In quest for abundance

Society, Alice Phoebe Lou

“Oh, he stands in front of me

And he’s staring manically

Screaming oh society

What have you done to me?

The ground I’ve tread so many years

All this blood and sweat and tears

Just to be inside your mould

And do just what I’m told

If only I had been so bold

But now my body’s getting old

And time is oh so golden

If only it could be frozen

But you took it away from me

Oh society

You took it away from me

Oh, my liberty

Oh you took it away from me

Oh, society

You took it away from me

When you brainwashed me with formulas of how I should be

Shaped me and raped me of my individuality

Schooled me and fooled me

Told me what I could and could not see

Took me and shook me

Of my urges to be free ”

Society by Alice Phoebe Lou

“… a new poll shows that most young people do not support capitalism.

The Harvard University survey, which polled young adults between ages 18 and 29, found that 51 percent of respondents do not support capitalism…

John Della Volpe, the polling director at Harvard, went on to personally interview a small group of young people about their attitudes toward capitalism to try to learn more. They told him that capitalism was unfair and left people out despite their hard work.

“They’re not rejecting the concept,” Della Volpe said. “The way in which capitalism is practiced today, in the minds of young people — that’s what they’re rejecting.”

“ — Max Ehrenfreund in The Washington Post

What society has developed as western culture with its etiquettes, statuses are not thriving anymore; it didn’t in the first place, it only worked in expense of others. Still so many hold on to the old ideas of what achievement and success actually is.

“What becomes clear here is that ours is a system that is programmed to subordinate life to the imperative of profit.

For a startling example of this, consider the horrifying idea to breed brainless chickens and grow them in huge vertical farms, Matrix-style, attached to tubes and electrodes and stacked one on top of the other, all for the sake of extracting profit out of their bodies as efficiently as possible. Or take the Grenfell Tower disaster in London, where dozens of people were incinerated because the building company chose to use flammable panels in order to save a paltry £5,000 (around $6,500). Over and over again, profit trumps life.

“ — Jason Hickel and Martin Kirk in Fast Code Company

Even “most of our cities are build from faceless glass for economies and not for humanities” — Frank Gehry

We have come a long way in technological and scientific advancement, but there is so much to say about the western way of thinking. It’s a thinking of the past, that we are great (which we are not). If you grew up or are growing up in North America or North Europe you easily think you are great. Where does this arrogance of greatness come from? Is it because of the colonies captured and the hunted down resources? Is it due to a religion that makes people into tiny self-absorbed, the ‘my believe is better, truer than yours’ mentality? Is this how we grow as individuals, companies, societies, by keeping people out or keeping them low!?

A craft of the ego, longing for status, filled with fear, that the other may get there too and become the number one… on the top of the social ladder (instead of you).

Status! status! status!… Screw it

In expense of our own authentic self we bring it to the alter and burn the real me to get more views, followers, money and recognition, as a means of achievement and status. In a not so older generation these statuses where houses, cars, expensive vacations and being married. These are good things in itself, but when this is the norm, a status, most of us will suffer, simply because it is indeed an achievement, but like every achievement, it comes with a cost.

Do we really want the same thing as everyone else? Do we really thrive to reach that same thing, as others? Do we really want to climb the same social ladder? Do we really want to incline in the same old ideas of what achievement is? What do you expect to find there? Recognition? Love? Respect? Or is it that you expect to find that you did something useful, noteworthy, VALUABLE, towards yourself and others? That you reached something, that you have won a “trophy” of life, that you have gained the oracle to everything, like a real alchemist, transforming dust into gold.

Are there really loser and winners in the game of capitalism? Does our value come from a nice polished ego? Clothes, houses, credentials, and what others say/think about me?

“Rather than looking at winners versus losers in the workplace, we should looking at motivation along a continuum that ranges from extrinsic (“What can I earn or win in doing this task?“) to intrinsic (“What can I enjoy by doing this?”).

“Internal competition is also associated with extrinsic motivation and brings out a host of maladaptive behaviors, for example cheating and undermining others” — Paul Baard, professor of Organizational Psychology at Fordham University

Instead of being our own authentic self, we want to outperform, outgrow the other, by following some metric, so we become higher in the social ladder. We can’t, it’s a race against the wall, and it is already hitting people with depression, anxiety and health issues.

