How to Improve Your Life When Society’s Messaging Holds You Back

I’ve found the hill I want to die on.

Ayodeji Awosika
8 min readDec 8, 2020

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Personal responsibility, self-improvement, and mental toughness have all become counter-culture.

I won’t stand for it.

Even if that means I make less money because I don’t write in a way that agrees with “the narrative,” even if I’m part of a dying breed of people who think you can, in fact, lift yourself up by the bootstraps. Even if most fold into a way of thinking that will eventually degrade their lives.

Maybe you think I sound hyperbolic, but the canary in the coalmine has sung.

You’re being fed messages that are going to produce a handful of outcomes:

  • You’ll become entirely dependent on ‘the system’ — a system that hates you
  • You’ll enjoy some success, but you won’t get close to your potential because you were tricked into giving it away
  • You’re just going to live in this limbo state of increasing anxiety and shrinking prospects. Never totally down and out, but slowly bleeding your soul away until you die

So what the hell am I talking about?

I’m talking about the narrative society feeds you, why it feeds it to you, why even smart people fall for it and promote it, and what you can do about it.

Society’s Ultimate Goal

Whenever I use the term ‘society’ I’m just talking about the collective interests of people in our society. Mainly, people at the top. A variety of people have different incentives to make certain actions.

Without getting too deep into explaining it, ‘society’ benefits from you feeling weak, dependent, and more interested in the good of the collective than the good of yourself.

Sigmund Freud put it well:

“Civilized man has exchanged some part of his chances of happiness for a measure of security.”

In order to keep the machine going, they need to suppress your goals and aspirations.

To do that, they need to create convincing messaging that causes you to make ill-advised personal decisions that benefit the ‘collective,’…

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Ayodeji Awosika

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