go An unfulfilled Personal Yearnings tentacle is often the explanation, for example, behind a very successful, very unhappy person—who may believe they got successful in the wrong field. The Social Yearnings tentacle is probably our most primitive, animal side, with its core drive stemming back to our tribal evolutionary past. On the tentacle are a number of odd creatures. This means he craves acceptance and inclusion and being well-liked, while likewise being petrified of embarrassment, negative judgment, and disapproval.
More upsetting to it than being disliked is being ignored. It wants to be relevant and important and widely known. There are other characters milling about as well. The judge is also big on holding grudges—which is the reason a lot of people are driven more than anything by a desire to show that person or those people who never believed in them. Finally, some of us may find a loving little dog on our social tentacle who wants more than anything in the world to please its owner, and who just cannot bear the thought of disappointing them. The Lifestyle Yearnings tentacle mostly just wants Tuesday to be a good day.
But like, a really pleasant, enjoyable day—with plenty of free time and self-care and relaxation and luxuries. Life should be full of fun times and rich experiences, but it should also roll by smoothly, without too much hard work and as few bumps in the road as possible. The part of the tentacle that just wants to sit around and relax will hold you back from sweating to build the kind of career that offers long-term flexibility and the kind of wealth that can make life luxurious and cushy and full of toys.
The part of the tentacle that only feels comfortable when the future feels predictable will reject the exact kinds of paths that may generate the long-term freedom another part of the tentacle longs for. The Moral Yearnings tentacle thinks the rest of the tentacles of your Yearning Octopus are a real pack of dicks—each one more self-involved and self-indulgent than the next.
The parts of you on the moral tentacle look around and see a big world that needs so much fixing; they see billions of people no less worthy than you of a good life who just happened to be born into inferior circumstances; they see an uncertain future ahead that hangs in the balance between utopia and dystopia for life on Earth—a future we can actually push in the right direction if we could only get our other tentacles out of our way. While the other tentacles fantasize about what you would do with your life if you had a billion dollars in the bank, the moral tentacle fantasizes about the kind of impact you could make if you had a billion dollars to deploy.
Needless to say, the other tentacles of your Yearning Octopus find the moral tentacle to be insufferable. Likewise, not doing anything for others can hurt you on multiple tentacles—the moral tentacle because it feels guilty and sad, the social tentacle because this may cause others to judge you as a selfish or greedy person, and the personal tentacle because it may lower your self-esteem.
At its basic level, your practical tentacle wants to make sure you can eat food and wear clothes and buy the medicine you need and not live outside.
Then there are the distinct individual yearnings on each tentacle, often in conflict amongst themselves. Or when you want so badly to be respected, but then you remember that a career that wins the undying respect of one segment of society will always receive shrugs from other segments and even contemptuous eye rolls from other segments still. So yeah, your Yearning Octopus is complicated. Human yearning is a game of choices and sacrifices and compromise. When we think about our career goals and fears and hopes and dreams, our consciousness is just accessing the net output of the Yearning Octopus—which is usually made up of its loudest voices.
The stuff in your subconscious is like stuff in the basement of a house. We can go look at it anytime—we just have to A remember that the house has a basement, and B actually spend the time and energy to go down there, even though going down there might suck. The way to start turning the lights on is by identifying what your conscious mind currently knows about your yearnings and fears, and then unpacking it.
Which tentacles in particular are yearning for that career—and which specific parts of those tentacles? You want to find the specific source of the fear. Is it a social tentacle fear of embarrassment, or of being judged by others as not that smart, or of appearing to be not that successful to your romantic interests?
Is it a personal tentacle fear of damaging your own self-image—of confirming a suspicion about yourself that haunts you? Is it a lifestyle tentacle fear of having to downgrade your living situation, or of bringing stress and instability into a currently predictable life? Or are a few of these combining together to generate your fear of making the leap?
