A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Two and a half years ago I left the corporate programming world to work full-time on my own software business. It’s gone well and I have no regrets, but sometimes it’s been tough – the most challenging times have often involved being socially isolated. I don’t talk to another soul most days of the week, something which took getting used to.
Being isolated for long periods of time creates a perspective that is difficult, if not impossible to arrive at in standard employment where one regularly interacts with those who have bought into the ethos of modern culture.
What follows are some ways to increase life satisfaction in this culture.
Feel trapped in your current job? Career hit a dead-end? Or maybe you’re just sick of the corporate grind all-together.
Many people feel this way. The problem is that most think this is “just the way it is” and that’s that.
I’m here to strongly proclaim that the nonsensical existence many of us lead is neither the way it could be, nor is it even “natural” in terms of the evolutionary path our ancestors traversed.
I firmly believe you can change your life situation to be much more in line with your natural tendencies. A life of meaningful work inline with your inborn talents. Spending your time doing the activities you value. In other words being “The Real You”.
All that’s required is patience, discipline and a bit of knowledge.
For those that have who have found it difficult to proceed along the path of their calling, there isn’t a better book than The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Although geared toward authors, I consider this an essential read for anyone attempting to create something of their own that they feel is true to themselves, outside the guidance of a boss or other figure we typically rely on to keep us on track.
This book as highly complementary to Beyond Success and Failure which is all about self-reliance by breaking free of your child-like dependencies. If you’re ever going to live up to your true potential you’re going to have to quit paying attention to outside forces and summon the bravery to undertake your true calling.
The book discusses problems that are at the root of a lot of unhappiness in our daily lives and offers solutions for overcoming these problems.
What I find particularly interesting is how much of the book’s information was foreign to me even though I’ve read a lot of self-help books over the past couple of decades. The book was originally published in 1966 and appears to be another example of modern culture forgetting the wisdom our grandparents once possessed.
However, much of the craziness is self-imposed. Or at we least passively allow it to continue.
You do have the power to reign it in you know…
Turn off the TV. Don’t check Facebook. Turn off email notifications. Check emails and texts every few hours instead of constantly. Delay responding to people. Cut back on the junk surfing. Quit reacting.
Quit consuming for a one damn minute.
What’s that sound? It’s the sound of silence. Foreign isn’t it?
It’s even a little disconcerting.
Does the thought of being out of the loop make you nervous? Good. That means you’re addicted to the madness. And addicts aren’t in control of their lives, they just live for the next hit.
Don’t give outside forces the reigns then complain about how things turn out.
Almost everyone in modern life has some degree of stress and worry. In recent months, I’ve discovered the philosophy of ‘Stoicism’ and it offers an amazingly helpful technique for dealing with the troubles of modern life.