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The hardest thing in society is trying to look good…

You’ve got to look good all the time. Because if you don’t, you’re a failure.

Of course you’re not really a failure, but that’s the message that we’re being fed with. One thing we do need to shine a spotlight on, is this need to look good. It doesn’t serve us too well.

Here are some examples:

Education
You’ve got to have an education. You’ve got to have a degree. Because if you don’t, you’re behind all of those that have them. What? It’s too expensive? It costs £10,000 a year? So just take out a loan and spend your life paying if off. Because if you don’t you’re a failure.

Here’s the thing – this ‘you must have a degree’ concept is new. My father’s generation had no such thing. Most people then didn’t even have degrees. A high school education was enough to get into many jobs. Nowadays, we are fed this programming that we need it, but that’s just it – programming.

Work
You’ve got to have a good job. No, not a job. A ‘Career’. And make sure you’ve got a good job title to go with it, the kind of title, that no one would be able to guess your job if they met you at a party. And if you don’t, well you’re a failure. So get one. And don’t even think of doing something out of the norm. Society doesn’t like that.

Or work consumes your life so much that on the weekend, you’re thinking of Monday morning. All your conversations revolve around work. You have drinks with friends and you spend the whole time complaining about work. And if you don’t do this, you don’t fit in. So get complaining already. You’re not supposed to like your work.

But if you do, you are on the right path.

Relationships
Where’s your partner, your girlfriend or boyfriend, husband or wife? You don’t have one? Something must be wrong with you then. Hurry up and get one.

But you know sometimes, being single is the best thing for us and especially early in life. Once we have a partner, life always follows a certain track. We become two people attempting to live as one. Conflict is inevitable. There are good things about being with a partner. You will live longer according to scientific studies. But there are some downsides. There are experiences that you can only have when you are single, and it may be good to get some of them out-of-the-way first. So there is no rush. Some people don’t want to be with others. My father would happily live on an island all by himself.
And dating? Dating has become a job. Dates are like interviews. You have to sell yourself. What’s with just being yourself? Instead you always have to impress.

Possessions
What’s with that car you’re driving? Is it second-hand? Heaven forbid. Quick hurry up and get a car loan and buy that new model so it can fit in with the other cars on your street.

I’m driving a second-hand Ford. A kind of hand-me-down. I guess its more of an old grannies car, because whenever I see the same model on the street, it always seems to be driven by an old women. It’s not cool. But then again, I’ve driven a few thousand miles in it now and it hasn’t broken down yet. What loyalty.

And your home. Well your kitchen is at least 5 years old. Renovate it. In fact renovate the whole house. This isn’t the 1930s anymore. Don’t forget the garden. What must the neighbours think? And those clothes. Comfortable you say? That’s no good. Get thee to the high-street and shop, shop, shop.

It’s like that quote from Fight Club: “The things you own, end up owning you”.

Health
What you’ve got health problems? Well don’t tell people at your work or that job interview. They don’t want unhealthy people. Only the truly healthy are welcome. And make sure you’ve got a degree too.

We’re not all running perfectly. Some of us have things that don’t function at peak operation. That’s because we’re humans, not robots. There are people, that cover up any health issues, because they know if people or workplaces found out, it could hold them back.

Then there’s the opposite. Health becomes a way of looking good. You force yourself to eat flaxseed or quinoa like a guinea pig, because its natural, because its good for you. Though secretly you want pizza and beer and maybe to finish with a loads of chocolate.

Here’s an Al Bundy quote:

Healthy people are like dinosaurs, they’re not fit to survive

Then there’s the contradictions. Once I worked with people who spent all day snacking on cake. Then at lunch time, they’d force themselves to eat dry ryevita crackers or some miserable looking salad. I suppose it was a compensation. Here’s the thing: Have a good wholesome hot lunch with veg meat or fish and a dessert. And skip the cakes throughout the day. Then you’d never have to eat that  treacherous foodstuff Ryevita again.

 

Success

Perhaps this is the most insidious. You’ve got to win. You’ve got to be a winner. Not a loser.

You strive. Because everyone knows if you want to succeed in life, you’ve got to strive. You’ve got to suffer. But is that real true?

Can things actually come to you without the need to strive? We’re fed this idea that if you want to be a winner, you’ve got to get out there and fight. You’ve got to compete. And if you get knocked down, you’ve got to get up one more time. Sure it’s great. It speaks to the inner Rocky inside of us, but is it really necessary? Doesn’t this just create too much internal tension? I am starting to believe that we can have the life we want to have without striving, without having to fight for it. Sometimes we just have to get out-of-the-way of ourselves for a better life.

It gets tiring sometime. People are judging you. You’re judging people. Got to look good. Because if you don’t, society thinks you’re a failure in life. But what is this monster? This monster is a combination of desire, envy, comparison and inferiority. Lots of stuff, we don’t need in life.

We can’t let this monster take control of us. Mustn’t feed it too much. We have to slay this monster. It’s got many heads, but only one body. To do so, will take a reprogramming of your programming. All these things we’ve been fed with, these ideas, these codes, have to be altered. We do it little by little, step by step. Here are some beginning steps:

  1. Switch off the TV. That’s the worse source. For entertainment, stream movies online or watch YouTube and choose what you feed yourself.
  2. Read More – books, also blogs and learn about other people’s lives and experiences. Also, stop reading newspapers. Almost no news in it has any relevance to you.
  3. Balance your life. If you’re obsessed with health food and Wholefoods shopping, go to Macdonalds, or even Kentucky Fried Chicken and get a bucket. Conversely, if you’re a fast-food connoisseur, you need to get your ass to the gym and surround yourself with some health-obsessive people.
  4. If your life is centred only around work, its time to take a vacation. Go somewhere so removed, that its effects will counteract any pull that work might have. Or join new clubs, start new hobbies – particularly connected to any deep desire that you have.
  5. If you’re a complete shopaholic or obsessed with trivialities like renovating your kitchen, you really must go to a poorer country. The kind of country, where kids will flock around you in the street with palms open asking for some money.
  6. Minimalise. Look in your home and ask yourself how much of the stuff there do you really need? Most stuff is unneeded. Get rid of what you are not using immediately. Clear the space. Allow a clear flow of Ki in your home.

Whatever you do, these small acts of rebellion will break the programming. They will set things on a different course. You still have to live and function in a world where people follow this programming, but you will slowly become more self-aware of these controlling influences and more resistant to them.

 

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