My son, minutes after he was born. The wildest thing of all.

We are all Wild Things

We were all born the same.

Nameless blobs of flesh, naked, crying.

No thoughts or ideas about anything.

Just a visceral connection to the world and our needs.

When you were cold, you cried.

When you were hungry, you screamed.

Warm, safe and in the arms of your parents, you were silent and contented.

No thoughts or ideas.

No worries about the future.

No fear of rejection or judgement.

Just a wild little thing, alive in the world

//

At some point you were given a name.

That name was the start of something.

You learned what it was to be you.

From what your parents told their friends about you.

From what you felt and what you saw.

You learned what it was to be you.

You were told what was right and what was wrong.

You were rewarded, you were punished.

You felt the jolts of pleasure or pain.

Kissed or smacked, approved of or rejected.

Every time learning what to desire and what to fear.

The desire and fear created a picture of the world in your head.

Over time, this picture became all you knew.

//

After your parents, came your teachers, then your peers.

Layers of experience slowly built your identity.

Every exam you failed, every scornful remark or pat on the head.

This identity told you what you were capable of and what you weren’t.

It told you why you were special and why you were worthless.

It told you what other people meant to you and what was wrong with them.

It told you what kind of world you lived in, and what was wrong with it.

From your early childlike curiousity and wonder, your world narrowed.

You followed the path that appeared before you.

It’s edges and direction dictated by your fears and desires.

Not realising it was just a product of your conditioning.

Laid down by your parents, teachers, peers.

No more real than a story in a book.

You followed the path that appeared before you.

//

From nappies to nursery, nursery to school, school to university, university to work, working to retire.

Following the well-trodden path.

Because that’s what you know.

And the alternative is risky.

So every time you take the job because it makes sense.

You set the company strategy because it makes sense.

You start the new business because it makes sense.

Because you’ll feel safer, happier, more important, more purposeful.

Because it’s the next big step towards the life you want.

Because one day, you’ll have that house, that car, that freedom.

One day you’ll save the world.

One day you’ll have the life you want.

Every so often wondering, dreaming, panicking, waking up in a cold sweat.

//

Once you were a Wild Thing.

No path to follow, no identity, no idea of who you should be.

At some point, like a lion in a circus, whipped whenever you strayed towards the bars of the cage, you became tame.

Over time, with each crack of that whip, you became timid.

You became a tame thing.

But there is no lion tamer.

There is no cage.

These are of your making, just a story in your head.

Just one of seven billion unique and completely unreal realities.

Together making a world of rules and systems that keep everyone on track.

But make no sense.

No more sane than you can expect from seven billion fairy tales told at once.

But as soon as you can see your cage, it can no longer keep you trapped.

Because it’s yours.

//

The first step is to see the cage.

It’s in your head, and in your body.

Each twinge of anxiety, every flash of anger, every longing.

Just a product of the story you carry.

Just the lion tamer cracking the whip.

Keeping you tame. Keeping you timid.

Approval or rejection will never make or break you.

Qualifications or promotions will never make you safe or powerful.

A regular pay check will never guarantee the security of your family.

Working to live was never going to be a meaningful existence.

Living to constantly improve yourself will never make you happy.

So it becomes clear.

The only thing in the way of living the life you want.

Is you.

//

Once you can see the cage — and past what you once knew — you’re free.

You can quit the job that’s killing you, with no plans of what’s next.

You can start five careers and retire, right now, all at the same time.

You can have no stable income and still feel calm and focused.

You can feel alive, awake and free in your work.

In everything you do.

Without changing a thing.

Because this is being a Wild Thing.

To see the world more clearly.

To live the life you want.

Not without consequences.

Just without fear of consequences.

Not by running away from the world.

By seeing the world more clearly and making choices that are not dictated by our smallness.

Wild Things grow between the cracks.

Scattered in the wind, we follow the currents and thrive wherever we land.

The only sane response to a world where we have no control.

Where we’re surrounded by uncertainty or complexity.

Not creating more complexity, born out of the same old fears.

Just rediscovering our true nature.

To trust ourselves and trust each other.

To act from our intuition and our integrity.

To see the cage, see the lion tamer and watch them vanish.

To slow down and see things as they really are.

To be Wild Things.

My name is Max. I believe we can live the most meaningful existence, and create a world where everyone matters and belongs, by going to work. I’m the founder of Wild Things and I’m running a wild retreat in September, in the French Alps.

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