The greatest challenge is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
"Nothing is stronger than habit." said Ovid a very long time ago.
Good habits and bad habits create your lifestyle.
We have conflicting drives:
to change and
to stay the same.
When we try to make changes that are too drastic, our system tries to maintain the status quo by straining in the opposite direction. Moderate changes practised daily do not create stress and resistence.
We need more than will power to keep the promises we make to improve the management of our lives. Persistence and a plan of purposeful action with good follow-up will hold the course much better. Will power helps during tug-of-wars but living is more like running a marathon. Lifestyle changes are not like crash diets. Short, painful and doomed to failure. You need to re-think your self-management and change habits that have not created the results you want. Nothing changes without purposeful action.
People living unfulfilled lives are being mass produced by our modern consumer society. Erich Fromme wrote about alienation and modern man over 50 years ago and very little has changed since that time. Mass media has just gotten more pervasive and powerful in telling us what we want. Critical thinking is needed when choosing the path you intend to follow in life. We are constantly bombarded with powerful images of the ultimate consumer happiness to be found in a bigger car, house, airplane, holiday, plastic surgeries or some other ridiculous nonsense. After 9/11 Americans were admonished to keep consuming like it was being a good citizen and a way to show your courage to your many enemies in the Third world.
We are a society of disenchanted soles being dumbed down by popular culture. This need not be the case if we regularly take time to be concious of what is driving us forward. Keeping up to the Jonses or pursuing our authentic values in a mindful fashion. We can create an engaging and satifying lifestyle for ourselves with concious thought and planning. The tools we need are readily available. What is required is awareness of our authentic needs and wants and a plan of action. Voluntary simplicity is an undercurrent of people not satisfied to keep buying into the message to keep consuming. They live an alternative philosophy to the one handed us by big corporations vying for our dollars.
We need not follow thier laudable path to live a good life ourselves. We need to create our own vision and to pursue as if our life depends on it. That's because it does, we have one life and not a lot of time to create a satisfying, productive life that gives back to our society more than just taxes.