Ramit Sethi, in the photo above, is not vegan. At least not unless it’s a very recent development – and one possibly in an undercover, testing phase.
Ramit runs various websites that help people start businesses, improve their thinking and so on. He encourages a ‘wealth mentality’ (as opposed to a ‘poverty mentality’) and jets around the word as he sees fit.
He sent out an email to his list subscribers recently titled, “Successful people never do this.” While it wasn’t about being vegan, the message was something that many people have heard in relation to it.
This is how it starts:
It baffles me every time when someone asks how to do something, gets the perfect answer, then rejects it.
The best example goes like this:
Michelle: “Wow, you look amazing. How did you lose all that weight? How do I get arms like that??”
Sarah: “Thanks! I started eating more vegetables, cut back on my carbs, and started going to the gym 3 times a week.”
Michelle: “Oh, I could never give up carbs. I love bread too much!”
This doesn’t require a lot of imagination to relate to veganism. But to make things concrete and easy, here’s a version about being vegan:
Michelle: “Wow, you’re vegan now? How did you manage it? I would love to be vegan too!”
Sarah: “Yes, i’m really glad i became vegan. I just read up a bit on vegan nutrition, the thinking behind veganism, and… hey presto, here i am! Once you have some nutrition background and really absorb the reasoning behind veganism, that keeps you on track.”
Michelle: “Oh, i could never restrict myself like that. I love cheese too much!”
The original version continues:
END OF CONVERSATION
Do you know people like this??
They complain about something for years, and then when they get the chance to actually do something about it, they give you 50 reasons it won’t work.
I used to get really mad and try to “educate” them on why their approach wouldn’t work. Now I slowly back away with a polite smile on my face. You can’t show fear, or expose your back to these zombie-like creatures.
It’s all fun and games to joke around about people who complain and do nothing, but in fact, we’ve ALL done it.
Since this morning, I’ve received hundreds of questions about Find Your Dream Job. Everyone keeps asking me if it’s right for them.
I’ve seen this time and time again when I launch a course. I’ll have readers following along with every exercise, commenting on every post, writing how excited they are to get started.
And when the course finally opens, suddenly they start second-guessing themselves. “Will this work for me? I’m an international left-handed one-legged narcoleptic…what about THAT? Does your material address people like THAT??”
This is called Special Snowflake Syndrome, and these people will never join. They ask question after question until they find something I say no to — and then they can walk away, satisfied that “Of COURSE this wouldn’t work for me!” What an interesting way to live life. To wait to “figure it out” until someday when things magically align 100% perfectly.
Apart from not agreeing with the description of these people as “zombie-like creatures” and how much “fun and games” it is to joke about them – especially as Ramit acknowledges we’ve all been there in one way or another – there is a lesson here.
The reason aspiring vegan Michelle says she “can’t restrict herself like that” and professes her love for cheese – a smelly kind of love? – is because she doesn’t understand the reason for veganism or feel it ‘in her bones.’
Sarah gave her this puzzle key, albeit it in micro form: that to do something – in this case become vegan – she has to get the why? The why is a precursor to the how.
The how without the why is empty, without substance. It’s the vegan, detox, weight loss, health-seeking, purifying, seekers…. diets, and the diets alone. Which is not to dismiss any of these goals – for health, weight loss and so on – but the goals alone are not veganism.
Veganism requires people to understand the why, to look beyond themselves and recognise the children, women and foreign races of the past – the spark of conscious life – in the animals of today.
Without those things, ‘veganism’ is like a matchstick house, ready to be blown away by the next gust of wind.