Every competence (with others) has as end goal that the other NOT. That the other does not reach for what you are reaching for, only one can have all power as conflict theorist believe. These people believe that everyone is fighting someone else. They may work together to achieve a certain goal, but after the goal is reached everyone goes their own path. Only one can have all the money as they believe, but it is already proven that it is better for the economy and society when every single human being is paid a fair amount, an amount which the person can live a life without modern slavery or ending up under a bridge. To have a decent social safety net, we need to prioritize others, instead of following a status symbol.

“When we prioritize ourself over others. Our relationships suffers” — Simon Sinek

We need more forgiveness, understanding, humbleness towards each other than ever, but the system is less forgiven than ever before and people (crooked bean counters) are holding on to the past (not so the open-minded, innovative, forward thinking people).

It is about your vibe, what you give emotionally, not so much what you give physically. Yes, it can have physical means, but it is what it has behind it. Let’s remind us everyday when we wake up, that it is you that you bring along and how you give yourself, not what you take. This is also the other way around, which we call sharing.

It’s not about your success, but theirs. If you can help someone reach his/her goal, you have reached success in his life, and for this they will remember you for. When you are no value to them, even to an extent of blocking one on his/her path, you will be soon forgotten. You can have diplomas, houses, a lot of life partners, praise from every side… but if there is no value of in what you bring, then the memory of you won’t last that long. This is, I think, one of the saddest things in life, to be forgotten and to be of no value.

“Your success means nothing in life. It’s forgotten in one generation, two at best.

But your emotional health lives for hundreds of generations after in the lives of everyone you touch and their descendants.” — Charlie Hoehn

Value can mean anything, from cheering up someone’s day with a smile, helping a tourist find his way, cooking a good meal for someone, repairing someone’s car, helping someone with his homework to helping to protect the forests, you name it. There is a but, that is you can give your best value if you free yourself from that inner prison, which is living according to the value systems of others, society, parents etc. It truly is to become someone, who doesn’t follow etiquettes, but brings real value and help where it is really needed.

Complete burn-out

“So many people are striving, to get to a place where they are not. They never get to arrive.” — Wyane Dyer, in The Swift

We paid a high price to reach that “God given” status, we still are, now we find more and more people are de-illisioned, broken and failing on workplaces.

When you are fed up with false ideas of life, you will easily fall in a burn-out. Simply because it were not your goals, not of the authentic self, but of your parents, friends and society. You went too far, you already reached your limit, you did it because you had to, the demand is so high (relative to you). Now tons of people are anxious, depressed and sleep deprived.

“… we have endless examples of how the business world … still hasn’t changed and continue to glorify an approach to measure success that leads to burnout …

One of the primary things keeping many businesses from adopting more sane and sustainable metrics of success is the stubborn — and dangerously wrong-headed — myth that prioritizing health and well-being is incompatible with a healthy bottom line — and that there is a trade-off between high performance and taking care of ourselves. As countless studies show, this couldn’t be less true.

So, not only is there no trade-off between high performance and living a full life, the former is not possible in a sustainable way without the latter. And this applies to both companies and individuals. There is no company whose bottom line will not be enhanced by healthier, happier, less-stressed, well-slept, centered employees.“ — Arianna Huffington in Huffingtonpost

The system where we live in does not motivate people to reach their best self, but to exploit one self and the person next to you, in order to gain something. Instead of finding joy in our connections and our art and craft, we find ourself in a place where we want to quit for a more freedom based life.

We are alive when we are engaged, in space with our life, connected to it and recovered from the losses, having the ability to let go and without fixating on ideals which are untrue to our nature.

“True growth and success is always sustainable. It’s not a short sprint with an inevitable physical, mental, and emotional crash. All goals are means, not ends. Each succeeding stage of your progression should clearly build one-upon-another, leaving you stronger and more able, not weaker and permanently damaged.” — Benjamin P. Hardy in Triveglobal

When we burn the imprinted (false) ideas of status, failure and winning, when we stop following a certain etiquette, we free our mind and start to unwire a mixture of false ideas and goals. The thoughts that come after the false promises and ideas are always more real. A realization of the self and the path to freedom of false identities, into a life without etiquettes and a journey of finding your best self.

