reflection · October 31, 2008 0

grow or unplug


If you want to accomplish something of significance, you have to put in the blood, sweat, and tears to do it.  It is that simple.  But as Morpheus says in The Matrix, ‘there is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path’.


At present I work to maintain the conditions, possessions, and position I have now.  I am doing the things I need to do to maintain the status quo.  Is the status quo good enough?  In the context of my life the status quo consists of a loving, healthy, happy family.  The kids are doing well in school.  They have what they need to feel nurtured and nourished.  They have an active social life and appear to be well liked amongst their peers.  The wife and I have more or less the same.  When I am not doing things to aggravate the wife, she seems happy.  And when I am not doing things to aggravate myself I am happy.


I cause myself aggravation when I want what I don’t have and when I imagine that I will lose what I do have if I don’t push myself to do more and more.  I convince myself that I have to keep up with the imaginary Smith’s and Jones’s.  Alan de Botton calls it status anxiety.  It is an anxiety caused by what we think others think of us; whether they judge us a success or failure, a winner or a loser.  Go to any networking or social function where no one knows who you are and what is one of the first questions people ask you?  ‘What do you do?’  This is the moment when you are suppose to ‘strut your stuff’, spread your feathers like a peacock to impress.  Or you mumble something and quickly change the subject.  I usually avoid the answer by saying. ‘I shake hands and kiss babies.’


Nietzsche says the ingredients of fulfillment are:

– A position in the world

– Sex

– Intellectual mastery

– Creativity

Am I fulfilled?

– Position in the world (a grain of sand on a beech)

– Sex (I get plenty, but like most men, could always do with more)

– Intellectual mastery (striving for, but easily distracted by other things)

– Creativity (not expressed in the way I would like to express it)


Should I continue to maintain the status quo?  I could if I take myself out of the system where I am judged by what I do, by how much money I make, by what kind of car I drive, by what position I hold, and by what access I have to the top of the line consumer must haves to be seen as successful.


Do I want to unplug from the system?


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