Over my 24-year financial advising career, I met with over 8000 individuals and couples which gave me a glimpse into human behavior.  I never took a poll, but I guesstimate that 70% of the people I came in contact with were optimistic and happy people.   My guess is this would reflect in our overall population because the majority of the people I run into are relatively happy and if you asked them how they’re doing, they would generally respond in a positive manner unless they are having a bad day.  We all are entitled to a bad day every so often.

The next 20% I would categorize as being pessimistic and someone that feels “down on life.”  These folks will look at the glass as “half full”.  They roam around like Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh.  “Poor me.  Nobody likes me.  Life isn’t fair.”  These types of people are harmless although you do feel bad for them because you want to cheer them up, but you realize that they have to do it for themselves.

The last 10% are made up of the miserable.  This is someone that is not only down on their own life, but they want to make your life miserable too.  We have all met that toxic person at work, acquaintance, or perhaps even a family member.  These people brighten the room when they leave it.  These types normally hide in the shadows as an internet troll or the person that is always putting other people down to try to make themselves look and feel better.

A bucket of crabs

Fill up a bucket with a bunch of crabs and see what happens.  The crabs will start crawling over each other to try to get out.  However, once one almost makes it out, the other crabs will reach up and pull it back down into the bucket.  The crabs are basically telling us that if they are stuck in the bucket, they don’t want any of the other crabs to successfully climb out.  It’s the “If I can’t be successful, then I don’t want you to be either” mindset.

The roughly 10% of the population that is miserable are nothing more than a crabs sitting at the bottom of the bucket.  Be aware and pay them no mind.  The more attention you give them, the more you fuel their negative behavior, and the more traction they get pulling you down into the bucket with them.

Most people I have encountered and told about me selling my company, writing a book, blogging, etc. have been very positive.  I did have one person, who is an acquaintance and someone I like, look right at me and said, “You’re going to fail”.  I laughed it off because he falls into the crab category and tends to pull for someone to fail versus succeeding.  It’s sad that people are this way but I’m not going to let their miserable life affect mine and you shouldn’t either.

When you announce your early retirement, you’ll figure out who the crabs are in your life.  You’ll get the congratulations and “I’m so happy for you.” from most of the folks.  However, you might have a few crabs that try to poo-poo your dreams.  Keep in mind, they’re reactions will be based off of a negative mindset and also a good bit of jealousy because they are not able to do what you are getting ready to do.

Now go crawl out the bucket and re-write your story.

Live free my friends