Survival and World Domination: Mindset & Attitudes Matter

Marvin Liao
3 min readJan 4, 2023

Looking back over the years, I get the sense that prior to 2020 many of us were sleepwalking through life. Following the scripts stuck in our heads. Doing what we thought were things that mattered but in the end was just bad programming put into our heads by society, mainstream media and well meaning but clueless family and friends.

Now in early 2023, I’ve come to the realization of how wrong I was on so many fronts. Career, money, government, health & society. Almost everything.

And also just how much bad programming I had in my head, how little critical thinking I really did. And how I chased a life of avoiding problems and looking for ease, just like all the other losers out there. I foolishly trusted in the system and was punished accordingly.

It took a global pandemic, grossly incompetent reaction from governments everywhere, major financial stress from a near personal bankruptcy & cash crunch, marriage & family problems to wake me up. That plus a heinous & barbaric Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, where I have many close friends and business interests, so it’s pretty personal. Ukraine is a place I’ve come to love deeply as much as I do Georgia (the country), Portugal, Japan and Taiwan, outside of my homes in Canada and the USA.

I’ve come out of these experiences with more trust in myself and less reliance on others. I’ve changed my mental attitude. When bad things happened before I used to get angry and lose my cool. Thinking loser thoughts like “life is unfair” or “why is this happening to me??”

But for a new better you, your old self must die. You use hardship to remove the impurities in your thinking just like using fire to remove impurities in metal.

Now after reprogramming myself, I don’t panic or get angry (as much). I tell myself “Things don’t happen to me, I HAPPEN to things!!!” I don’t blame anyone or anything. I own it and take full responsibility for everything. I don’t think the world is unfair, nor do I try to hide from problems.

I think that living a “Baller Life” requires that you have to deal with big problems, thanks to Justin Waller Ie. “you judge the size of man on the size of his problems.” Or maybe a better quote is “smooth seas do not make strong sailors.” It helps you realize that these situations are just what happens when you are trying to do big things.

Plus there is just something confidence inspiring about someone who has gone through hardship and comes out stronger for it. As the old Latin saying goes “Dulcius Ex Asperis” which means “Sweeter after Difficulty”.

I’m working on myself all the time: mentally, physically, financially. And I am always trying to be ready for whatever may come my way, whether opportunities or challenges. Sometimes these two things are intertwined.

I’ve learned that personal responsibility is everything. You own the results of your life and cannot rely on anything or anyone. (Maybe except your parents, like in my case). No one else. That’s just the truth. And while it’s a harsher world through this lens, I have no illusions anymore. Illusions are dangerous and blind you.

I grow sick and tired of people complaining about how their lives suck and it’s everyone’s fault but their own. About how It’s society’s fault. Or it’s their parents or their spouses fault etc etc. It’s brain damaging and psychologically sickening. And this is the reason also why most of these people will be NGMI (Not Going to Make It). With no one to blame at the end but themselves.

That Sh-tty attitude will not get them through the massive financial and sociopolitical chaos and pain coming over the next few years. If you thought the last few years were bad, just wait and see what 2023 and beyond will hold. We will be seeing great economic dislocation and the breakdown of globalization. Don’t say you were not warned.

But as I’ve said before, there is a new age coming, with paradise on the other side of this. We’ll all have earned this when we get there.



Marvin Liao

Ever curious: Tsundoku, Reader, Aspiring Shokunin, World traveller, Investor & Tech/Media exec interested in almost everything!