Maybe you pine to be rich. All five tentacles can feel a desire for wealth under certain circumstances, each for their own reasons. Unpack it. As you unpack an inner drive to make money, maybe you discover that at its core, the drive is more for a sense of security than for vast wealth. That can be unpacked too. A yearning for security at its simplest is just your practical tentacle doing what your practical tentacle does.
Or perhaps what you really want is a level of security so over-the-top secure it can no longer be called a security yearning—instead, it may be an impulse by the emotional well-being section of your lifestyle tentacle to alleviate a compulsive financial stress you were raised to forever feel, almost regardless of your actual financial situation. The answers to all of these questions lie somewhere on the tentacles of your Yearning Octopus. And by asking questions like these and digging deep enough to identify the true roots of your various yearnings, you start to turn on the basement light and acquaint yourself with your octopus in all its complexity.
Pretty quickly, a yearning hierarchy will begin to reveal itself. Once you have a reasonably clear picture of your Yearning Octopus, you can start doing the real work—work that takes place another level down in your subconscious, in the basement of the basement. Here, you can set up a little interrogation room and one by one, bring each yearning down into it for a cross-examination. Why did that particular Because lead you to want what you now want? And when did that particular Because gain so much gravity with you? You never stopped to ask yourself whether your own accumulated wisdom actually justifies the level of conviction you feel about that core belief.
In a case like this, the yearning is revealed to be an imposter pretending to be an authentic yearning of yours.
In a 1 scenario, you can be proud that you developed that part of you like a chef. You might even find that some of your yearnings and fears were written by you…when you were seven years old. Humble people are by definition influence-able—influences are an important and inevitable part of who each of us is. The key distinction is this:. Or are your influences themselves actually in your brain, masquerading as inner you? Do you want the same thing someone else you know wants because you heard them talk about it, you thought about it alongside your own life experience, and you eventually decided that, for now, you agree?
The former is what chefs do. And a robot is what you become when at some point you get the idea in your head that someone else is more qualified to be you than you are. The good news is that all humans make this mistake—and you can fix it. Getting to know your real self is super hard and never complete. Even our conscious mind knows these yearnings well, because they frequently make their way upstairs into our thoughts. These are the parts of us we have a healthy relationship with. Sometimes new parts of us are born only to be immediately locked up in prison as part of a denial of our own evolution—i.
But there are other times when a part of us is in Denial Prison because someone else locked it up down there. In the case of your yearnings, some of them will have been put there by whatever masked intruder had been taking its place. At some point during your childhood, he threw your passion for carpentry into a dark, dank Denial Prison cell. Leave them for another time—right now, search for locked-away career-related yearnings.
Or a desire to be famous that your particular tribe has shamed you out of. Or a deep love of long blocks of free, open leisure time that your hornier, greedier teenage self kicked downstairs in favor of a raging ambition. The other part of our Yearning Octopus audit will address the hierarchy of your yearnings.
The octopus contains anything that could make you want or not want to pursue a certain career, and the reverse side of each yearning is its accompanying fear of the opposite. The reverse side of your yearning to be admired is a fear of embarrassment. The other half of your craving of self-esteem is a fear of feeling shame.
What looks like a determined drive for success, for example, might actually be someone running away from a negative self-image or trying to escape feelings like envy or under-appreciation. The person doing the ranking is you —the little center of consciousness reading this post who can observe your octopus and look at it objectively.
This involves another kind of compromise. To get all of this in order, we want a good system. You can play around with what works for you—I like the idea of a shelf:. This divides things into five categories. The absolutely highest priority inner drives get to go in the extra special non-negotiable bowl. The bowl is small because it should be used very sparingly—if at all. Like maybe only one thing gets it. Or maybe two or three.
Too many things in the NN bowl cancels out its power, making that the same as having nothing in the bowl at all. Shelf placement is as much about de-prioritizing as it is about prioritizing. This is inevitable. The middle shelf is good for those not-so-noble qualities in you that you decide to accept.