Living without etiquettes

Let’s unpack our full potential by braking out with what is told that could and could not and what is important and what not. It is us, it is you, your precious time and energy.

This can be done by a more conscious way of living, so we don’t fall into the trap of making awkward mistakes, living on impulses or the trap of following the rules. This means you have good and pure intentions, so you can justify your actions. Actually, this means that you are thinking of yourself and your quest.

We are instinctively not bad, that is something christian society wants you to believe. In the west we have developed this culture which creates an atmosphere where there are certain types of accepted behaviors, praised even, while others are ashamed. This is where the need for justification for our actions comes from, you know, being a good person so you have your place in heaven too.

We are too much put in boxes, put in these mental caves of what is right and wrong; filling people with fear for questioning and doubting and trying to do otherwise.

“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.” — René Descartes

I propose, that we should do whatever we need to, to make things more sustainable emotionally and physically in order to answer our quest for abundance. That is by a real connection with reality and living and thinking accordingly. This is asking the ultimate question, as Seth Andrews put it or in this context the quest for abundance. The ultimate question:

⁃ is asked without or in spite of fear,

⁃ is more interested in facts than comfort,

⁃ is designed for knowledge over belief,

⁃ includes the whole of humanity, not segregated portions of it,

⁃ won’t allow the answer to be a cheat,

⁃ isn’t afraid to hear “We don’t know. Yet.”,

⁃ is asked in a voice that is prepared to speak alone against a roaring mob or a deafening silence,

⁃ represents curiosity, passionate curiosity,

⁃ defiant curiosity, about the things that we’re told we’re not supposed to know.

Finding real answers to questions we were afraid to ask, is the ultimate way of braking etiquettes. Those boxes, the way you supposedly should live. When your worldview changes, to a more real one, your whole live changes, to a more real one; one without artifacts, false believes and burn-outs. That is living according to your path and asking your own questions, without the need to be right, leaving the straight and narrow and really change your world and the world around us for the better, with good intent, logic and (real) understanding.

Let’s go back to that inner-child of open mind, curiosity and free spirit, who we lost by imprinted ignorance, that certain actions are undesirable and others are desirable, things that are not ours. So we can’t act spontaneously anymore, without hesitation, without pure intentions, without calculation or without thinking what the other may say. By doing so, we won’t find real justification for our actions, since we hold ourself in check if the things aid, asked, or done is justified or not by your community. You are free, free as a child. By making our emotional intents pure, we will go to rest with a peaceful mind and heart. We will not live in cognitive dissonance of which we need to find justifications for our actions, because they are pure.

“… By looking at our actions critically and dispassionately, as if we were observing someone else, we stand a chance of breaking out of the cycle of action followed by self-justification, followed by more committed action. We can learn to put a little space between what we feel and how we respond, insert a moment of reflection …”Tavris and Aronson

When you let go of the expectations, which are set by yourself and/or your environment and start to embrace honesty towards yourself, you start to thrive, simply by embracing reality. You start to unwire your limitations, you start to become more free in who you are, with your quirkiness, but more natural behavior. Without disturbing and distorted view of the self.

Let’s put things into perspective, yes we need some etiquettes (read: mental guidelines), otherwise we would be much more rude towards each other, since we are responding from a mood, not a principle. We need to set our minds into the right mood each day. Not by suppressing our emotions, but by redirecting them. When you interact with your environment, you have the right mental mindset for staying sane.

⁃ A good way to do this is by the art of listening (empathize), taking in a bit more and learning to understand more instead of hammering on what we think, feel and believe.

⁃ An another good way is education (able to understand), the more we educate ourselves, the more understanding we have towards ourselves, others and the world,

⁃ When we use logic (cause-action relationships) instead of emotional impulses, we are less prone too stupid actions,

⁃ The ability to reason (synthesize ideas, thoughts and facts), is when we are able to think things through, this is a marvelous way of getting emotionally deeper and having the ability to take adequate action.

By dismantling culture, society, protocols and the etiquettes, we can make conscious choices in our behavior and become more admirable people.

It is really lovely when people are just people, when they don’t follow hidden agendas. Living without etiquettes means you are able to become a better person.

