At the end of our days, it just won’t matter what those who don’t matter think of us. Yet, even though each of us knows this, we convince ourselves that their ideas, opinions, and plans for us are somehow more valid than our own.
Magazine, Television, the Internet, Social Media, Celebrity Gossip, and, of course, our Peers. Each of them has an uncanny way in which they influence our every decision. It’s through these decisions that they are, in turn, able to shape our very existence.
Don’t do that. Don’t wear that. Why are you saying that? Who said that you could do that?
Yes, the societal pressure is never-ending and unfortunately, as a by-product so is its influence. We allow it to infiltrate our lives as if it is holding us at gunpoint. Our very purpose, the thing that gives our lives meaning is being dictated to us and we stand pat and allow it to happen.
We tell ourselves that we can’t be 100% to blame. The pressure comes from all angles and it is simply impossible to fend off every attack. So we do exactly what it wants us to do.
We allow it in. One-by-one. Piece-by-piece. And slowly, over time, like a snake eating a mouse, it has its way with us. And that’s all it needs to take advantage. Just one opening. And advantage it takes.
It systematically shapes and sculpts our lives to whichever way it sees fit. Instead of it questioning all that we do, it begins to tell us all that we do. Be this. Do that. Follow the system and not your purpose. Once it’s in, we become as helpless as a newborn child.
Because it’s easier that way and we are social creatures who have an innate desire to fit in.
Our species seems to find comfort in easy. This is why we will go through a drive thru rather than walk into the restaurant. This is why online shopping has taken a foothold on more than one market. And this is why marketers make millions of dollars a year providing a sure fire solution to becoming rich that promises no work.
It’s just easy and we want easy.
And it gets worse.
We let those we should have no influence over our lives have all of the influence over our lives. We walk through malls seeking to find the latest designer trends as though it will somehow make us better people. Then we jump on and off the latest fad diets so that we may fit into those designer clothes.
And if we’re feeling really conscious about how the world perceives us, we post a picture to Facebook from a vacation two years ago and proudly announce where we are.
Again, we do this because it is easier than the admission that we struggle with hard. We do this because we desire to fit into the mold that society has created for us.
The problem, although I suspect you can already see it, is that this mold is unrealistic. Due to its very nature, it mimics a sliding scale that we cannot catch. No matter what we try and what we do, the scale will always be just out of reach.
I ask if the problem is apparent, why do only a select few of us make it a priority to escape the prisons that we send ourselves to?
We must understand that looking around and trying to emulate what we see will not change our worlds. Instead, we must implement being different from what is around us. This simple task is what will allow us to break free of the status quo and change our worlds.
This means that we must embrace uncertainty, creativity, and inflate our deflated confidence. Remember, as Robert Frost has so famously said, “Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
You probably realize that this path is not easy nor will it involve fitting in. However, each of us cannot be afraid to step foot on it. As is the theme of this website, this path is the path dedicated to not giving any f*cks. Not giving any f*ucks will give us the freedom that we so desperately need.
For too long we have let outside pressures affect us and for too long, these pressures have created an existence dedicated to merely being alive. I purpose that instead of simply being alive, we live.
As technology advances and we continue to live longer, we must ensure that we live without the stranglehold that outside influences have over us. For if we don’t, this stranglehold will only last longer and bring us down further.
Joel Scott is a family man. Everything that he does is for his wife and son. They keep him focused and moving forward. His purpose in life is to help as many people as possible and then when he believes that he has helped everyone, help a few more. He is an active real estate investor, personal development junkie, and comic book lover. He has spent the last number of years turning all of his passions into avenues that will help him achieve his goals. Joel can be found blogging over at www.joelascott.com and his book can be downloaded here.