when I'm 70 and my joints don't work.

It's amazing what people can do these days, but the "safe" people don't want to bother to even look beyond their own little worlds.

As anyone someone who has read the work of Seth Godin, being generic will lead to obscurity and loss in today's world. Being remarkable is what we all must be.

i'd rather take the risk rather than leave my life up to someone else.

People can hate me all they want, but if I succeed I know they will want to take it all from me.

That's the way it works: sabotage you on the way up, and bring you down from the top.

Edited by VoltageControl
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