More life, a mix of minimalism, bohemian and granola

“… at the end of the day, I think we all did something special again, it’s just music breathing and sleeping. Taking a walk, feeling the air, feeling your body work. Just these simple things that we sometimes take for granted and they lose there specialness, but once you become aware of how beautiful those simple things are, it can make your life a lot more beautiful.” — Alice Phoebe Lou

As we follow the younger generation (millennials), we discover a new kind of living, a kind of way that is unfamiliar to the older generation (baby boomers). In this way, God does not bless us anymore, we don’t follow the orders of His book, we don’t pro-create, we hate violence and we don’t spread His message of ignorance, but one that is closer to ourselves, one that is more familiar to us. We are blessed, not by bigger houses, cars, diplomas, wives, husbands and lots of children, but by things that has no value expressed in things, but a more truer way of life, a life full of good experiences. In the past it were the artists who embraced this way of living, now the largest part of the millennials live a more bohemian, minimalist, granola-like lifestyle.

Bohemian-like lifestyle is more of an artist-like lifestyle. It is an open-minded mentality, full of creativity and lust for life. Boho life is more about the well-being of the heart, the soul and then the physical possessions. It is mostly about self-expression and relationships.

It is good to have ambitions, but when you go goal after goal, you find yourself in a rat race in a never ending work cycle. By slowing a bit down and going a bit deeper, your work becomes a lot more enjoyable and meaningful, instead of constantly reaching targets after targets as you go down your bucket list. After all, what will you remember from everything you have reached? What was your quest after all?

“According to psychologist K. Anders Ericsson of The Florida State University, who spent more than 30 years studying how people achieve the highest levels of expertise, talented people in many different disciplines — music, sports, writing — rarely practice more than four hours each day on average.” —Thomas Oppong The Mission

One of the key things for innovation is adventure, our need for down time, our need for play. First, this may seem unproductive, but it is the opposite. When we slim down our stuff, our goals, to the things that really matter, then we bump into something that you can call minimalism.

Minimalism or the philosophy of it can help in finding the way to your quest. It’s decluttering, about removing stuff to its essentials. It is about re-thinking what is really important to us.

“By incorporating minimalism into our lives, we’ve finally been able to find lasting happiness — and that’s what we’re all looking for, isn’t it? We all want to be happy. Minimalists search for happiness not through things, but through life itself; thus, it’s up to you to determine what is necessary and what is superfluous in your life.” — Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, The Minimalists

By incorporating minimalism you get movement and focus in your life. When we know our course in life, we can focus on that and make real movement. By doing so, we can achieve what brings real value in our own life and in the life of others, by means and not ends of statuses.

So, after bohemian and minimalism, we have come to the more physical side of the “alternative” lifestyle, that is called granola. It is being more aware of its surroundings and its needs, goals and pains. It is also about our health, which is indeed very dare and important to us. A more down to earth mindset. More about exploring the world physically and mentally, by means and not ends, or ignorance. It is about travel, culture, gastro. It is about the body’s fitness and health. Since the better the body, the better the mind, the more we can achieve.

To put it in bullet points, more life means:

⁃ simpler life, in the present, aware of the needs and pains (of the self and others),

⁃ open-minded, curious,

⁃ mindful of the self and life,

⁃ play, lot of play, exploring new realms,

⁃ healthier life (cardio workout, healthier diet, a good hygiene, enough sleep),

⁃ movement and focus.

To sum it up, I would like to put it in these words: when you wake up in the morning, you feel energized and ready to take on new challenges, your life is not a burning bush in the desert, but a tree next to an overflowing creek. You have healthy relationships, you are full of creativity, and yes, you have doubt, but that is a good thing, because of that we grow; it is a sustainable grow. The quest of abundance is not living in a dream state of mind, but going from one point to the next in an upward fashion. That of growth and sustainability.

Dare to tap into your inner artist and become a living stone, instead of a burned out brick. Be connected to life, that is reality. We all need a lifestyle where it is possible to enjoy the little things. Let’s “design” life in the most sustainable way, so we can thrive on the soil of our soul and on the soil of our Earth.

Let’s nurture our soul, let’s nurture life


July 2017




Writing about the Human Experience

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Aron Hartman

Aron Hartman

Writing about the Human Experience

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