They deserve some of your attention. Most of the rest will end up on the bottom shelf. Likewise, the fewer yearnings you put on the top shelf, the more likely those on the top shelf will be to thrive. Your time and energy are severely limited, so this is a zero-sum compromise. The amateur mistake is to be too liberal with the NN bowl and top shelf and too sparing with the large bottom shelf. But like the rest of your hierarchy decisions, your criteria for what qualifies as trash should be derived from your own deep thought, not from what others tell you is and is not trash.
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Yearnings and fears are impatient and bad at seeing the big picture. Many of the people who have done wonders to make the world better got there on a path that started with selfish motives like wealth or personal fulfillment—motives their moral tentacle probably hated at first.
The Want Box deals with what you find desirable. The Reality Box is the same deal. The goal of self-reflection is to bring both of these boxes as close to accuracy as possible.
For our Want Box audit, we looked under the hood of the Want Box and found its settings—your yearnings and fears. When we open the hood of your Reality Box, we see a group of beliefs. For a career option to qualify for your Reality Box, your potential in that career area has to measure up to the objective difficulty of achieving success in that area. There are traditional careers—stuff like medicine or law or teaching or a corporate ladder, etc. Then there are less traditional careers—the arts, entrepreneurship, non-profit work, politics, etc.
These are perfectly reasonable assumptions—if you live in A general conception, a common opinion, an oft-cited statistic 7 —none of which have actually been verified by you, but all of which are treated as gospel by society. These problems then extend to how we view our own potential. These are only a few examples of the slew of delusions and misconceptions we tend to have about how great careers happen. I have no idea, mostly. And I think most people have no idea. Things are just changing too quickly. If you can figure out how to get a reasonably accurate picture of the real career landscape out there, you have a massive edge over everyone else, most of whom will be using conventional wisdom as their instruction booklet.
Pretty stressful, but also incredibly exciting. A career path is like a game board. There are, however, indications that he wanted plenty of cash on hand to bail out his son if need be. Donald Trump had wildly overspent on renovations, leaving the property dangerously low on operating cash. On Dec. Both the son and the father were masters of manipulating the value of their assets, making them appear worth a lot or a little depending on their needs.
As the chip episode demonstrated, father and son were of one mind about rules and regulations, viewing them as annoyances to be finessed or, when necessary, ignored. As described by family members and associates in interviews and sworn testimony, theirs was an intimate, endless confederacy sealed by blood, shared secrets and a Hobbesian view of what it took to dominate and win. They talked almost daily and saw each other most weekends.
They were both fluent in the language of half-truths and lies, interviews and records show. They both delighted in transgressing without getting caught. They were both wizards at manipulating the value of their assets, making them appear worth a lot or a little depending on their needs. Those talents came in handy when Fred Trump Jr. The executors of his estate were his father and his brother Donald.
Fred Trump Jr. This result was achieved by lowballing all seven buildings. Emblematic of their audacity was Park Briar, a unit building in Queens. As it happened, 18 days before Fred Trump Jr. Yet as Fred Trump Jr. This fantastical claim — that Park Briar should be taxed as if its value had fallen 83 percent in 18 days — slid past the I. During the s, Donald Trump became notorious for leaking word that he was taking positions in stocks, hinting of a possible takeover, and then either selling on the run-up or trying to extract lucrative concessions from the target company to make him go away.
Trump enlisted his father as his greenmailing wingman. On Jan. Dorfman reported that Donald Trump was taking a stake in the company. A week later, Mr. Dorfman reported that Donald Trump had sold, too. With other family members, Fred Trump could be cantankerous and cruel, according to sworn testimony by his relatives. He was different with his son Donald.
Yet canceling the debt would have required Donald Trump to pay millions in taxes on the amount forgiven. Father and son found another solution, one never before disclosed, that appears to constitute both an unreported multimillion-dollar gift and a potentially illegal tax write-off. In December , records show, Fred Trump bought a 7. Tax document showing most of the write-offs for the Trump Palace investments Read document Those documents do not identify who bought his stake. But other records indicate that he sold it back to his son.
