The Counterintuitive Secret to Reaching Huge Goals
Is it just me, or does everyone seem so damn serious these days? It’s like with each passing day, humor, lightheartedness, and carefree attitudes fade just a little bit more.
Yes, we’re in serious times now, but we’ve always been. I recently wrote an article talking about the fact that life has been rife with calamity since the very beginning.
Our situations seem unique and dire right now, but they aren’t. People in past generations have been through similar or worse scenarios.
I’m not saying you don’t need to care about what’s going on in the world or have a laissez-faire attitude about life, but I am saying you’ll reach many of your personal goals, and live an overall better life if you learn to take life itself a bit less seriously.
Why Being Too Serious Destroys Your Chances of a Better Future
You’re taught to view life through these things you should and must do:
- Get a good education
- Find a steady job
- Rise the ladder, collect your toys, and earn prestige over the Joneses
People take this process very seriously. From Lori Laughlin bribing people to get her kid into a good university to students overly stressing themselves out about getting A’s when grades don’t really matter to people on LinkedIn who’s profiles look like they were written by some corporate AI bot, “focused on synergistic solutions,” to people who are so worried about checking off the boxes of the societal script that they’ll throw their dreams away.
Dreams thrown away in the name of…prudence?
In taking their careers and lives too seriously, people end up with the worst careers and lives. They have dreams they really want to accomplish, but since they don’t fit the narrative of what society deems a realistic dream, they shy away from it because they want to be taken seriously, which is code for “I want the approval of other people.”
Maybe you want your parents’ approval. Maybe you want the approval of your friends and social network. Either way, you’re suffering from the disease of caring way too much.
Let’s say you’re not one of these ‘professional’ corporate ladder-climbing types. You’re working in retail, food service, construction, whatever, and you want to get out.
You’re also taking your life too seriously by not swinging for the fences. You don’t have to quit your job to work on a dream, just work on it slowly, in your spare time. Why not?
Again, because you’re taking yourself way too seriously. You think someone actually cares about what you’re doing when no one does. On top of that, you have all of these scripts embedded in your mind about your life derived from this sense of seriousness.
You learn these phrases:
- “That’s risky”
- “Most businesses fail”
- “You gotta be realistic”
Let’s look at those phrases.
“That’s risky.” So what? What’s wrong with taking risks? You’ll lose some money, time, or a piece of your ego? And? I don’t see the big deal. Like I always say, take an amount of risk that would do irreparable damage, but beyond that, throw caution to the wind because, why not?
“Most businesses fail?” OK. Why does that matter? If your business fails, you just won’t have a successful business. You’re not going to die.
“You gotta be realistic.” Says who? Who is this ‘Realism Gestapo’ that’s going to come and kidnap you if you decide to step outside of societal conventions and try something unique?
Why so serious friend?
What’s the big deal chasing your dreams?
What’s the worst that could happen?
Go for it.
You Owe The Universe Your Success
If you’re able to do so, go out in the country at night and look at all the stars in the sky. Watch documentaries about space. Understand your place in the universe.
The absurdity of it all is extremely motivating to me. I watched a documentary about one of the Apollo crews and one of the astronauts said that looking at the earth from the space made all the problems in the world seem so trivial.
We’re so zoomed in to our immediate environment that we don’t realize where we really are. You’re in the middle of nowhere and at the center of the universe at the same time, just like all other spots of the universe.
Billions of light-years away from you some star is cannibalizing another star, some planet is raining sulfuric acid from the sky, and another planet consists of nothing but water with a global ocean. Absurd. All of this.
When I think of all the craziness that goes on around us, it motivates me to be a little bit crazy and push the boundaries of reality itself. I feel like trying to accomplish what I can while I’m alive honors the insanity of the universe.
I suggest you do the same. You’re made of the same cosmic material, act like it. Turn off CNN and go to a planetarium or something. Get off social media and go see the glory of nature. Find inspiration in the awe and beauty of the planet you inhabit so you come back to the proper perspective.
I don’t have the perfect answer, but I’m certain the perspective that life should be a serious endeavor, dominated by fear and conformity, is not the right way to go. I don’t think the maker of this universe wants you to sit in a cubicle, or endure endless Zoom meetings, or watch dumb monologues on MSNBC or FOX News.
Go live your life. Let the rest of the world handle the serious business. You do your thing.
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