Adam Piggott

Gentleman adventurer

27th trait – The modern man knows that life is unfair.


Lucky second last on the list:

The modern man knows that life is unfair.

A friend of mine is afraid of flying. The only thing that will calm him down is the sight of an extremely beautiful woman who is getting on the same plane as he is. He figures that if such a goddess is on his flight then nothing bad can happen. The laws of fate would not let bad things happen to such an angel.

A fear of flying is not that irrational but this man’s coping mechanism certainly is. However, it works for him so who am I to begrudge him this small comfort? The truth is that bad things can certainly happen to the beautiful people of this world. Bad things can happen to everybody. This includes you.

The sooner you understand that the world is not fair the sooner you can free yourself of lethargy and move forward. If the world is not fair then you had better make the most of what you have right now. The world is not reciprocal. Just because you do the right thing does not mean that others will bestow the same blessing upon you. In reality they’ll probably see you as an easy mark and concentrate on you that little bit more.

Many parents have a tendency to constantly praise their child. They tell him how wonderful he is, how he has such a high intelligence, how everyone loves him, how he is destined for special things. That is a lot of pressure to live up to. Most kids in this situation hang back and achieve little. How terrible it would be to discover that you weren’t actually that special after all.

It takes a long time for kids to recover from that sort of upbringing. Trust me, I know. It normally needs an impersonal attack on a large scale to knock them out of it. Nothing is more terrifying than an impersonal attack. You can rationalize away a personal attack as being the fault and problem of the other person. But an impersonal attack has an enormous connotation behind it. A giant beast that sits on its shoulders.

That’s because an impersonal attack is inherently unfair.

Understanding that the world is unfair frees you from its chains. The man who goes through life always following the rules will be a guaranteed loser. He is the one who dutifully waits for the sound of the starting gun, and then lifts his head and begins to run. It is only then that he notices that his competitors took off long before him. On arrival at the finish line he will console himself with the fact that he did the right thing. The older one gets the less comfort this bitter pill brings.

I am not advising you to cheat nor to shatter your morals. It is enough to acknowledge the game and step to the side to play it another way. You want to play the game on your terms not theirs. This gives you a chance in the game of life. In order to take this chance you need to be a risk taker.

The dutiful company man who follows orders to the letter and plays the company game is in effect a slave. The company owns him. What he fears losing is his job and associated status and this fear is what enables the company to keep him in line. It’s what you have that controls you; not what you don’t have.

But there are always a few people in an organization who are outside the slave pen. They have skills that the company cannot easily replace. The company needs them more than they need the company. As long as they remain valuable they can get away with behavior that their peers can only dream about. Does this seem unfair to you?

You can whinge and moan about it or you can position yourself accordingly. But that means taking risks and most people don’t want to take risks. They want the quiet safe road, which ironically makes them much more vulnerable. Deep down they know this which is why they hate the risk takers so much. And they can safely rationalize their choices with the lament that life is not fair.

Saying that life is not fair is for losers. It signifies that the person abdicated their personal power for the illusion of safety. This is not the behavior of a man. It is the behavior of a slave. Understand that life is unfair but do not use it as a crutch. Acknowledge the fact and then be prepared to take some risks.

The modern man knows that life is unfair.


The art of keeping score.


The audiobook has been released.


  1. Khan

    “What do you think is missing from the list?”

    Hunting, the modern man knows how to kill an animal and eat it. Doesn’t necessarily have to include guns, could just be fishing.

    • Khan

      Learning to defend yourself, learning a second language.

      • Adam

        All good ones, I’ll address them next week.

  2. dearieme

    The dutiful company man … needs to accumulate a “Get stuffed!” fund.

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