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Month: October 2009

The Contradiction

The Contradiction

We are seeing one of the biggest contradictions in history happen before our young eyes:

Pharmaceutical companies are improving the quality of our daily lives life.

Breakthroughs in medicine are letting us survive more accidents and diseases than ever.

Never before we have taken care of our health and fitness, worrying about what we eat, how we sleep and the exercise we do as much as now.

The result of all of this is that we are living longer.

We have more time.

On the other hand…

Corporations are looking for the young gems, trying to find the next genius twenty-something.

Kids finishing highschool and college are starting their own companies as soon as possible, so they can fund the next Facebook.

Education is hurrying us up to have as many degrees as fast as we can in order to be able to compete at the top (whatever that means).

The result of all of this is that we have to run to keep up.

We have less time.

Do you see the contradiction?

We are acting as if life were a race, constantly competing against each other, holding other people’s success as standardized goals. We are worrying about speed instead of direction. Our addiction to productivity and accomplishment is taking away the joy of today’s quality of life.

This would be fine if people were happier, if today’s youth were cheerful about their situation. But that’s not what’s happening, the burden is too heavy for many of them.

This is what happens when you’re constantly moving, constantly comparing, constantly winning: few get ahead, many quit, and many more just get frustrated.

I do believe that we have to invest and work hard when we are young, but we also have to understand that we have a lot of time ahead of us.

Don’t believe what they tell you, there is no rush.

It’s ok to unplug, it’s ok to relax.

It’s ok to slow down when you no longer see what’s happening out the window.

After all, the whole point of living longer is to live better.

Prisons, Fear, and Personal Branding

Prisons, Fear, and Personal Branding

Let’s skip all the positive things about social media that have been mentioned countless times, and criticize it for a change:

Social media is a prison.

It’s unnatural, we are not supposed to like everyone.

But we are trying.

The more you get involved in things like Twitter or Facebook, the more people you connect with, the more polite you have to be. Now, politeness is reaching a ridiculous level, where everything is awesome and everyone is cool.

You can’t tell someone you don’t like them or what they do.

One of the reasons for this, is the word “Friend.” Are we really buying that? Are we really considering everyone as a friend?

The problem with being “friends” with everyone you connect with, is that it makes you a prisoner. Everyone knows that “breaking up” with a real friend in real life, is not easy. Not impossible, but definitely not easy. Usually it happens over time.

But social media friends are not real friends. People shouldn’t feel obliged to keep that act going. People shouldn’t even give explanations. It shouldn’t be that hard.

I blame all those Personal Branding blogs.

Because of them, we are afraid.

Afraid of being honest and direct. Afraid of being human.

God forbid if we say or do something someone doesn’t like and then we are ridiculed by millions.

God forbid if we actually embrace conflict, one of the most natural aspects of man.

God forbid if we actually show ourselves how we really are.

We are lying to ourselves.

We are pretending to care more about the social part than the business/networking part.

Losing readership, customers, followers is not a social fear. It’s a fear of interests, of politics.

True relationships are not about politics.

Social media is all about politics.

The Challenge of Caring

The Challenge of Caring

The problem with being a “result-driven” society, is that we only believe in things that “work.” That’s the challenge non-profits and caring people have to face.

If a lawyer wins a case, he succeeds. It works.

But non-profits don’t function the same way. Their definition of success is different. Many successful non-profits are still fighting poverty, diseases, and many other issues. Maybe they always will.

That’s why they don’t share the glamour other industries have.

Just because a single person or organization can’t achieve complete eradication of the problems they focus on, does that mean that they have failed? Of course not, but society won’t reward them the same way they’ll reward “successful” people.

People who want to change the world don’t care about glamour.

They don’t care if it “doesn’t make sense.”

They don’t care if they “fail.”

It’s not just about results.

It’s about peace of mind.

They can sleep well knowing that it doesn’t have to work.

It has to matter.

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