Paul Graham – Cities and Ambition

A very interesting article PG essayed recently titled ‘Cities and Ambition’. It discusses how cities inspire ambition, differ in the type of ambition they inspire, and how being in a city is closely tied to how your life unfolds and your success in life in a certain field. The Article

His essays are a must-read. Brilliant, insightful, and inspiring. A superb observation he makes in this essay:

“There’s an imbalance between encouragement and discouragement like that between gaining and losing money. Most people overvalue negative amounts of money: they’ll work much harder to avoid losing a dollar than to gain one.”

This “overvaluing negative amounts of money” is the trap I’ve tried to avoid falling into all my adult life. Growing up, we were a typical middle-class family. Although my mom never, ever made me and my sister feel it and we always had what we wanted, finding bargains, saving a few Rupees here, some there, no matter how much effort that took was a common thing. Most of us who grew up with limited amounts of money are well aware of this.

Years ago, I remember telling my mom once that no matter what I will build my life around putting more effort into how to earn enough money to fuel my lifestyle with minimal pain and worry than to spend countless hours trying to save a penny. I have no strong desire to be filthy rich and live an ultra luxurious lifestyle (though it doesn’t hurt) but it has become my philosophy that money is purely a by product of your choices and your life’s work. We give money undue importance and spend more time working to save it than to pursue our passion and calling that will ultimately result in bringing us the money we need.

Anyways, I digress. Ambition (but not at all costs) is a sexy thing. It’s a high.