You want to use society to get what your meat suit needs and stay yourself to be useful
Photo by Mikhail Nilov
My life sucked because I was a basic bitch.
I wanted what society wanted:
Big house, new car, a lot of sex, and only fun.
I’ve never considered what I wanted.
Do the same, and you’ll feel lifeless. You won’t stick to any long-term commitment simply because you won’t care enough. Your life will be a constant disappointment for you. Every dream you accomplish will make you feel better for a second and worse forever.
The way out is to deal with social pressure on your terms.
Sources of Pressure
Social pressure compels you to conform to “the rules.”
When you think you can’t do ballet because you’re a man, it’s that. When you hesitate before buying a pink shirt, it’s that. It’s that when you want that new iPhone and have a previous one working.
But it comes in more colors.
Your parents are disappointed in you, making you feel guilty about yourself – it’s that too. Hearing all the news about wars, rapes, stealing, and fraud, same.
It’s everything telling you what to do or what to feel.
The problem with those examples is simple; there is no you in there. Conforming to the rules without consideration makes you unhappy. You need a meaningful goal to enjoy life. Positive emotions are the result of you progressing towards your goals. Not towards what others want you to want.
Here is the thing, if you force yourself to work on something you don’t give a f*ck about, you won’t make it.
The Assembly Line Problem
When you produce iPhones, you want them to be the same.
People expect the quality you advertise.
When you produce people, you want them to be different.
You want to get a variety of experiences. We must deal with the infinite complexity of the world. Because one person can’t know and understand everything, diverse thinking is necessary. Even if some perspectives will be useless.
The assumption that everyone is the same is wrong.
It delivers wrong results. Trying to force everyone to conform to the same rules makes society stagnant. We need the freedom to think about new, better solutions to our problems. And don’t be mistaken; our main problem is, always was, and always will be, survival.
We do our best to find novel solutions when we’re happy.
And we’re happy only when we pursue what interests us. Forcing all to be the same takes away their opportunity to create meaning in life. Because the meaning is a feeling you get when pursuing goals valuable to you. Without meaning, you’ll procrastinate because why do something you don’t value? Moreover, pursuing what you want makes you better suited to work on what you don’t want.
Life is not always what you want it to be.
Practicing long, deep thinking while solving challenges you’re interested in will help you solve the ones you don’t want to but have to. Simple. We must become excellent at solving problems.
But we never will if we won’t accept our thoughts and feelings.
Society wants you to think you should be happy, content, or whatever. The reality is different. What you must do is understand your feelings and thoughts. You can’t escape them, so why not use them?
Feel exactly how you feel and work on your dreams even when you’re sad after your grandparent died. Have the courage to express yourself, risking offending people.
The Middle Way
The pressure is not good or bad.
It’s just how it is. We like everyone to be predictable. We try to make people conform to the rules. That’s good, to some degree. As soon as it strips you from meaning, it’s wrong.
The way is through the middle.
It’s one foot in chaos, one foot in order. Buddhist call it The Middle Way. It’s used in different contexts, but it’s about balance. Your life is yours to live, and it’s up to you to improve it. Usually, extremes are not sustainable.
Instead, you can conform to rules that empower you.
We’re social creatures. We do best when we have contact with others. Some less, some more, but cutting off the pressure would mean loneliness. That can make you crazy.
Human touch, understanding, and warmth regulate you.
You want society to get what your meat suit needs. Then do your shit the best you can. Solve your problem, the one that keeps you up at night. Or keep discovering what others have learned about the world to put it all in your words, from your perspective.
What matters is you must give it back to the society.
If you go too far into solitude, we’ll waste our resources on you. If you go too far into conformity with social rules, you’ll be useless to society. The balance is yours to find.
My twist for The Middle Way is the weight you give to things.
The importance of solitude and socialization is not equal. You may need more solitude to balance yourself.
You’ll give back the most when you develop yourself, solve your problems, and share your journey with others.
The Unfuckwithable Way
It’s crucial for you not to give a fuck about what you don’t care about.
Only then do you maximize your output by focusing on what drives you the most? Upregulating your nervous system depends on following your goals. So get specific about what you want. Dig so deep that you know why you want to be rich or famous. Then you’ll understand what your core values are.
Not doing that results in you wasting time.
You always waste time if you don’t know what you want. Because you have no way to decide what’s important or not. As a result, you stay demotivated, without the will to do anything.
You need the courage to admit what you want.
Then you must express what you think at the risk of offending people. You must expose your ideas to the world. Only then can you verify their validity? This way, you’ll face ideas you oppose. You need that because you may be wrong, and others may be right.
Become unfuckwithable with To Do One
Here is the system that keeps me going. To balance the pressure from the outside, I create the pressure inside. It’s a good kind of pressure that enables me to stay myself and share what I’ve learned.
1. Achievable goals.
Starting small is key.
How to eat an elephant?
One bite at a time.
2. Keep one active task at a time.
When I write, I write. When I go for a walk, I walk.
You get the point.
One of the problems I have is constantly looking at my schedule. How much I had left or how much I delivered has nothing to do with the current task.
Laser focus delivers results
3. Use Minimum Viable Day.
I have a deal with myself that when I finish:
- 1 big task,
- 3 medium tasks,
- 5 small tasks,
the day is productive, no matter how many tasks are left.
That keeps my monkey brain from going crazy.
4. Measure the progress, not the gap.
It’s easy to get anxious when you focus on how much there is to do. That won’t help you do that, though.
But focusing on what you already did, proves you can do something.
Each step gets you closer to the goal.
Do you sometimes wonder how your life would look if you could get what you wanted?