Culture and fashion call for conformity. Relinquishing individual thinking and embracing a standard lifestyle bring enormous advantages. They save you time when it comes to taking decisions. They spare you embarrassment when it comes to disguising the truth.
Do you want to fill your
years with happiness or with souvenirs?
side is filled by non-conformity, which is just a different sort of
style. Holidays are not spent on the beach, but practising dangerous
sports. Hobbies do not include watching movies, but wandering in the
tropical forest. Clothes, instead of well-fitting and colourful, are
torn and monochrome.
You can choose either way to fill your
years, not with happiness, but with souvenirs. Imitating someone else's
pictures is not the way to create great paintings. Adopting values that
make no sense will not move you forward nor render your feelings more
intense. Downtrodden tracks lead to dejected spirits. For sure, that is
not a path you want to take.
There is an alternative, the same
that has always worked. You don't need to spend your days wondering
which fashion leads to less dismay. Wisdom does not entail rejecting
principles that are preached, but comparing them with reason, and
selecting those that work.
Individuality can only draw meaning
Sound choices are the result of man's logical
evaluation of the world. Before we start to compose our own song, we
must allow our mind to filter out random noise. These are my three
suggestions about how to move from inherited values to consistency with
1. Stop believing in myths
clothes, nor gadgets, nor locations lead to happiness. The majority
might bestow moral credibility to arbitrary standards, but you are not
obliged to buy in. The idea that things have to be done in one specific
way is, more often than not, false. Shun rigidity and look around for
2. Abandon contradictory goals
Irrationality is synonymous with inconsistency. False ideas conflict
with facts and with each other. Anxiety is the mark of those who move at
random, without destination. Animals do not need perspective, but
humans do. Drop ideas that do not make sense and rebuild your thinking
3. Determine your direction
can be distilled from observation, but each has a myriad of different
applications. The law of cause and effect drives all existence, but your
context is unique. No one can tell you how to lead your life best. Let
your reason establish your ambitions and priorities.
Happiness calls for
a stable purpose
the short-term contentment of imitation adds little worth to your
experience and much expense to you detriment. Shrug your shoulders at
unrealistic advice and ignore insincere invitations. Happiness calls for
a stable purpose and continuous action. Choose the way of reason.
For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book about how to be rational "The 10 Principles of Rational Living"
[Image by kiwinz under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]