The Argument Against Doing What you Love
I’m not even sure what I really love.
In life we are constantly accosted by the message challenging us to follow our dreams, to do what we love and we will never work a day in our lives, but what does it really mean?
I read a lot and encounter the message of passion, perseverance and commitment frequently. I encounter the message that passions can be cultivated and grown and perseverance can be increased but how do you find them in the first place? Surely that is almost always a massive contradiction.
Does it even matter? We are constantly changing even when we think we are not. I’ve changed so much in the last week that I can’t comprehend the ways I’ve changed in the last year. We believe we are consistent in our convictions but that couldn’t be further from the truth. We are all a collection of contradictions and alternating beliefs but we are too close to see it.
But it’s not a bad thing; we are simply trying to figure out who we are in a world that doesn’t make much sense. We are trying to find our place while everything is constantly changing. In order to progress and succeed we must become chameleons perpetrating duplicity against our projection of self just to make it through each day unscathed.
Let me clarify that, it wasn’t a bad thing, it never used to be. For the longest time, generations in fact, we had the opportunity to try on beliefs and act them out, talking to people to receive feedback which let us iteratively develop our belief and then wear who we are with pride. We are no longer afforded that opportunity.
Social networking changed everything. Where previously we had the chance to show who we are to our closed groups of friends now there is a whole world of opportunity to become people we never intended. Now we must remain who we say we are at all times, and defend it publicly when we are challenged.
Our parents grew up and evolved away from the spotlight of trying to impress all the people all the time. They only cared about what they could control, only about the friends who were within their network who they could keep up with. Now we are so focused on keeping up with the Kardashians, or those acquaintances from school we haven’t spoken to in 10 years, that we miss the things right in front of us. We see only the good points of other peoples lives and detrimentally judge what we have ourselves drawing misleading and false comparisons.
Instead of encountering a positively overwhelmingly dissenting collection of opinions, ideas, news and articles which challenge our assumption and ensured we checked the facts of our own beliefs we are instead fed information’s that merely confirm our bias’. Our cognitive dissonance is increased due to our ignorance and understanding of an alternative point of view. What we consume is controlled meticulously by algorithms which give us only the things they know we will agree with. These algorithms are paid by the click and so must capture our attention immediately. Why waste time with the truth when there is money to be made?
And that is where my initial question comes from; what do I really love? Is it me who really loves it or have I been conditioned by algorithms in such a way that my bias’ have merely been increased instead of allowing my mind to explore and find the things it loves. I fear the next generation of will be controlled not by their own choices but by the things they liked first on Facebook, of which their entire news feed will be built upon for their entire future.
We are only as good as the information we are afforded. Garbage in, garbage out.
It is absolutely essential that we deliberately expose ourselves to unfamiliar materials and open our mind to the alternative of the opinions we hold dear. Play devil’s advocate with yourself and develop an understanding, if not an empathy, of the contradiction of your own beliefs. By opening your mind to the antithesis of your thinking you can uncover holes in your reasoning. Only by understanding the problems can you improve and develop them.
Never become so entrenched in your thinking that you will defend them blindly, by understanding the reasons against your argument you become cognisant of other people’s perceptions. Considering dissenting opinion lets you develop means to appeal to their sensibilities you would never have considered. This enables you to develop products, programmes or campaigns that appeal to the widest spectrum of people, or in such a way that doesn’t alienate potential partners or clients.
Successful people are malleable; they understand the gravitas of change and the importance of possessing the capability to adjust your thinking. Stay nimble and willing to change and you can profit from the altering landscape around you.
We are setting ourselves up to fail. We are all being forced into walled gardens slowly conforming to the stereotypes of whatever information we align ourselves with.
And society is all the poorer for it.
And so are we.