Part of mental and emotional freedom is being able to write and say what you want, WITHOUT fear of awkwardness, rejection or embarrassment. So often, we worry about this, and we don’t even think of it. Look at that hot guy over there, omigod, I have to say the *right* thing so he’ll like me. Or: Omigod, I can’t stand up for what I believe in online, because I teach at a school. Speaking freely would damage my saintly reputation with the kiddies…
But when one agrees to live a life of censorship, we find our lives and our relationships stifled and censored as well. I have experienced this firsthand. I used to teach, and I was always worried about getting “caught” with evidence of my creativity seeping into the hands of Google-happy parents. And I’ve had my share of unrequited love, looking longingly on at boys at school, or hipster-ish men who would never, ever deign to fancy my frowned, intelligent face.
Thanks to Clozapine, I no longer frown. Shameless advertising plug there, but that’s what has changed my life. This and strong friendships, and a great place of work.
In any case, one’s capacity for success is not measurable by money or reputation, or even personal happiness. I’ve learned that it is actually measured by *flow*. Are you able to move seamlessly from one endeavor to the next? Are you able to have conversations that you don’t dwell on thereafter? Can you come home from work not worrying about your day? When you eliminate the attached thoughts that come with rumination, you then free your mind to focus on other things.
A mark of one who ambitious enough to earn and keep success perhaps is… a desire for increased productivity. The kind of productivity that can be documented in a lengthy Wikipedia entry. That is the true mark of success these days, as trivial as we try to say it is.
News flash: heightened productivity is not achieved by creating pressure on ourselves! Pressure is a false source of “energy.” Why?
- Pressure is a temporary occurrence. It pushes against a “deadline,” and then dissipates when the deadline has disappeared. It is not a condition or a state of mind that can be permanently maintained.
- Some people try to live pressured lives. However, this is an exhausting experience. As strong as we may be, we eventually wear ourselves out. And if we don’t wear ourselves out, then we end up wearing out everyone around us. Picture the “boss” at work that must be pleased. That corporate machine works because people are too afraid to lose their jobs. A source of pressure. Negative productivity.
- Pressure is a source of energy that a high schooler or college undergraduate uses to finish a term paper for an uninteresting gen-ed class. Unlearning procrastination is one of the greatest things one can do. If one can find joy in the process of learning, then completing tasks is easy.
One thing that impedes people is the desire to do everything “just right.” Perfectionism. But really, this is not the way to develop oneself. This just results in a smaller output.
Instead, we have to *develop ourselves* to the point that everything we create, no matter what it is or no matter how long it takes, is really amazing. So the only thing that we need to learn how to do is become more efficient. Do things faster. How is this practiced? By doing things and not holding onto the result. Just doing it, and moving on.
How else do you think those classical composers wrote as much amazing stuff as they did? By just writing! If you notice, everything that Mozart wrote sounds like *Mozart.* Because that’s HIM. That’s his STYLE. As one develops the skill of “flow,” one develops her/his own style. One can discover his/her own talents and creative expressiveness as well.
Developing this skill can be one of the happiest experiences known to man. It is more possible than ever as well, due to the speed of technology.
One thing that people fear these days is being “plagiarized.” I have this great great idea, and I have to keep it to myself. I’m going to do an internet start-up, and market this idea, and then I will earn millions… but if I tell someone else, my idea will get stolen, and I’ll be robbed of my life’s well-earned fortune.
Guess what? If you’re idea is good enough to earn millions, then you’re smart enough to have it stolen and then come up with something else equally as brilliant. Or even more brilliant, given that the stolen idea was concocted by a younger version of you. But how does one do that? By cultivating FLOW.
But it’s not so easy as you say. I’m not a philosopher, or a bank of life-coach statements. I’m a scientist! A personage of research! I must thoroughly study what I suspect to be true. I must then keep the results all to myself until I’m am ready for unveiling… so that this new electrical engineering innovation can be named after ME, and that I would earn a fat chunk of royalties and be remembered with renown and reverence, as one regards Edison.
Ah yes. Edison, a square example of success, when compared to the circuitous Tesla. But isn’t Tesla more intriguing? And electric?
In regard to inventors and scientists who fear having their ideas stolen: The world can’t wait. We are facing massive problems here. Global warming. Economic failure. Extreme poverty. Instead of having different sets of scientists scrambling to reach the moon first, they should work together so that we all can get there faster.
In order for this to happen, people really have to lose the “fear” of getting “fucked over.” You could say that there’s always one asshole that will exploit the do-gooders and manipulate everything so that the honest workers will potentially get the shit end of the stick to ensure his/her wealth… but again, the world can’t wait.
I really like this idea too as it relates to global warming. Because the battle to stop global warming isn’t a “deadline.” It’s something we must do continually, forever. It is a lifestyle we have to adopt. A mentality. Once mankind can adopt a mentality where we are able to survive peaceably and indefinitely, we are then finally ready to move on to greater things. Things that require faster intellect to devise.
The notion of personal ownership of wealth, patents and discovery can give way to… FLOW. Like the instantaneous speed of the internet. FLOW.
What do you think? I’d love to hear comments.