When we are children — we create the rules of the games we create.
It is always more fun to play games where we create the rules. It helps us gain more control of our lives, and have more fun.
When we get older, we lose our sense of self. We stop making our own rules for our own game of life. Rather, we start to blindly follow the rules that others set for us.
All rules in society are socialized. None of them are set in stone. The biggest lesson I’ve learned through traveling is how diverse and different all social rules are.
In Japan/America, it is considered bad manners to arrive late. But in a lot of Southeast Asian cultures, it is considered bad manners to arrive on time.
In America, it is considered bad manners not to shake someone’s hand when you meet them. But in Thailand, people don’t touch hands and rather bow to one another.
In the West, the concept of “personal space” is far different from the East. In the West, we value our “personal space” (and it tends to be pretty far). But in the East, “personal space” practically doesn’t exist (apparently in countries with higher populations, people are generally closer together).
Is your game fun?
Your life is short. Why play according to the rules of society?
Of course there are certain societal rules you must follow — pay your taxes, and don’t kill anybody else. But besides that, you can create your own rules of life.
- You have control what kind of job or career to pursue
- You have control with who you decide to socialize with or who not to socialize with
- You have control to believe in what you want to believe (of course, the sad reality is in some countries— you aren’t always given the freedom to openly express your beliefs. But you can still believe what you want to believe in your own mind)
- You have the control to marry, who not to marry, and whether you want to marry or not (of course you don’t have control over this, if you are born into slavery— which once again, sadly exists in a lot of the world. But I assume if you’re reading this, you probably have a lot more autonomy in your life)
- You have freedom to choose your hobbies, and how to spend your free time
- You have control what to eat, and what not to eat
- You have control which information to intake, and which information not to intake
We have a lot more freedom in our lives than we think we do. But the problem is— we succumb to societal pressures.
The reason why a lot of us succumb to societal pressures is from fear. We are scared we will lose our jobs, our families, and our loved ones. The worst fear we have isn’t death— it is being ostracized and kicked out by society. I think in our DNA, not being part of a social structure is worse than death.
But you live in the modern world, where you shouldn’t fear death— or being abandoned by society. The truth is the internet gives us freedom to meet anybody we want to, and converse with people with similar beliefs.
In most countries, we can afford rent, and pay for our food and water. We might not be rich, or well-off, but we usually have enough (at least in terms of basic survival).
I feel the ultimate goal in life is to have personal freedom — to spend our mental energy, time, and efforts in doing what we want to do. To do creative work, to empower ourselves and empower others. To be useful to other humans, and to have a purposeful life.
The irony is that often we have to break away from societal rules, to better help society.
I’m a capitalist at heart (being an American), but I believe in free and open-source information. In abandoning the traditional “rule” of charging for information — I decided to rebel and instead, keep it all open and free. Ironically enough, this has helped me gain more financial success, because the information I produce helped popularize this blog, which in turn helps me sell out workshops and sell physical products.
I don’t have the answers. I just know what works for me. You will need to strive with all of your energy to figure out what works for you. But my sincere hope is to share everything that I have personally learned along the way, in order to help you.
And the first rule is to try to create your own rules of living for yourself. You will piss people off. Certain people will stop being your friend. But if you don’t live a life true to yourself, will you be able to live a full life?
Always stay true to yourself,
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