Selling Out, Hamster Wheels & Doing The Right Thing
Happier for the trouble... great share from my friend +Bill Ross
. While I love the sentiment and it is beautifully told and illustrated fear of "selling out" is something that puzzles me.
I know about the hamster wheel Bill Watterson illustrates. Time on the wheel feels pointless and leaves core human needs for love, respect and acceptance often unsatisfied. Selling out is agreeing to live a life devoted to false Gods of money or its cousin "careerism".
I don't judge those who see ladder climbing as their destiny. Ladder climbers seek to order randomness out. As a reformed "ladder climber" I know order is always an illusion, a false God.
This is not to say chaos and randomness are all, but chaos and randomness are sufficient to make climbing ladders an endless hamster wheel. The romance of life, the love of being here and now, happens when we judge less and act more.
Remember, in George Roy Hill's amazing movie, how the Sundance Kid was an ordinary gunfighter UNTIL he moved. After an amazing display of shooting he says simply, "I'm better when I move".
Sundance isn't alone. We are all better when we move, better when our attention is on the work and not obsessing about "selling out" or ladder climbing. A priori rejection of any experience feels common or born of the same cloth. Experience, work and then judge but only judge in the most narrow of context, "Is this experience right for me".
I wish life were as simple as deciding what experiences are right for you. If that were the case I could be easily rid of my #cancer
since the experience of it certainly is not "right for me" :). Some experience is involuntary and happens TO us not for or about us.
This is why the fear of selling out strikes me as another side of the ladder coin. When you've experienced a big "done to you" experience you see "sellouts" are the rare Snidley Whiplash people who knowingly tie a damsel to the train tracks.
Most people try to do the right thing most of the time. Where life gets tricky is in our judgement of who or what is right. Most reading this should rest comfortably in the knowledge they are not Snidley Whiplash and so don't need to worry much about ladder climbing or selling out.
Anything you do conscious of your desire to do the right thing and fully present in this moment will be right for some and wrong for others. I focus on the work and surf life's waves as much as as well as possible on this day and in this moment. I know that "great", "sucks" and "involuntary are often just faces on a hamster wheel and so not helpful (in the long run).
The work, on the other hand, in all of its demanding and frustrating glory is elegant, always simple (in the end) and full of love. Rock on and don't worry so much about hamster wheels, ladders or selling out. If you are having one of life's involuntary experiences know you are not alone and focus on the work.