What I’ve done for the past few years is think obsessively about life and how to live it better, cos lets face it, the way things are now is pretty messed up. We live out our lives within this present status quo, and we cannot help but feel like the bulk of this is bullshit. No matter how much we try to bury ourselves in the nitty gritty and chase one thing after the other, we know that we are just running in circles, chasing our own tail.
There is an old world…It is dying very quickly, decaying all around, even though the old guards and the old builders are scurrying about frantically to make it seem it ain’t so. But it is. In the old world, if you asked ‘What is success?’ the basic answer was ‘Make money and buy tons of stuff’. We are born into a moving river and are forced to sink, swim or get into someone’s boat. Forced to live in a money economy. Forced to create and live in a consumer culture. Forced to live a life of working to consume.
We survive I suppose, we trudge along, but the side effects are severe…frustration, neuroses, psychoses, angst, anxiety, a nagging feeling that something is severely wrong, but we buy more stuff, indulge in shallow pleasures and remain resigned to our fates anyway.
There is a new world emerging…I suppose it has always been there, the true world, breaking though the cracks in the false facade, the failures in the system. There is a new definition of success. The definition of success as freedom.
Freedom from having to work for money. Freedom from having to trade the bulk of one’s life for enough tokens to survive and continue working making someone else rich. Even though the vast majority of people live this way, it is possible to escape it…many have done it, its just a matter of thinking and acting differently.
Freedom to learn and explore ideas, skills. We somehow get convinced in the old world that we need to be pigeonholed, we get brainwashed to rehash the same paltry ideas over and over again. In the new world, we reawaken our creativity. Success is having the time and energy to follow intellectual curiosity wherever it leads.
Freedom to explore places and experiences. No longer are we confined to the four walls of our cubicle, settling for a few weeks of rushed vacation time to escape the dreariness. The entire worlds opens up to us in the new world. Success is being able to travel, to see new places and do new things.
Contribution. The freedom, time and energy to contribute to the bigger picture, to work on something meaningful, to add value on a scale bigger than oneself. Its no longer about I, how I can one-up my neighbour…prestige doesn’t matter, all that false posturing falls away. All that remains is the true value we contribute…to the next person, to the world.
I’m describing an ideal world, but its not so far fetched. Even if it seems like a pipe dream, know this, you don’t even need to be completely free to succeed. You can start your small acts of rebellion whatever your present situation is. Ask yourself these three questions everyday
1. What am I learning?
2. What (where) am I exploring?
3. What and where am I contributing?
And in no time, you will be welcoming someone else into the new world.