Week 0: Achieving Goals and Staying Normal
The young professional. I watch them sitting across from me in the subway, dressed each in their own idea of impeccable, riffling through a stack of printed-out PowerPoint slides. Annoyed because I have yet to take my slides out.
The young free spirit. I watch them sitting across from me in the cafeteria, going on and on about their weekend, muesli, and babies.
Grumpy because I forgot to eat my muesli.
When I was 13, I imagined myself as a successful, educated adult. Many years later, as I grew into an actual grown-up man (at least that is what some people claim), that other guy became more distant, less defined. Then another person appeared. a much younger one. The 13-year-old and the succesful career professional are now trying to live as roommates, and in the process they are destroying the person they present themselves as to the outside world.
2016, a year that definitely sounds like you are in modern times, has a society that lacks the motivation to be balanced and reasonable in your life decisions. And this balance is really the only thing that is left of my old adult ideal.
The truth is that most of us are somewhere in between. We have an inner child, and an inner adult; a fear of bankruptcy, and a fear of wage slavery. We didn’t grow up in a lawyer dynasty’s Victorian Mansion, nor did we survive childhood in a Mumbai slums.
Being middle class and educated gives you two options in life from society’s point of view: you either find an acceptable position in an establishment and devote your life to telling people, including yourself, that it is interesting and important, or you put yourself at great financial risk to pursue a passion project, which you are sure is (and are financially dependent of being) interesting and important. Either option is all-in or nothing. You can listen to your parents who are, bless their hearts, able to imagine you only as very well-off or a hobo artist. You can also go to YouTube and look at disturbingly fit 30-year old that tell you to live in tiny houses and survive off Patreon donations and kale chips.
The truth is that most of us are somewhere in between. We have an inner child, and an inner adult; a fear of bankruptcy, and a fear of wage slavery. We didn’t grow up in a layer family’s Victorian Mansion, nor did we survive childhood in a Mumbai slums.
This is for the people who don’t have to worry about every day, but do worry about their future.
Lacking all this, my only motivation is happiness. That is why I made the decision to make achieving balance my passion, which I will document in a series of articles. I am currently in a challenging period in life, which will hopefully serve as additional drive to reach goals. Because if you are normal, you will also look normal on paper. If someone tells you you are good, or smart, or educated, this won’t change reality. The trick is not to improve your situation for others, but for yourself.
See you next week. Don’t eat the yellow snow!