I pulled up a YouTube video on proper standard tuning for a guitar, and an ad appeared before the video — one of those ones you can’t skip in five seconds. This guy with dark, slicked back hair and thick-rimmed glasses was talking about his Lamborghini and Ferrari, but he stopped and placed an emphasis on his bookshelf impractically located in that same garage. These were more important to him than his cars, he said.

So, who is this pretentious idiot? His name is Tai Lopez, a millionaire entrepreneur and motivational speaker. His website, tailopez.com, contains interesting reads such as “Don’t Follow Your Passion,” “The Real Reason You Are Broke” and “How I Went From Broke To Buying A Lamborghini.”

Finally, somebody who knows all the answers.

Lopez also believes that you shouldn’t be addicted to self-help because it “will make you an insight junkie when it comes to self-help. You’ll start looking for more and more insight every day without stopping to implement it.”

The problem with people such as Lopez is they force-feed their beliefs down your throat quicker than a missionary at your doorstep. If you’re not careful, you’ll quickly forget how to think for yourself for once. And that’s the most important way to think. Originality is a trait that will make you a leader, not just another sheep in the herd.

Lopez likes to flaunt reading a book every day. I’m glad he has that kind of free time on his hands. I know I sure don’t. He sees the world through two lenses: intellect and materialism. Sure, financial security is nice, but having multiple luxury cars and flaunting them in a YouTube ad makes you come across as a pompous jerk, the Richie Rich of cyberspace.

Cars and houses are stereotypical symbols of wealth. Sometimes the wealthiest people choose to live their life humbly. Growing up, I remember there was this old, beat-up house on the corner of the street near my house. I asked my mother why anybody would ever want to live there. But she explained to me that the man who lived there was rich, and that’s the way some people simply choose to live.

It’s not all about the glamour. It’s about the good you do for the world and those who inhabit it. What the Notorious B.I.G. said is true: “The more money you make, the more problems you get.” What Lopez is doing is creating a culture of money and success-hungry individuals trying to make it in a cutthroat world.

In another video, Lopez asks a bunch of attractive women if they like his Ferrari — they all scream for joy. He then asks about his Lamborghini — again, they all scream. “Now what’s your favorite book?” They pause for a second, and one replies by saying “The Notebook.” “The Notebook?” Lopez questions in a confused manner.

Not reading books doesn’t make you stupid or any less intelligent than somebody like Lopez. It’s one thing to use your intellect to educate others and engage them in meaningful and thoughtful conversations. But to put them down for not being well-versed in literature is not only condescending, it’s also immature. The fact that YouTube would even allow this guy to advertise with them is disappointing.

Former head coach of the UCLA men’s basketball team, John Wooden, once said: “Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.”

Email Chris Burek at opinions@cardinalpointsonline.com

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