I think when you’re younger you see people who work real hard as being suckers. I remember when I first moved to Hollywood, I would leave every night exactly when my required time ended. I looked down on the people that were still there when I left. It’s sort of a lack of perspective mixed with petulance and condescension.

And because you don’t know any better, you start to think that the only thing standing between you and whatever you hope to accomplish is never giving into the life these people seem to have found tolerable. They don’t know that things have changed. The 9-5 is over, unnecessary.

Look at the shit in this idiot’s bio. It takes what we’d consider to be ordinary and lists them as accomplishments. He met Penelope Trunk! He shook Warren Buffet’s hand! He hosted a charity mixer! He doesn’t just want you to know this, he wants to be credited for it. Congratulated even. If only he could think for a second about:

A horse at the end of the race…

A dog when the hunt is over…

A bee when its honey is stored...

All this talk about blogs, and start-ups, and self-publishing and global micro-brands. It’s a mask for a enormous sense of entitlement. In a weird way, it has created a culture of people I know who almost disdain work, or at least, anything that might be perceived as traditional kinds of work.

They want to have a blog where they can communicate with some imaginary audience. Or they’re going to work at start-up and babble about equity. Or travel and live abroad. These all seem like normal teenage idealism, but to me they feel like schemes.

An interesting fact about recessions is that in them, people tend to be more likely to fall for scams and charlatans. Oh, I’m making a ton of money flipping houses. I support myself by playing online poker Uh-huh, and what do you think “I’m a social media strategist” is, or “I’m a location-independent freelance consultant.” It’s the same bullshit. It’s the same lie.

As a human being, your job is to work. To show up. To learn. To contribute. Not to come up with excuses, surround them with buzz words and demand thanks for coming up with a new way of life. Because you didn’t. You just found what weak minds have always gravitated to: a false sense of superiority at the expense of a real opportunity.

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.