A ‘plumpily-prosperous’ looking family is seated near my berth. Father, mother, daughter and a son.
I am looking at the 4 year old, the daughter. Her hair is boy-cut with sharp beautiful eyes and hoogli-hoogli husssh cute cheeks. She is wearing a yellow skirt, a matching top and her ‘tiny’ belly is hanging out between them. Surprisingly, as against to what her appearance suggests, she is active. Very.
She is the cute kind, to whom you’d want to kiss and hug and not let her go. Hmm… As cute a picture I want paint of her to you, I also want to show you another part of her, the naughty bad ass part.
She looks at me with a wickedly cute smile. I try to respond with a ‘something’ that is between a smile and a grin. She stares at me for a moment hoping that my face would entertain her, but she is bored. So she drifts away from me to her brother. She makes signs to her brother to kiss her. But he is in his own world. She is determined to have one on her cheeks, so she pulls his face towards herself. He cries out for help, the way babies cry when something is done to them that they don’t like, but she goes ahead with the kissing anyway. Her mother pats her, actually not pat, hits her on the back. Our little heroine ignores it as she ignores everything else.
Then she moves on to pull the pin that breaks the lock to open the emergency window. She tries too hard, but unable to open it, she takes out the empty ‘Fanta’ bottle that was lying around. She bites it and tries to chew it. Tasteless, she gets angry. She starts hitting it across the window grills. Her mother again tries to straighten her up. Again, she ignores.
To settle her daughter down, her mother brings out a stick. The plumpy girl who cared less of her mother’s pats on the back is now terrified by the look of the stick. Her mother commands her to lie down on her lap and close her eyes to sleep. She cries loudly but obeys. She lies down there crying disapprovingly. Her mother commands again to shut up. She obeys.
Most of us can resonate with this. Don’t we? Forced down to obey.
Year after year, our roots get stronger and deeper in the soil of conformity. Comfortable yet frustrating. No action. No ‘feeling alive’ moments. Stuck.
THE 5 STEPS TO BECOME AN EXPLORER
1. STOP OBEYING, BREAK YOURSELF FROM THE SHACKLES
Confirmism is what society preaches, expects of you and appreciates. But be a non-conformist. Doing that: Your decisions will be uninfluenced by other people around you.
You will be living without regrets because everything you choose will not be to please someone else, but yourself.
2. STOP IDENTIFYING YOURSELF WITH YOUR WORK
I introduce myself as an engineer, but that is not what I tell myself. Every now and then I like changing roles. Keeps me on my toes, brings in more oppurtunites and new experiences.
Stop telling yourself that you need to decide on a career and do that for the rest of your life, instead listen to Scott on how value is created.
I succeeded as a cartoonist with negligible art talent, some basic writing skills, an ordinary sense of humour and a bit of experience in the business world. The ‘Dilbert’ comic is a combination of all four skills. The world has plenty of better artists, smarter writers, funnier humourists and more experienced business people. The rare part is that each of the modest skills is collected in one person. That’s how value is created
– Scott Adams
3. UNSCHOOL YOURSELF
We have been taught to do the ‘right thing’, been corrected when we were ‘wrong’, learned how to ‘behave’ for years now. These were made to make people ready so as to fit in factories, where they are paid low and are easily replaceable.
Our everyday decisions are based on it, the disciplined, planned mind. Unlearn the right way of living. Unschool yourself from being disciplined.
4. MESS YOURSELF UP. DO CRAZY THINGS
Live with less. Stop making plans. Extempore. Clean dogs pee on the roads. Bath in cold water. Sleep with rats. Quit your job. Drop out of college. Run races. Travel.
Everyone takes a easy path, choose the unknown.
There are two kinds of people. Producers and consumers.
Reading news, twitter, Facebook updates is consumption. Watching tv series, movies, music, sport, cartoons – all these are an act of consuming.
Instead what if you could create? One tweet, one short movie, a useful software, informative website, one article, one paragraph of wiki, one piece of music, one painting, once dance step. Anything, produce anything. Create.
Once you start doing, you realize, its inherent in you to find new paths, to create. Suddenly you discover your creativity.
The fun is not knowing at start on how you are get to the end. You don’t have a clue how it all will come out. And this is great, to explore, to lay down paths for others. To show that its possible.
May you always do what you are afraid to do
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Now, go be that little plumpy girl – naughty and bad ass. Don’t let anyone stop you.
Disobey, Unidentify, Unschool, Messup, Create