Have you ever thought that our economy runs on fear and low self-esteem?
The fear of not being good enough?
The fear of making a mistake?
The feeling of learnt helplessness?
The conditioned fear of missing out?
I’ve been in quarantine for almost a month now and perfectly content. Don’t need anything, don’t miss anything and just cut my own hair. The best haircut I’ve had in a long time!
We all are fully self-sufficient — we just forgot that we are.
This is a powerful reminder.
The End Of Conspicuous Consumption
Our modern economy runs on the promise of a dream. The problem is that a dream is in itself unattainable. It makes you run in circles and when you get to the point of total exhaustion, it will leave you feeling burnt out, jaded, tormented and without the will to live.
We are buying things to fill the space in our empty lives. We are addicted to distracting ourselves to run away from our own struggles, emotional wounds, deep-seated fears and unprocessed trauma instead of facing the truth head-on. The truth of who we really are, why we’re here and what we’re here to create (and not consume) in all honesty to give ourselves a real chance to finally move on and live the life we know deep-down we deserve. By the mindless consumerism, we are sabotaging our own growth and the chance of ever realizing our life’s full potential. It’s a lie. And a lie is a losing game because we are disqualifying the only player who can make a difference: ourselves. And such a game is not worth playing…
A Forced Reflection Time Is Helping Us Liberate Our True Selves
This mandatory pause couldn’t come at a better moment in time. It is a forced reflection time to help us see things clearly and liberate ourselves. It is a new beginning.
We are being forced to reconnect with our inner essence and move forward from this time of isolation as fully integrated, conscious and connected human beings.
On the reverse side, this is why our consumption (and economy) is meaningless: we are not being fully present. It works against us, and not for us. The society that we’ve designed is built on what other people think and appeasing their judgmental views instead of focusing on ourselves, choosing what to consume to make sure that we flourish and create value in our own lives. We need to shift perspective from “them” to “us”. We need to start paying attention to what we value in our own lives and what makes us come to life. Without learning and understanding this, our lives are not truly lives; they are just a mere existence.
The way we’ve conditioned ourselves culturally to function in the world is not exactly helping us either. The economy we have now is built on FOMO, social norming and low self-esteem. That’s what happens when you unplug your Self from the equation: You are being left with make-believe and projected views of others that don’t reflect who you truly are. You feel unseen, unaccepted, misunderstood, unworthy, and worst unlovable. This is a recipe for a perpetual state of unhappiness, unfulfillment and depression, which is reflected in the global pandemic of mental health issues, addictions, fears and anxiety. We don’t feel enough as we are and the more we consume the more miserable we feel because material goods aren’t what’s truly missing: they cannot mend a hurting soul. (Believe me, I tried!)
Let’s Build The New Economy On Meaning
We need to build our new economy on the values that last and that we truly care about: creation, meaning and providing real value to other people that can change people’s lives.
What we have now instead of a fully functioning economy is a bubble waiting to burst — it’s hollow. That’s why it’s so volatile and prone to crises. It’s not real, but imaginary. Meaning is what makes things future-proof because it builds essence from the inside out.
Let’s make sure that we use this time of a global pause to its full potential and understand what’s being asked of us.
We are being called to liberate ourselves, be truthful and see what we didn’t (want to) see before to do what is in our own highest interest.
When we come out of this hiding, let’s make sure that we give ourselves the best chance to not hide in our lives anymore and face things head-on.
Let’s make sure that our vision is aligned and that we see things clearly.
Let’s create a better world — one that respects human values.
One that we actually want to live in.
Because we absolutely have the power to make it so.
The true power lies within each and every one of us — you, me and everyone else.
Always remember that and never let anyone make you believe otherwise.
The True Power is You.
Dr. Martina Olbertova is a social scientist, writer, strategist and a semiotician interested in social and cultural change. In her work, she focuses on how the shifts in society redefine the perception of meaning in our culture today. She is the Founder and CEO of Meaning.Global, a global strategy & cultural intelligence consultancy, helping brands and businesses create new meaning and real value, and the world’s leading expert on creating meaning and cultural relevance in business, branding and marketing.