Ever since I have been looking at life with a neutral focus I have started to notice how weird our “normal” perspectives of life are.
I cannot believe how many of us have bought into other people’s definitions of how we should live life. We do things that we don’t want to do and live our lives in complete misery all because someone else told us that “that’s just the way life is.”
The funny thing is these other people don’t have any more of a clue of how life is than you or I. They just made up some story and sold it to others, and then the others continued to sell it to others and now we end up with a world believing in some other people’s story.
The fact is and always will be that life is devoid of meaning. It absolutely has none built into it whatsoever. We are the only ones that gives each of our lives meaning. I cannot emphasize that point enough!
So why do we listen to others and believe that their meaning or definition of life is more believable than our own? It boggles my mind to think of how many people do this everyday of their lives.
Our whole society is built on other people’s definition of life. Most of our lives consist of going to work/school everyday, many times against our own true will. Why? Because we think work and school have a built-in ability to support us. They don’t. They are neutral places that we associate with the concept of support. The question is: how do we define “support”? It can be defined very vaguely to define all types of support or we can define it very narrowly onto one particular type, like financial support associated with work. Support can come in ways that we can’t even imagine but we have chosen to focus our definition very narrowly onto one type instead. Under this type of definition, we must go to work or school because only those places are associated with support to us. But remember, it is only because we defined them as actions that support us that we get that effect out of them. It’s like we defined a bicycle as the only form of transportation and then forced ourselves to ride it in a thunderstorm. It seems very ludicrous to me that we choose to do that, but we do, all the time.
Another question is: how do we define “work” in the first place? Right now, most of us define that work must be somewhere we go to perform duties for another person or group of people so that they can support us to live our lives. Some other people have defined work a little differently. For example, professional athletes play sports and live a life of extreme pleasure while getting paid vast amounts of money, all because they defined playing sports as “work”. The point is that we can define anything as work, including the actions that bring us joy in life. Defining the actions we enjoy in life as work can create the same effect as our traditional idea of what work should be. All actions are also fundamentally neutral. It is us who label them and define one as greater than the other. Why do we apply the meaning of work and support to actions we don’t prefer? Who said that the non-preferential action is the only one to be defined as work?
We can continue going down the list of all the experiences in our life that we don’t enjoy and find out why we define those as something we must experience in that way. (Religious definitions anyone?)
One of the most influential beliefs I have seen that we have bought into is that “life can’t be fun and games all the time.” Why the hell not? Who said we can’t have fun living life? Life sure didn’t. It depends on what is defined as “fun” and “games”. For a lot of us we substitute those words with “enjoyment”. So our belief is really that “life can’t be enjoyment all the time.” Because of this definition of life we almost look for suffering and pain (Remember “No pain, no gain” or “All things worth having in life don’t come easy”?) We look at others who do enjoy life as “lazy slackers” or “spoiled rich folks”. All of this because we bought into others’ beliefs and definitions.
So once again, my main point is: we can take back the power to define life in ways we prefer so that we can enjoy it rather than live in misery. We can finally choose to realize that we have bought into others’ definitions and that we can stop judging the actions and experiences we prefer in life because of these other definitions.