The Illusion of Misery

Carter Thomas
7 min readApr 11, 2024


One of my favorite quotes is:

“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” — Mark Twain

We can all relate to this. Part of getting older is realizing how much of our lives is experienced in our mind vs in the material world. With this comes wisdom and often humility. Ask any person at the end of their life and they will give you advice that seems painfully simple.

Our beliefs direct our lives. What we believe, both consciously and subconsciously, will determine the choices we make and the actions we take. It will determine the actions we don’t take. Our beliefs justify everything we do.

The explosion of meme coins in this cycle has brought a wave of young people hitting the lottery. It has summoned whales from years past to come back and tell us the Science of Picking Winners (lol). It has given hope to an army of mercenary capital, most of which is age 15–25 young men, telling each other that this is their ticket out of the matrix. No, babe, it’s not gambling — I have a real edge bc of this Telegram group I’m in. If I simply click Ansem’s comments fast enough, I’ll be free of the coming apocolypse.

Every day I see posts that are perfectly bubbled by Elon’s algorithm, reminding me just how possible it is to start from nothing and wake up with $100,000 in my Phantom wallet. It is usually flanked by a commentary about how fucked the future is for young people and how college is a scam. Over and over, young men age 18–22 post their wins on X dot com, reminding me that digging into meme coins is the escape valve from this evil world we live in. The 20 winners are influencing the 50,000 readers more than we could ever know.

The belief system that comes with this is obvious — getting a corporate job is a death sentence to the soul. The is no opportunity left. This is the last chance anyone has to get ahead of the oncoming hyperinflation. The proverbial “They” — elites, politicians, deep state and media moguls — are trying to keep us blind to what’s going on. “They” are feeding us blue pills each day to keep us in line and to stop asking questions.

This has always been a hallmark of crypto, especially BTC, but in the year of the Dragon it has gone off the rails. And so I will offer a counter argument in the small chance someone young from Crypto Twitter stumbles upon this post.

You see, my friend, most of what you are saying is simply bullshit. You are absolutely right that the government is mostly corrupt, that debt is out of control, politics is a cesspool and that working at a job you hate is one of the worst ways to spend a life.

What’s bullshit, however, is that you choose to focus on these things.

As humans we surround ourselves with people who have the same belief systems we do. We always have, we always will. This is one reason the online world is so polarizing. None of this is news.

But what we often don’t do is challenge our core beliefs. We don’t find ways to upend our lives and flip it on its head to determine the validity.

What I wish I could say to some of these young guys is why don’t you spend your time finding people who absolutely love their jobs? Find other young men who are building passionate startups that aren’t just about the money, artists who are innovating in new and exciting ways, working for corporate companies that, if you can believe it, are actually great places to work.

What I think you would find is that these people are stoked about the future. They believe in something bigger. They don’t need to “get ahead” because each day is enough. Everything will work out.

Objectively speaking, aren’t those the highest quality people? Wouldn’t you rather spend time with winners who are building something great vs 200 degenerates in a Telegram group gambling their way “out of the matrix?”

I’m not saying what YOU believe, I’m saying objectively which do you think is better.

I give this example because if I was 20yrs old and in crypto, it would physically bother me to hang out with happy people who worked at a job they loved and thought the future looked bright. Even the idea of it would bother me. It would shatter everything I believe about life and about my future. It would somehow deflate the purpose I think I have.

I would dismiss it and go back to my dopamine rat race, oblivious to the fact that I am a mindless lemming staring at a computer screen 18hrs a day just like everyone else in the matrix trying to get ahead. I would continue to consume ZeroHedge content and sacrifice sleep to find the next huge winner.

I would continue to remind myself that if I don’t do this, I’m completely fucked. If I don’t constantly remind myself how Social Security and Medicare and the two party system will all collapse, I’m going to live a life on welfare. I would wake up each day, guzzle my diet of adderall, coffee, and Zyns so I could lock into the comfortable buzz of cortisol and adrenaline.

Because, you know, life can’t be easier than this. It HAS to be this intense if I want to live a happy, meaningful life. Yet somehow once I get the money, I’ll stop. Lol.

This is the game many in crypto are playing. I know this bc I have been there. I know how it feels and I know how unbelievably hard it is to break free of. Then I go for a walk and hear some birds chirping and feel a sudden wave of relief, as if God is injecting some new hope into me. That is quickly shut down by the demons of the ego, forcing me back into the dark game of MORE.

The idea is so clear at the beginning — grind as hard as possible, make a few million on meme coins, parlay that into long term investments and live out your life protected from the oncoming chaos. But have you actually thought this through? Do you really know what it’s like to fundamentally alter your identity? Because that’s what will be required to do this…and most people can’t do it, spending the rest of their days feeding the demons of future disaster instead of finally embracing the joys of life.

The world is full of challenges. In 2024, I see them just as much as you do. Granted, I am in a different financial position from many young people reading this, but that doesn’t change the choices I make.

You think it does — you think that if you had a certain amount of money you’d feel differently, but you won’t. It takes a lot of deep, hard work to be positive no matter what your bank account says. This is the real work.

Because the cruel joke of money is that once you have it, you will slowly lose it until you heal your relationship with it. Until you stop needing it to feel safe. And if you don’t know how to feel safe without seven or eight figures to your name, you’re in for a long life of addiction and mental prison.

While the future looks like a bleak, terrifying place to be, I am reminded that history is written by optimists. Optimists are the people that make real money and KEEP real money. Optimists are happier. Optimists focus on how good things can get and how much they can influence those positive outcomes.

Each day we get to choose the story we tell ourselves. It is not easy and is impossibly hard when you’re young and 90% of your life is spent online with other crypto addicts. But there is hope.

You can still fall in love no matter what inflation is. You can still feel the warmth of sunshine and the blissful relief of a cold ocean regardless of government debt. You can still lift weights and do yoga even if the market crashes. You can still move to Montana and live in a smaller house and cut your expenses 90% if you really need to. You can spend an afternoon with your child playing in the dirt and experience more bliss than a 50x weekend.

Anything can happen in this life. Literally anything is possible if you believe it is.

Because guess what — that’s what people have done for the last 500+ years. Struggle is not new. Misery is not new. The future is always uncertain.

The macro landscape is bleak for the coming years but the micro landscape has never been brighter. It is only when we focus on the beauty of this life will the riches flow into our bank accounts. Take the resistance you feel towards this blog post and use it to challenge your own daily decisions.

Most of your worries will never actually happen.