Monday, 5 March 2012

Rational living - The courage to discard what doesn't work

Choosing conformity is tantamount to wasting your life in the middle of a crowd after having rendered yourself unable to communicate anything of substance. The alternatives, however, are tough, since most of us have been brought up to view approval as a requisite of survival.

Proper human life is impossible without dissident behaviour. Whatever rules you are following, how can you be sure that there are no exceptions? Even if you are willing to entrust your life to the wisdom of a leader, how do you make sure that he or she is the right one? The answer is simple: you just can't.

No matter how much a person knows, the ideas in his head represent only a minimal part of the knowledge available in any market at any given time. That knowledge increases by the hour and, for every product or service, there are hundreds of geographical markets.

Individual courage to deviate from the norm is the essence of all progress and happiness. Opportunities are distributed without any apparent order in the market and each of us possesses more knowledge than we are aware of. In many cases, we are at first unable to name the reasons behind our convictions, but then, after some reflection, we come up with amazing insights.

Those who think creatively are puzzled when they encounter someone who is psychologically immobilized. "Why don't you cut your losses and move on?" they ask him. The determining factor is not intelligence. If we look around, we can observe self-defeating behaviour in all segments of the population. Paralysing conformity affects the ignorant and the educated, the experienced and the young.

The key element in the solution is that, before you can move forward, you have to get unstuck. Before you can focus your vision, you have to open your eyes. Before you can use your resources productively, you have to set your energies free. Free from what?

* From tasks, chores, and activities that you don't like and that you are doing out of an obscure respect for tradition.

* From people who don't appreciate you, ignore you, or waste your time, with whom you put up out of excessive benevolence.

* From supposed challenges, goals, and objectives that are not really your own, that you have picked up somewhere along the way and that are preventing you from doing what you know you should be doing.

A day comes in everyone's life when we must choose between giving up our dreams or dropping all dead weight. When that time comes in your life, I am sure that you don't need anyone to tell you what to do.

Take heart, I know how difficult it is to get out of the rut. Pick up a sheet of paper and make a list of people to ditch, things to dump, and races that you are no longer willing to run. As you begin to discard what doesn't work, you will be amazed how resourceful you become in pursuing the few things that count.


[Image by vilpedo under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under]