Walk down the street of your local city and look around you.. What do you see? What do you really see?
We’re a society that’s largely settling for mediocrity and it’s starting to get to me.. Why do people just settle and stay on one level for so many years.. Why do people stop striving for more? It’s holding everyone else back as well to some degree, but it’s a bit more complicated than that..
It has to do I think with how people are brought up and what their lifestyle is like. When people follow the normal route, which looks like this..
They are missing something.
They’re missing that burning desire to succeed.. It’s just so casual and relaxed, which some would argue is a good way to live, not really worrying about anything and drifting through, but there’s a VERY clear distinction between these two approaches..
Don’t get me wrong, I am an advocate of living a worry and stress free life. I haven’t truly worried about anything for a good few years now and it’s bliss. Waking up one morning and just realizing that ‘I don’t need to worry about.. Anything, unless I choose to’ is a beautiful thing.. BUT! and this is a big but..
You MUST be driven and have a sense of urgency about moving forward with your life and improving. If not then what are you doing? You either get busy living or get busy dying and I know which I’d prefer..
Without getting too cliche and cheesy, I’d rather live my life like a shooting star, bursting through the sky with ferocity, drive and energy and burn out quickly than be like a dead planet.. Just floating in space.
I hope that makes sense.. And to be honest, living that way doesn’t mean that you’ll AUTOMATICALLY die faster, that only applies if you’re going to start jumping out of planes for a living which will, for obvious reasons lower your life expectancy a little.. (Oh wait..That’s me.. Oh well).
It’s a matter of perspective. Some people don’t see the NEED to move forward.. To strive for more. I’m going to give an example from the film ‘Whiplash’ which is about a young man who wants to be the best drummer in the world.
He meets up with a coach who at first seems ridiculously harsh on him and a little psychotic, but as the film plays out and their relationship as teacher/student develops, we see how he wasn’t trying to be mean, but rather pushing him at all times to be BETTER.
Better, all the time. If the guy played a great drum solo, but one note was slightly off beat, he would throw a chair at his head.. Seems too harsh but it motivated him! It made him realize that he should strive to be the BEST he could be, and I think that desire and drive is something missing in the majority of society.
I read an article about two weeks ago entitled ‘Your lifestyle has already been designed for you’ and it was talking about the 40 hour work week and how we live in a society based on overspending on entertainment to distract ourselves from the misery and mediocrity of our career choices.
Think about what most people spend money and time doing.. Going out to get drunk or sitting at home watching TV.. Neither of those things improve our lives or move us closer to some long term and worthwhile goal, yet we almost all engage in those activities weekly and even daily for some of us. Why?
And then a group of people have the audacity to complain about their jobs whilst at the pub getting drunk on the money they’ve just suffered boredom to earn..?
Or you’ll get people watching TV but those same people complain and are confused as to why they haven’t achieved success at whatever it is they’re aiming for, if anything. Sorry.. What?
If you think of time like your coin.. You have a coin and when it’s gone, it’s gone. You choose how to spend the time you have, whether it’s working a boring job or working on yourself, your business and your life. What matters most to you?
When I came to this realization I stopped playing Xbox.. I stopped watching ANYTHING on TV that isn’t useful, helpful and moving me towards my goals. When I have lunch, I don’t watch reality TV, instead I’ll put an episode of Grant Cardone on YouTube and learn about real estate investing and business start-up techniques. Why?
Because in 10 years time I won’t give a shit about what happened in an old episode of Eastenders, but I WILL find the investing skills that I learned watching that YouTube video helpful. Do you see?
The scary thing about time is that unlike money, you can’t get time back once it’s spent. And that is really scary when you stop and think about it.. You’ve spent probably hours of time doing things that aren’t moving you forward with your life and haven’t given you ANY life experience.
There is a clear difference between things that are worthwhile and things that aren’t.
Finding what things you should be spending time on is down to you, but I think deep down everyone knows when they’re just wasting time.
Since the title of this post is ‘We’re drowning in conformity’ I’ll expand on it a little more.
When you were walking down the street looking around at people, what did you see? Well.. Most of them would have looked either down, in a rush, or a mixture of both. Now this will vary depending on where you are, but it’s mostly true.
People are in a rush to get to their job. Now, I’m not going to turn this into a post about jobs and how working for someone else CAN be a trap. (Notice I said CAN, because there are exceptions to this. Sometimes, the right job can raise you up and improve you as a person).
I’m referring to ‘dead end’ jobs. Now this may alienate a portion of people reading this, and I understand that. But please try and understand where I’m coming from and that I’m really trying to help everyone here.
In 50 years time, a large number of jobs that are currently being done by humans, will be done by robots. Physical things like for example..
- Cleaning (to some degree)
- Roadsweeping – (With Google developing a self driving car, it’s only a matter of time)
- Almost ALL factory work
- Majority of fast food
Jobs where your actions are repeated over and over again with not much variation. These types of things will be done by robots before long. Think about your job and decide for yourself if you should change it.. Does what you do improve you as a person and help others around you?
So what should you do for a job? Well.. Decide first on what it is you WANT in life, and then you’ll know what you should be focusing on. It’s amazing how many people I speak to and the conversation goes something like this –
Me – So what do you want out of life? What do you want to do?
Person – I’ve always wanted to be a professional musician, but right now I’m at college doing my A level Maths and Science.
Me – So, do you enjoy your A levels? How is your musician thing coming along?
Person – No.. I HATE A levels.. Maths is sooo boring. And there’s so much coursework for science it’s a NIGHTMARE haha!
Me – So why are you doing it? What are you doing to become a processional musician?
Person – Well, I want something to fall back on, and it seemed like a sensible choice, everyone else was going to college, so I just sort of.. Went.
I cannot understand this mentality.
This mentality of conforming and just going along with the other sheep.
The system has told us that we need to go to school, college, get a job and work for someone until we are old enough to die and then we retire possibly with a small pot of savings. That’s rubbish!
If you want to be a musician, and you REALLY want it, then you get your ass up at 6 in the morning, play your instrument until your hands are aching, then you drag yourself to your computer, email everyone you can find an email address for in the business asking for opportunities, deals, sponsorships etc..
Then as you’re waiting for your hands to regain strength, you create a YouTube channel, you upload videos of you playing.. You reach out to other YouTubers in the space and make friends.. You learn how to record videos with professional sound and then when your hands are able to play again you get yourself to an open mic night.. you play as well as you possibly can.
Someone in the crowd might be a headhunter and if not, you socialize with the other musicians at the bar afterwards. You ask questions, make friends and make CONNECTIONS. You make your own opportunities!
You know what you SHOULDN’T do?
Put the entire thing on the backburner, and go and waste 2 years of your life learning how to find the value of x. Are you going to be a maths teacher? No? An astronaut or physician? No? Well you have no need to learn that stuff then. (I’m generalizing here, I know there are exceptions).
You can create and discover more opportunity than you ever thought was possible. You just need to try.