How a Bus Ride Revealed Why the Poor Stay Poor (and how to avoid the trap)

I’m getting looks.

I’m waiting for the bus in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

I’m the only foreigner there.

I’m also the only one trying to touch my toes in standing position while listening to the Tim Ferris Show podcast.

After I board the bus, I start reading from my e-reader.

An hour later I get off the bus and instead of waiting for the connecting bus like everyone else, I just walk. It’s a long walk, but I use the time to record a voice memo to recap my day and clarify my thoughts.

I’m poor today, but over the course of the next decade I’ll be wealthy.

It’s not because I’m naturally intelligent or good looking, although I’m sure that’s part of it ;]

It’s because I squeeze as much as I can out of every minute.

I’ve been taking that bus every day for the past two months and NOT ONCE have I seen someone reading a book. NOT ONCE have I heard someone listening to a podcast. NOT ONCE have I seen someone stretching or doing pushups at the bus stop (granted I’m a little weird).

And then you know what will happen in 10 years?

Technology will replace a lot of low-wage jobs.

If you work mostly with your hands you are in serious trouble. The future belongs to those who work with their minds. And if you aren’t actively building your mind by acquiring new skills and knowledge then someday you may find yourself staring out of a driverless bus window with little hope in sight.

This is a cautionary tale. It’s not too late!

Here are some 30 day challenges to further nudge us in the right direction:

  1. Read a Chapter Daily

  2. Listen to a Podcast Episode Daily

  3. Write 500 Words Daily

  4. Do 100 Pushups Daily (strong body is important to a strong mind)

  5. Meditate 5 Minutes Daily

  6. Study Website Design 20 Minutes Daily

  7. Study Filmography 20 Minutes Daily

  8. Study Digital Marketing 20 Minutes Daily

  9. Write a Medium Post Daily

  10. Read a Liberal & Conservative Magazine Daily

Disclaimer: This isn’t to say environmental factors don’t play a role in making one poor. In fact, it plays the LARGEST role. I’m just saying that if we are going to get out poverty then we need luck and personal development. One can succeed without the latter, but then the odds are much less in our favors.