The Trump Palace offering plan, submitted in November , identified two owners: Donald Trump and his father. He did not do that, records show. He did, however, sign a sworn affidavit a month after his father sold his stake. Under I. Fred Trump reported no such gift. According to tax experts, the only circumstance that would not have required Fred Trump to report a gift was if Trump Palace had been effectively bankrupt when he unloaded his shares.
Property records show that condo sales there were brisk in By failing to tell the I. At the same time, he declared to the I. Federal tax law prohibits deducting any loss from the sale of property between members of the same family, because of the potential for abuse. The partnership between Fred and Donald Trump was not simply about the pursuit of riches. At its heart lay a more ambitious project, executed to perfection over decades — to create that origin story, the myth of Donald J.
By the late s, instead of appropriating the empire, he was diminishing it. Through it all, Fred Trump played along. But for all Fred Trump had done to build the myth of Donald Trump, Self-Made Billionaire, there was, it turned out, one line he would not allow his son to cross. But in December , Donald Trump sent his father a document, drafted by one of his own lawyers, that sought to make significant changes to that will. Fred Trump, then 85, had never before set eyes on the document, 12 pages of dense legalese. Nor had he authorized its preparation.
Nor had he met the lawyer who drafted it. What happened next was described years later in sworn depositions by members of the Trump family during a dispute, later settled, over the inheritance Fred Trump left to Fred Jr. But more than any of the particulars, it was the entirety of the codicil and its presentation as a fait accompli that alarmed Fred Trump, the depositions show.
He confided to family members that he viewed the codicil as an attempt to go behind his back and give his son total control over his affairs. He said he feared that it could let Donald Trump denude his empire, even using it as collateral to rescue his failing businesses. As close as they were — or perhaps because they were so close — Fred Trump did not immediately confront his son. Instead he turned to his daughter Maryanne Trump Barry, then a federal judge whom he often consulted on legal matters.
When Judge Barry read the codicil, she reached the same conclusion. Fred Trump took prompt action to thwart his son. He dispatched his daughter to find new estate lawyers. Fred Trump signed it immediately. Surgeons had removed a neck tumor a few years earlier, and he would soon endure hip replacement surgery and be found to have mild senile dementia. With every passing year, the actuarial odds increased that Fred Trump would die owning apartment buildings worth many hundreds of millions of dollars, all of it exposed to the 55 percent estate tax.
Just as exposed was the mountain of cash he was sitting on. His buildings, well maintained and carrying little debt, consistently produced millions of dollars a year in profits. Whatever their differences, the Trumps formulated a plan to avoid this fate.
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How they did it is a story never before told. It is also a story in which Donald Trump played a central role. After years of working for his brother, Robert Trump went to work for his father in late They would turn the mountain of cash into a molehill of cash. A family company let Fred Trump funnel money to his children by effectively overcharging himself for repairs and improvements on his properties.
One of the first steps came on Aug. First page of All County incorporation papers Read document. All County had no corporate offices. Its address was the Manhasset, N. Walter, who died in January, spent decades working for Fred Trump, primarily helping computerize his payroll and billing systems. John Walter and the four Trump children each owned 20 percent of All County, records show. Each year Fred Trump spent millions of dollars maintaining and improving his properties. Walter paid to work on his side businesses. It was also not true.
But in , when he began paying All County for refrigerator-stove combinations, the price jumped by 46 percent. Likewise, the price he paid for trash-compacting services at Beach Haven increased 64 percent. Janitorial supplies went up more than percent. Plumbing repairs and supplies rose percent. And on it went in building after building. The more Fred Trump paid, the more All County made, which was precisely the plan. While All County systematically overcharged Fred Trump for thousands of items, the job of negotiating with vendors fell, as it always had, to Fred Trump and his staff.
