Back to Work

Goodbye, sweet freedom. I didn’t want you anyway.

I only thought I did. It was all a myth, you see.

The allure of a 4 hour work week….It sounds so seductive when you are working 40 hours+ each week.

So I fought like a madman to make it happen. And I achieved it….for a few years.

And let me tell you…..it ain’t worth it.

Sure, you get more free time. But you don’t really need that. And it doesn’t make you magically happier. Not like you thought it would, anyway.

And that is the tricky part.

I had to quit my day job, I had to get a taste of that freedom before I could really understand how happiness works.

The mind naturally wants what it cannot have. The grass looks greener on the other side, especially for a full time employee. You wouldn’t waste a of life of leisure, right? Not if someone dropped a million dollars in your lap? You would be happy to kick your feet up and relax, right?

Not true. You go chase that freedom, find out what it is all about.

It’s not so great. I’m telling you.

I savored that freedom for a while. And, it makes a great story: “I work 45 minutes per day.” Or: “I have a 7 hour work week.”

But guess what? Nobody cares. Plus, you won’t be any happier for it.

Who cares about freedom, when happiness is right under your nose all along….

Go buy that new iPhone and stop complaining about the rat race.

Put a smile on your face.

Be grateful for existence itself. That is real freedom.

Creation and the Paradox of Total Freedom

Let me give you a piece of chocolate.

Let it melt in your mouth for a moment. The name of this chocolate is creation.

According to Albert Camus, there are really only 3 basic choices in this world.

In a seemingly uncaring and hostile universe where we are searching for some sort of meaning…..

The 3 choices are:

1) Suicide. (yikes, really?)
2) Philosophical suicide (subvert your beliefs to religious dogma).
3) Create your own meaning.

I have given it an honest effort and I am simply not wired for the first two options. I have tried, tried again.

And I always end up coming back to option number 3. That is the only thing that works for me.

I cannot accept someone else’s dogma. I just can’t do it. The people who “write the rules” (so to speak) don’t have special knowledge. My mind simply refuses to believe it.

And so I just can’t subvert my beliefs to religious dogma. I have tried.

Freedom comes with a price.

In “The Paradox of Choice” we learn that most people are actually happier with LESS choice.

And yet we all believe that we will be happier if we have more options, more freedom, more power.

Those who subvert their beliefs for dogma have accepted a set of constraints in their life. That is what dogma is….at the core it is a set of constraints. It is a set of limits.

And strangely enough, this generally leads to more happiness.

And yet I cannot “get there.” I can’t seem to accept the constraints.

It is not necessarily a lack of faith. I don’t know what it is exactly. But I can’t accept dogma being preached to me. I can’t just accept it, believe it, and be happy with it. I can’t let that become my purpose.

So it is my responsibility to create my own meaning, my own purpose.

It is so much easier to define what we are not.

I quit smoking, quit drinking, etc. Defined by things I am not.

So then later: “I am a runner.” That is a start on creating meaning.

But it can’t stop there, can it? We need more than that.

And then: I am a writer. I create on the blank page, without fear, heck….without even stopping to think. I write like a madman most times.

And later on: I am an entrepreneur. I have created one successful business. Now I sell my time to the highest bidder, which I deem to be more profitable than creating another business.

I have reduced the waste in my life to nearly nothing. That means I am frugal and spend money very consciously and carefully.

It also means that I have a lot more power in terms of cash flow, investment income, even retirement options. I am not exactly a slave to the workplace at this point.

And this leads to choices. I have choices today. Lots of choice. Power, even.

But perhaps what I really need are constraints.

I need a better problem to solve.

A puzzle that will entertain and delight.

I need to reinvent myself. Again. And become that better version of myself by creating something new.

Complacency is a lack of creation. What are you creating in your life?

If you are not making anything then you are complacent.

In this sense you are no different than your higher power.

Look around at all of this stuff that God made. And I am going to sit here and complain about Facebook? Really?

Personal growth is not an act of elimination. You have to create something; make something. Build something. Build yourself. Reinvent yourself.

Today I am creating my own meaning, my own purpose. Because I have rejected all other forms of dogma. I can’t help it.

Not because I am awesome. I simply can’t accept the programming. My mind rejects dogma. Tell me how to think, and my mind rebels.

I have plenty of choices and plenty of power at my disposal.

Is freedom the path to happiness?

Chuck Palahniuk said:

“All God does is watch us and kill us when we get boring. We must never, ever be boring.”

The opposite of boring is…..creating. Creation. We become exciting when we are creating. When we are thrashing about, trying to make something happen.

I cannot afford to be idle. I have to make. If I don’t do this the universe will step in and impose constraints on me. Then I have to create.

So I may as well do it now. Unprovoked. Find a point of passion and run with it.

If you are going to create your own meaning and your own purpose, then don’t just browse Facebook all day and watch TV. That is a recipe for misery.

Build. Make. Create.

Creation.

That’s what God wants for you, after all.

He wants you to create. He wants you to play in his sandbox.

Now go eat some chocolate, and be happy….

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