“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
It’s remarkable how many people walk through life as if they are already dead. Don’t be one of those people.
The world is not simply as we perceive it. All of that is contrived within our minds.
Our sense of taste, our sense of smell, feeling, sensations, all of it.
We take it all in and our mind decides what to make of it. If we’re simply going through life on autopilot, then, unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that we’re contributing nothing of value to the world around us.
The sad part is, so many of us are fully aware of this and yet do absolutely nothing about it.
Maybe you’ve chosen to cope with alcohol and shitty food. It’s not a problem, this brings you pleasure. Plus, you’re drinking low-calorie, low carb fake beverages and you’ve started following a keto diet, so it’s all good. Plus, you have your favorite TV show characters right by your side. Life couldn’t be better… Could it?
There is some solace in the fact that this lifestyle isn’t entirely your fault.
It’s easy to look at the past and blame those who came before us for the life we’ve been born into. In fact, maybe it even makes you feel good to blow off some steam in their direction.
If you’re astute enough to realize how much big companies are spending to constantly distract you and sell you this lifestyle, you might even get a little pissed off.
Taking it all into consideration though, things aren’t so bad… Are they?
You have a pretty cool apartment, and your TV is bigger than all of your friends’ TVs. You get to drink all the craft beer you want, blow money at the bar, and complain about how much your job sucks with anyone who will listen.
You can eat nice food, while so much of the population around the world can hardly afford enough calories to get themselves through the day.
In reality, you should be pretty happy with what you have, don’t you think?
Perhaps it was meant to be this way. Perhaps we were supposed to be stuck in this perpetual cycle of life, feeding ourselves to mere content with the products that flash before us on any number of screens that barrage our attention span.
Perhaps we are just one of many experiments along the path to a greater civilization.
Is there a way to make the world a better place before it all goes to shit? Maybe some way to even help others that really need a hand?
Come on, you know you don’t want to start thinking about that kind of stuff. You have big plans. You have to go out drinking with your buddies tonight after another long grind at the office.
There will come a time when you’re simply worn out. Your back gets sore, your knees start to hurt, and your massive caffeine- and hangover-infused headache causes you to stop in your tracks. As you gaze into the TV where the most recent talking head keeps barking at you, you might start to realize that all of those great things you thought you were going to do in life simply aren’t going to happen.
When you were young you had so many ambitions. You truly felt alive and one with the world. Suddenly you realize you’ve been dead all along.
To be honest with you, I can’t put my finger on the time my eyes fully opened to the world around me. When I truly started to trust in myself rather than the opinions of other people.
Perhaps it was while I was working on my own business, and realized how nothing would happen if I didn’t man up and make it happen myself.
Perhaps it was over the course of reading one of the hundreds of self-improvement books over the years.
Perhaps it was when I met the woman of my dreams, and knew immediately that she was my purpose in life.
The point is, it’s not really all that important when it happened, it’s more important that it happened.
More importantly, now that I am aware I make a conscious effort to stay that way each and every day that I walk this earth.
And trust me, it’s not as straightforward as you might think.
This is something I struggle with every day, and I’m sure that most people in a similar frame of mind have a bit of a struggle with as well.
You have to wake up each and every morning and remember that you have the power to make your dreams a reality, and no one is going to do it for you.
So yeah, you can say that all was a bit over the top. Sorry, but it just drives me nuts to see the society we live in operate this way. Life has so much to offer and it’s a shame when people go through it blind… Or dead.
Of course if you’re still reading then there’s probably some hope for you. In any case, support from our peers can keep us accountable and working towards being alive.
In the spirit of preserving that notion, I’ve compiled a list of experiences that have made me feel aware of myself and the world around me.
- Meditate every day – it doesn’t have to be long or all that complex. Just take some time out for your mind.
- Exercise every single day.
- Practice safe driving skills.
- Socialize with others who live life similarly to you.
- Dive into a book whenever you have the chance.
- Eat clean.
- Stop reading garbage content (I’m looking at you, mainstream media).
- Replace your 9-5 with something more real.
- Reach out to people you aspire to be like on social media.
- Read more scientific journals.
- Cancel your cable television subscription.
- And maybe even Netflix for that matter.
- Keep an eye out for what people around you are selling, especially when they force opinions on you.
- Learn about cognitive biases.
- Reduce your “stuff” to only what you truly need.
- Exert yourself physically beyond what you’ve prepared for.
- Go on a social media break.
- Quit drinking for one month straight.
- Be kind to someone you don’t know every single day.
- Take the time to appreciate someone you do know every single day.
I would love to hear your input. Let me know if you have anything to add!