For the longest time we lived in a world where there was a norm. A status quo. Get these grades, go to these schools, get these jobs and everything will work out. By following a predetermined path, our society made promises to its citizens that if you do what’s expected, you will be rewarded with a life of comfort. The path of least resistance.
As we’ve all learned, this is bullshit. There’s no path of least resistance. There’s not even a path. We’ve been placed in the middle of a giant forest, with very few tools for navigating, and told to survive.
The initial idea for the founding of our country was to create a land where every man and woman could be free to live a life of their choosing. The life they desired. Should someone want to pursue certain efforts, projects or passions, each would be free to follow their desires and create the life they envisioned.
As our society evolved, however, government started placing rules, regulations and restrictions on various ares of life, thus limiting and controlling the lives of the citizens. This had unintended consequences which we as a society are just beginning to over come.
While the initial idea was freedom, our evolution resulted in society placing so many “shoulds” and “standards” on its members, thus destroying our sense of what life is about. We’ve removed the “it’s ok to be lost” and “pave your own way” mentality, replacing it with the horrible “get a job” and “pay your dues” mentality. Once again, bullshit.
Life isn’t about work. It’s not about taking a menial job that’s barely interesting just so we can pay our bills and give our earnings back to society. That’s not why we’re here. We’re here to live amongst one another in a connected, intelligent and vibrant society. We’re here to explore, create and pursue what *we* feel is interesting. Not what society says we should pursue.
Let’s take it back to our country’s early days, where it was the common goal for everyone to live a life that meant something to them. Each individual’s interests, passions and personality are unique to them, and should be welcomed and encouraged, not dismissed and looked down upon.
While we’ve made a lot of headway through the ever expanding startup lifestyle, we’ve yet to create a society where everyone is fully embraced for who they are, what they’re interested in and what they want to pursue. Whether it’s a money making job or tinkering in a garage, everyone should be encouraged to explore what makes them curious. We shouldn’t have to wait for the weekends or until retirement to start enjoying our lives outside of work.
Looking at various people who have created some of our society’s most disruptive technologies, we can see a trend of people who were deeply curious about something and found a way to explore further. It’s these intense explorations that led to the creation of Apple, Microsoft, Jawbone, Dropbox and more. They were personal curiosities turned passions, turned products, and then turned businesses.
These are not people who followed a path. They did not do what they were told to do. They failed to adhere to society’s norms and expectations because they felt a burning desire to remain curious and explore their inner drivers.
Our country was founded on freedom along with several rights for *every* individual including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
This doesn’t say the pursuit of a paycheck. It says happiness.
Let’s change society’s expectations by listening to what’s inside of us. Follow that voice, that feeling or that desire. Further explore your curiosity. It’s the key to unleashing our potential.
Would love to hear your comments either here or @TannenbaumMike.