Eastmond is the owner of A. Fred Trump, accompanied by his secretary and Robert Trump, drove a hard bargain. Eastmond recalled with a chuckle. There was no mention of All County. Eastmond first heard of the company when its checks started rolling in. But as All County paid Mr. Eastmond the price negotiated by Fred Trump, its invoices to Fred Trump were padded by 20 to 25 percent, records obtained by The Times show. All County purchase order and invoice Read document. Eastmond was providing free, along with hookup fees, disconnection fees, transportation fees and operating and maintenance fees, records show.
As an owner of rent-stabilized buildings in New York, Fred Trump needed state approval to raise rents beyond the annual increases set by a government board. One way to justify a rent increase was to make a major capital improvement. It did not take much to get approval; an invoice or canceled check would do if the expense seemed reasonable. Fred Trump, according to Mr. Walter, saw All County as a way to have his cake and eat it, too. Walter explained. All County was the way around this problem.
Tenants repeatedly protested the increases, almost always to no avail, the records show. While the statute of limitations has long since lapsed, Mr. A lucrative income source for Fred Trump was the management fees he charged his buildings. Two months later, records show, Apartment Management started collecting fees that had previously gone to Trump Management. The only difference was that Donald Trump and his siblings owned Apartment Management.
But these savings were trivial compared with those that would come when Fred Trump transferred his empire — the actual bricks and mortar — to his children. In his 90th year, Fred Trump still showed up at work a few days a week, ever dapper in suit and tie. But he had trouble remembering names — his dementia was getting worse — and he could get confused. Six months later, on Nov. A few properties were excluded. The instrument they used to do this was a special type of trust with a clunky acronym only a tax lawyer could love: GRAT, short for grantor-retained annuity trust.
They let dynastic families like the Trumps pass wealth from one generation to the next — be it stocks, real estate, even art collections — without paying a dime of estate taxes. The details are numbingly complex, but the mechanics are straightforward. The children bought the remaining third by making annuity payments to their parents over the next two years.
By Nov. This determined the amount of gift taxes Fred and Mary Trump owed for the portion of the empire they gave to their children. It also determined the amount of annuity payments their children owed for the rest. The I. This is why the I. In practice, though, gift tax returns get little scrutiny from the I. It is an open secret among tax practitioners that evasion of gift taxes is rampant and rarely prosecuted. This appears to be precisely what the Trumps were counting on. The methods the Trumps used to pull off this incredible shrinking act were hatched in the strategy sessions Donald Trump participated in during the early s, documents and interviews show.
A crucial step was finding a property appraiser attuned to their needs. As anyone who has ever bought or sold a home knows, appraisers can arrive at sharply different valuations depending on their methods and assumptions. Over a year career, Mr. Donald Trump recruited him after Fred Trump Jr. To assess the accuracy of those valuations, The Times examined the prices paid for comparable apartment buildings that sold within a year of Mr.
So does dry mouth and lack of dentures. Read more: What good is thinking about death? For those who do speak, it seems their vernacular is often banal. A linguist friend of mine, sitting with his dying grandmother, spoke her name. Her eyes opened, she looked at him, and died. What that plain description omits is how he paused when he described the sequence to me, and how his eyes quivered. But there are no descriptions of the basics of last words or last interactions in the scientific literature. The most linguistic detail exists about delirium, which involves a loss of consciousness, the inability to find words, restlessness, and a withdrawal from social interaction.
Delirium strikes people of all ages after surgery and is also common at the end of life, a frequent sign of dehydration and over-sedation. I thought it became like misty, in some way … the outlines were sort of fuzzy. We can only guess. We have a rich picture of the beginnings of language, thanks to decades of scientific research with children, infants, and even babies in the womb. After her father died, Lisa Smartt was left with endless questions about what she had heard him say, and she approached graduate schools, proposing to study last words academically.
After being rebuffed, she began interviewing family members and medical staff on her own. That led her to collaborate with Raymond Moody Jr.