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  1. #1
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Default Are you a self-made person?

    Self-made, it means that you were born at a disadvantage and bettered yourself through your own efforts. You lifted yourself by your own bootstraps. Do you consider yourself self-made, where did you start and where are you now? What does it mean to you to have achieved beyond what was laid out for you? Aside from your own gumption, what else contributed to your success?

    Is being self-made even possible?
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  2. #2
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Considering I'm 27 and still live with my parents, I say no.

    Will I hopefully soon be a person that just financed my own way through college, had a decent 8 year long career with another just starting, with a house I paid for and built myself, and with a stable-but-still-ill family that can actually support one another without my assistance? .. I hope I can say that soon.

    Everything I have, and many of the things my family has (whether they recognize it or not) was because of my actions and interventions.
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  3. #3
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    I don't think there's a such thing as a true self-made person. Everyone is where they due to the assistance of someone else on some level.
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  4. #4
    Junior Member Ptah's Avatar
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    While on the one hand I'd say "yes" (to a nontrivial extent, relatively), on the other I'd say I'm as much a product of luck as my own decisions, willpower, etc. Not that I doubt the latter (quite the opposite), but that I cannot dismiss the influence of the former.

    I look at it like this. You are "self-made" insofar as you did not knowingly or willingly rely upon other people any more than was practically, minimally necessary. Rather, you went your own way on your own power/resources (again, insofar as that was possible) and made it work, long-term. So in that sense I'm sorta "self-made", I guess.

    Given my history, it is something of a miracle I'm not in jail, in debt, if not outright dead. Instead I have a home, a career, and a comfortable lifestyle. I didn't finish highschool, never went to college, don't hold any certifications and never really attended any more classes than I was forced to as a child. I'm a relative autodidact, as such? I don't socially network to get jobs, etc. My stubborn individuality (qua autonomy) has worked.

    So far, anyhow. I've always lived with the feeling it might all drop out from under me, since as much as I "earned" (as in worked-for) what I have, the root opportunities themselves were not and never much will be in my control.
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  5. #5
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    At the end of the day, I do have a lot to thank as far as assistance along the way. I made myself early on IMO, building the foundation of my career, but as I've come to understand over the years I have a lot of support from my peers, managers, friends and parents to thank for how far it has come.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    I would say yes to a point. I raised kids on my own for some time, got two degrees and have a fairly successful career. I don't know that I would be at the level I am as far as lifestyle without my husband and he helped me navigate some rough waters with raising our kids. That said, I'm very focused on goals and being in control of my own environment and surroundings. In that respect, I think I am self-made. If I want it, I'm going to go get it, period.
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  7. #7
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    I brought up this topic because I have been jokingly telling a friend, who will be laid off soon, that it's nearly impossible for him to end up on skid row, because he's white and middle-class. Society just wont let him, unless he really just tries to mess everything up.

    I consider myself successful, by my own Perceiver-ey metrics. I've got a killer career in a socio-economic class that affords me all kinds of choice privilege. I've had the leeway to mess up so many times and end up on my feet, I'm divorced, I pay my dues yet afford to live pretty comfortable in a high-cost area, I've owned a couple houses, I've ran a couple small businesses just for fun. I have time to waste. So, I'm starting to wonder, how much of that success can I claim?

    On one hand, I was raised in the hood in a family of 7, without being taught how to aspire, actively discouraged to pursue post High School education, and given almost no tools to succeed in life. I left home at 16 as a H.S. dropout with no idea on how to manage money, maintain a household, or even drive.

    But on the other hand as role models, my mother was recklessly entrepreneurial, my father was voraciously inquisitive, and we always had a computer in the house. We didn't have more tools than a butter knife, better food than government cheese, enough money to give an allowance, but my family had a computer back when not everybody even had a calculator in the house. Then I had lots of help from others on my way 'up'.

    I wonder if that's all success is, proof that things can be accomplished and dumb luck.

  8. #8
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    Given that I was raised in an environment designed to create failure as my life choice, yes I like to think I am where I am somewhat by my own wits. Things are not perfect, of course, I struggle with many things but manage to get by. It's the best I can do right now and it will have to suffice.

  9. #9
    Member Dopa's Avatar
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    I guess I would pretty much fall in the camp of thinking that "self-made" is an illusion. There are so many factors, ones which we both can and can't see, which play into a person's personality and outcomes in life. Genetics, where they were born, who they were born to, lucky events which might have unfolded. Even effort I mostly see as a function of, again, genetics and things like how much dopamine is washing around in your basal ganglia. The stories we tell ourselves and others seem to be confabulations. If I were really in your shoes, I would have done exactly what you did, because I would be you. We all live life the best we know how. We're all trying as hard as we can. It's always certainly convenient to say it was all you, though.

  10. #10
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    I would definitely fall into the "self made" category. I wasn't poor growing up but very much middle class. My dad worked at a factory though he did have a management job. I helped put myself through college - paying for about half of it and owing some when I graduated. I mopped floors, did dishes and other similar tasks in a cafeteria, ultimately progressing to cooking breakfasts. I spent a couple summers working in warehouses and did a number of jobs like that. I was a night guard at a girls dormitory . I did a couple of internships which I completely got on my own (not through college career planning and placement). When I graduated from college, I literally didn't have a dollar in my bank account and slept on a foam rubber cushion for a month or two. Then I embarked on a career and worked really hard for a lot of years to progress up through the ranks. I remember in my first apartment having a little piece of paper on the fridge where I would reward myself with a pair of shoes if I saved up x dollars over two months. My friends made fun of me . I would work late every night - much later than others, year after year after year. My story was pretty much one of sheer persistence and hard work combined with making some decent decisions on an area that I thought would be in high demand from a business perspective. What I'm told is that I basically have always decided what I wanted and gone after it. I'm self directed.

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