Saturday, January 24, 2015

(Fuck Your) Little ways to Improve Your Life:

Photo by Caitlin Worthington

In my ridiculously short lifespan I have had so many conversations with people that revolve around work, trying to find meaningful work or the person I am conversing with being sad because of their work.

It's no secret that I'm not the biggest fan of capitalism. It's clearly not a perfect ideology and it teaches us to one-up each other all the time, which isn't the most communal thing in the world (obvs), but I also wonder how often others make the connection between how capitalism, work and the trickle-down narrative of competition and domination in our world affect their daily lives.

Studies have suggested that most sources of depression and anxiety in adults come from within the workplace - which sucks as that's where we spend most of our time. It would also appear that western culture focuses more on how much income a particular job garners as opposed to how much satisfaction, happiness and helpfulness it can create.

Photo by Jack Toohey

When our governments, media and legal and social precedents are set on this idea, it can be difficult to eschew it from our own brains. Eventually it trickles down the social spectrum from our macro and into our micro worlds, leaking into every crevice of our brains and personalities, and causes us to lead lives which have been designed for us rather than by us.

It's important to do our best not to get caught up in this. It's important to keep our brains alive, striving and analysing. It's so, so important to design the kind of life that will bring us happiness, inspiration and satisfaction, rather than living the life we're told will bring us satisfaction because satisfaction has been defined and we are not allowed to question that definition.

A good friend of mine once drew me a portrait of Albert Einstein with a quote of his underneath it reading,

'The important thing is to not stop questioning, curiosity has it's own reasons for existing.'

That, my friend is how you improve your life, by learning what it is you want from life: Experiment, chop, change, quit, fire, hire, explore, dream, analyse, question, strive, read, think, be critical, educate yourself - and do it constantly. Throw everything you have at a wall, some things might stick, some might drop away and others might break right on through the wall and offer you a glimpse of a life you might have never even seen before!

There is no quick fix: If you want to improve your life and achieve more you must be in it for the long haul; the 84 or so years you might experience on this planet, in this body, with these dreams.