The modern philosophy of achievement and personal significance is built around motivation and socially understandable markers of success. Work, family, financial cushion, career growth. A person is offered an understandable model of a social elevator, rising in which you rise above the rest. But at the end, not happiness awaits you, but an elevator booth, cigarette butts on the floor and several steel cables going down. Is there an alternative to the philosophy of success and how to introduce this alternative into everyday life?
The Problem of Goal Setting
You can meet the opinion that you need to set goals and achieve them. That it all depends on the methodology you choose and understanding of how to reach the desired goal. How to save / earn a certain amount per day, how to visualize success, how to reach the desired state for a certain period. And indeed, some methods help to feel more successful, the same a systematic approach to personality. But on the way to success it is very difficult to become happy.
exaggeration of values
The problem with superficial worldviews is that they are built around the deification of specific markers, with total neglect and demonization of everything that does not fit into the proposed world order. If you choose a career path, then children, relationships, entertainment fade into the background. If you choose a family, then what right do you have to rest? Spend time with loved ones. And if you are going to please yourself, then children and work for your uncle will be a burden. You can go into denial of socially accepted norms and rules by choosing cynicism. But this is also not an option.
At the same time, as soon as the eye lingers on any of the chosen directions, a number of requirements are immediately put forward to you. Wear specific things, live in a certain mode, reach such and such markers and don’t even think about choosing something else.
All this happens for several reasons:
We ourselves are looking for quick ways to achieve the desired results.
The more we crave something, the more intensely the goal teases us, the more we concentrate on it, cutting off everything superfluous.
Once we start acquiring markers of success, we drastically devalue what we get and focus on what we can’t get yet.
All this is tied to our neurohormones, the principles that provide the release of dopamine. In fact, our neural system is being exploited with might and main by marketers and tons of selling content, the purpose of which is to encourage everyone who comes into contact with it to take a specific action. a kind neurohacking to the detriment of man.
Associated problems of achievement
At the same time, there is nothing wrong with self-development, career growth, pumping skills or increasing capital. The problem that this material raises is the subjective feeling of happiness, which is replaced by marketing labels. Indeed, in pursuit of bright and clearly defined landmarks, we do not always feel happy. In part, this problem sheds light philosophy of stoicism.
Moreover, the classic sources of happiness are beginning to be demonized. You waste time on useless things when you could have done something productive. You spend time in empty conversations with friends or a girlfriend / wife, but you could do something interesting for you personally …
Goal setting and productivity literally ignore the fact that rest is a need, not a reward. Like in that joke about a businessman who convinces a poor fisherman lying under a tree at noon that you need to work all day and night in order to lie in the same way under the shade of a tree sometime later. So maybe you should just relax and go with the flow, eh the role of self-development delegate to someone else?
The value of the path and its complexity
An alternative to the philosophy of achievement was the concept of the importance of the path. It doesn’t matter what goal you are pursuing, what matters is how exactly you approach it. And the category “how exactly” means the moral and moral developments of different worldviews, even if everything comes down to dry analytics, as suggested ideas of dataism.
Philosophy of the Significance of the Path
Most often sounds on behalf of Eastern concepts and worldviews. From there, the common phrase about the fact that a samurai has no goal, there is only a path. The question, of course, is where are all those samurai who extolled the importance of the path now.
The problem is that if you focus only on how you live your life, it is easy to drive yourself into a dead end no less than chasing the illusion of success. Says about the same transhumanismsay, relax, and wait for the future, in which technology will solve all your problems.
It turns out that following the fictitious dogmas of a particular worldview, you only limit yourself, again, depriving you of the opportunity to experience happiness, replacing it with the illusion of your own importance.
Uniting path and purpose
The world is good because it offers a lot of alternatives and ways to perceive the surrounding reality. At the junction between goals and the way to achieve them, a separate concept was born, which became known as stoicism is which is in the unity of purpose and path. Its postulates are quite simple and pragmatic:
In achieving a specific goal, you will encounter circumstances that are beyond your control. Fashion, the opinion of acquaintances, friends, war or the general situation in the world. There is no point in worrying about this. Instead, focus on what is important to you personally.
There are preferred and non-preferred factors in life. Wealth, power, beauty, health are preferred for a person. But do not rush headlong into the pursuit of them, as well as refuse their presence. If these factors come into your life, use them. But remember that they do not belong to you. Similarly, such factors as illness, poverty, injury. They don’t make you worse. But if you can get rid of them, do it. And avoiding them at all costs is digging a hole for yourself out of frustration and anxiety.
ancient stoicism it is a teaching on how to live life worthily. It includes both the doctrine of goal setting and simple truths about how not to stray from the path of a worthy life.
By maintaining a healthy balance, cutting off factors outside your area of influence, and focusing on what you have in your hands, you gain greater control over your life and an easy source of happiness. You no longer need to try to achieve something, try to look like something, try to be someone. You are already who you are. You are already yourself. And then everything is determined only by your actions and desire to live a decent life.
Path and goal as two significant elements of one process
Fixation on the goal makes life simple, understandable and bright in the eyes of others. But at the same time, rarely does anyone feel happiness in the process of achieving the goal. On the contrary, the path of a person will be fraught with frustration and spiritual vibrations.
The emphasis on the path and the exaltation of it as the highest value in life makes the person himself unproductive and infantile. Such people, even at 35, continue to “search for themselves”, without having a permanent job, family and life achievements behind them. Yes, their life is comfortable, but is it meaningful?
ancient stoicism took the best from both approaches and brought to life in the most understandable terms. In part, these principles can be practiced in their primeval world. In part, they morphed into what is known today as CBT therapy.
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