Why do we let the world tell us that we need to fix ourselves?
I confess that lately I have been obsessed with Mark Manson. I know I come with a ball of baggage in my life. Don’t we all? I mean social media kind of makes us all think that everyone else is perfect and then we start comparing and then start thinking we suck. But the truth is – nobody’s life is as cool as it looks on Facebook. But did we need a book to tell us that?
I love self help reads. Sometimes I get so lost in my head I need to see things in a different light. I really spent a long time avoiding my life. And in the last 4 years I have been working a lot at unraveling my inner self. Sometimes doing the work makes me right sad because I realize how unintentionally horrible I was to someone or I realize how many pedestals I handed to people for no reason or how much blame I put on other people because I am bored, sad, frustrated, solo, tired etc.
Lately I realized that reading most of these books teach you about finding your self worth. I mean maybe they don’t all say that but they all force you to look within – see what maybe wasn’t right in front of you and try to force you into fixing it. I have been doing a lot of that lately. I wonder though – does self help good intention force you into a negative space before you even begin. I just wonder if things are as bad as we think they are? Or do we force ourselves to see flaws by trying to fix ourselves. Maybe we were never that broken.
“You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.”
You know – people endlessly ask me about teaching English abroad. It is honestly something I get asked about with a pretty constant frequency even though I haven’t lived abroad is 5 years. Teaching life is pretty fun. However inasmuch as you make fast friends – there is something amazing about have friends you don’t need to share you back story with. While getting to explore all the time is fucking amazing – constantly worrying about contracts and resigning or new jobs and new Cities and what you are going to do with your stuff – annoying. Fast fashion in a new Country and trying to fit in and cramming that shit into a backpack to start all over again. Draining your finances and savings (never mind wrecking havoc on your minimalist journey!). There is always another side. People want to hear all about the adventures but never really consider the other stuff.
“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude. let it affect you or not.”
I often think about having my own business. I dream of being able to come and go as I please. I dream of traveling when I want – Freedom to me means waking up and getting to do whatever I want each day. But sometimes I wonder if I am chasing an illusion. You know – it has been shoved down our throats that the path to success lies at the end of a successful homegrown company; that to achieve all sorts of freedom you need to break away for the 9-5 because 9-5 sucks. There are endless books, webinars and people telling you that this is the way to happiness and success. This entire business is making you buy into self improvement.
But do we need it?
Lately I have been thinking about all these things I acquired to make my life sustainable in Edmonton. I have been thinking about the “stuff” needed to make myself normal. And I wonder if once you have opened your mind to other realities – can you bring yourself back to this reality – societies normal. I feel like I have been told I need to hang on to or attain all these things to find my own happiness but I am not sure if I will find the gold at the end of your rainbow – mine might point in another direction.
I mean am I walking advertisement for an overrated millennial? Or a younger hippie ? I don’t know. I mean all of us are just trying to figure out this crazy thing called life. And while we don’t think we aren’t influenced by the things we watch and the things we read. We are. We are told by the media what the way to success should be. We are spoon fed it and sometimes I hear myself giving the same media driving response because that is just they way things are supposed to be. (And yes – this even counts if you are reading or watching antimedia – you are still been spoon fed societal opinions) My new found adventure with Mark Manson is happening because it is the first book I have read in awhile that has said ’ you know what – sometime life gives you shit. But how are you going to deal with that?’ and the reality is – how the fuck are we going to deal with it?
So is self help just an industry like the rest – tell you you’re broken and you can fix yourself and these 5 books? Maybe. Maybe it is just our own fault for not questioning why we want things.
Do you read Self help? Are you on a journey to become better? How are you doing that?
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