Every day, people are complaining that their lives are too hard. They can’t catch a break. They’re able-bodied, fluent in English and are living in America – where no matter how bad your situation there are thousands of ways to get free education, meet the right people and claw your way out of poverty.
They make every excuse from them being born into a poor family to racial profiling to the “man” holding them back. Unsuccessful people seem to have an unlimited number of excuses as to why they’re unsuccessful, yet they can’t come up with even one solution or step to take in the right direction.
As an immigrant myself, coming from a poor family who immigrated to America with all the same opportunities as anyone else, I know how difficult it is to “make it” in this country. I truly know the meaning of inequality and having disadvantages.
But when there are literally millions of living examples who defy the odds and make it big in America, what excuse can someone come up with that explains their lack of success? The way I see it, if immigrants can do it, what the hell is everyone else’s excuse?
Comparing apples to apples
There are a few common excuses the chronically unsuccessful make every day as to why they haven’t gotten anywhere in life. Many of these people aren’t immigrants. They’re American born, English speaking white men and women who already are at a huge advantage versus your average immigrant.
Even the worst “poor person” and their definition of “challenges” is nothing compared to what immigrants like myself and my friends had to overcome to achieve success. Let’s take a look and see how it really stacks up.
The “I was born poor” excuse
This is the same excuse as people who say they can’t escape their circumstances.
They came from a poor family and live in the projects – so how can they every escape poverty?
Not all poor people have this problem. Many unsuccessful people I’ve met aren’t born poor or live on the slums. They come from middle or lower middle class families.
On the flip side, just about every single immigrant that comes to Anerica is poor and living in the slums. They didn’t accumulate lots of money and decided to come to America to become even wealthier. They likely spent all their money to get here and are only here as a last resort to give their children a better life. So whenever someone uses the “but I was born poor” excuse, know that every immigrant shop owner dealt with exactly this same issue. However, unlike some unsuccessful people, this was pretty much guaranteed to them.
The “system” or the “man” is holding me back excuse
This is a popular one. Unsuccessful people love to say there is some magical force called the “system” or the “man” that’s keeping them down. It’s the rich or the economy that’s holding them back from being successful.
First of all, this is moronic. Nothing like this exists.
Second, think about what you’re saying. You’re saying that you, being born and speaking the language, are being held back from success?
What about immigrants? This is another “excuse” that pretty much every immigrant is guaranteed to have to endure. To immigrants, there actually is a system holding them back. It’s called immigration.
For most immigrants, simply getting to live in America is a challenge. When they are here, there are endless amounts of paperwork and other obstacles to face. Try getting a job, even a remedial job, when you don’t speak English. Or when you have to deal with a VISA or foreign exchange papers. When there are endless amounts of English speaking, American born citizens lining up for the same job, it’s pretty damn hard to even get employed in the first place.
So stop making this excuse.
The “I can’t be successful because I’m not educated” excuse
This one is downright idiotic. Even if you come from the crappiest neighborhood and school systems, at least you have access to something. Most people don’t understand that outside of America, most other countries have terrible access to education or none at all. Even getting hold of a computer with internet access is difficult in most countries.
In America, you can hop on the bus and get to a library. Who’s going to stop you?
I know many immigrants who had great education in their countries – but when they arrive in America, it’s worthless. They have to start over and even get a GED just to get a remedial job.
Take your perceived “problem” of having no education, and add some more challenges on top of it. How about having to educate yourself and having to learn English at the same time?
How about not being able to read street signs or knowing how to read a map to even get on a bus to get to a library? What about not getting enrolled in school because you’re not a citizen? There are endless problems that make education 100x harder to obtain, even at their lowest levels, if you’re an immigrant.
So stop making this excuse. You have it so much easier than any immigrant by simply being a natural resident of America.
The “poor pitiful me” excuse
This excuse is interesting because it seems to exist only in America. Poor people in America have gotten sort of a “victim status” associated with them over the last few decades.
Here’s an interesting fact. In most countries outside of America, being poor is considered shameful. Unless you suffer from some severe handicap, being poor in most other countries is simply unacceptable.
There are no government programs or food stamps. If you’re poor, you don’t eat. Period.
How can you possibly sit around, being poor and feeling sorry for yourself? Do you think when my family immigrated here 40 years ago, they got off the boat and sat around feeling bad for themselves? Do you think they said “poor me” and complained to everyone about how unfair their lives were and how bad their luck was? No, they didn’t.
Why? Because if they did, they would starve. Their kids would starve. You would be shocked at how many immigrants, even today, have no idea what food stamps or government housing is. They don’t exist in their countries, so they don’t even think of it as an option when they arrive here.
They get off their asses, work 3 jobs and put food on the table. They don’t complain and they don’t feel bad for themselves. They do whatever it takes and however long it takes to survive.
If immigrants can be successful, you have no excuse
Now let’s get back to you. Let’s assume you’re one of the vast majority of white, American born, English speaking poor people. The worst times in your life, where you “feel” like you’re at rock bottom, doesn’t pale in comparison to the “normal” circumstances that every immigrant has to deal with.
How is it that some of the most successful people I know are immigrants? Why is it that immigrants are out-earning and out-performing American born citizens year after year? The statistics are scary – immigrants keep succeeding while everyone else – who are born here, speak the language, and have nothing to lose – are lagging behind.
So take your long list of excuses – get them all. We all know most unsuccessful people use these excuses to avoid trying or to remain in a constant state of self pity – they’re poor by choice.
Take that big long list of reasons why you’re broke, poor and unmotivated. Now remember that your list is still better than most immigrants. Take your list of excuses, and add these on top of it:
- You don’t speak English
- You’re racially profiled because you look different than everyone else
- You have no family or friends here
- You can’t get a job because you aren’t a citizen
Plus the other endless difficulties that arise from being an immigrant. Take that list, and then add being poor on top of that too – and then you’ll know what it’s like to be an immigrant.
By the logic of poor people, who claim being successful is virtually impossible, immigrants should all remain poor forever, right? Wrong. They succeed…and they do it in droves.
So before you start complaining, think long and hard what real difficulties look like – and instead of being a victim, think like an immigrant. Honestly, if immigrants like me can succeed in America, you have no excuse. You’re poor because you’re lazy, filled with pity or a combination of both. Take a lesson from immigrants who have actual challenges to overcome – not your bullshit challenges – but actual challenges, and ask yourself why immigrants are kicking your ass in every area of life.
Because no matter how bad you think your circumstances are, immigrants have it much harder and they succeed nonetheless.