038 - What Do You Really Want?

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself this question? It’s difficult to approach, but essential if you are to be truly happy.

Image by Clem Onojeghuo

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself this question? It’s difficult to approach, but essential if you are to be truly happy.

Every week I publish Sunday Letters to my email subscribers. It consists of a new article on creativity, art, work and how it all goes together, plus a summary of the weeks articles both on Storymaker and Larry G. Maguire.Below is yesterday’s issue of Sunday Letters. If you’d like to get it to your inbox you can jump on board here.

Ever ask yourself, what do you really want from life?

Ever question what you’re doing and why you’re doing it?

Have you ever stopped for a second in the middle some ordinary mundane task under the realisation that what you’re doing is completely pointless?

Maybe you did well in school and followed the rules.

Maybe you got a good job, settled in and worked hard only to realise one morning as you drove to that job that what you’re doing was completely crazy.

Or maybe it was in the middle of a rant at your husband, wife or kids about the poor state of the dishwasher loading job they just did.

Or was it the day you went ballistic on another driver for pulling out in front of you all within the confines of your own car.

Yes, they were gone hundreds of meters down the road and you never saw them again yet you ranted on for hours after to anyone who’d listen.

Or maybe you lost your job, or worse again, you ended up in a job in a bank and spent your day inflating the misery of people who were massively in debt.

Whatever it was for you, you’ve likely felt it at some point. Maybe you’re feeling it now — What the fuck am I doing here!

This Is A Good Thing

Finding yourself in the realisation that what you’re currently doing either for a living or in life in general, is a waste of time and deeply dissatisfying, is a good thing.

It means you’re waking up.

The standard working model for career and life no longer fits.

You’ve done what you were told, you followed the rules, you’ve got the education and you’ve landed the job, you’ve done everything you were supposed to do…

But something is missing.

You’ve known it for ages but ignored it. To accept that you were going down the wrong road was to admit you’ve wasted your time.

That would be to admit failure.

How is it that now, after you’ve wasted all these years following the standard working model that you see things differently?

The answer is you’ve reached a stage in consciousness known to psychologists as psychic entropy. Although ‘stage’ is maybe not the best descriptive term.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. ~ Mohandas Gandhi

What Is Psychic Entropy?

Psychic Entropy is a condition of disorder in consciousness which usually manifests as anxiety, stress, depression, fear, rage, jealousy and so on.

It is a state where the activities of normal everyday life do not provide enough stimulation or challenge. The structures of the mind begin to deteriorate towards outward disorder.

The insanity of road rage outlined above is an example of how this manifests in our reality.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, psychologist and author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, writes of Psychic Entropy as follows;

Whenever information disrupts consciousness by threatening its goals we have a condition of inner disorder, or psychic entropy, a disorganisation of the self that impairs its effectiveness ― Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

When we spend our time doing things we’d rather not do, things that do not stimulate us, we feel unfulfilled, frustrated and lost.

We can’t seem to avoid the negative outcomes, they manifest everywhere.

The sense of unfulfillment and dissatisfaction with work and life can be acute or mild in us. But most of us feel it to some extent.

Here’s Something Interesting

A longitudinal study by the University of Chicago that looked at the happiness level of people from 1956 to 2002. The study found that although the wealth of individuals had increased (allowing for inflation), relative happiness had not.

Average individual wealth had almost tripled in this period.

However, after a basic income level, which equates to only a few thousand dollars above minimum wage, happiness did not increase with wealth.

In other words, material possessions did not increase people’s happiness.

But you knew that already right?

What we really want is to be challenged. We want to be stimulated, to feel like our pursuits are developing our inner sense of self.

The mundane doesn’t do this, in fact, the mundane depletes our sense of self.

It doesn’t matter how much material wealth you pile on top. If we are not engaged in activities that make us feel worthy and fulfilled we experience psychic entropy.

Then the outward expression of our lives begins to mirror this inner disorder.

One begets the other and we spiral downwards.

So What Do You Do?

Well for a start you could read this Manifesto.

After that, all I can suggest is that you take time out to contemplate what you would like to do.

Pursue art or some other creative endeavour.

I chose writing.

I don’t talk to others too much, I prefer to keep to myself most of the time. How I express myself is through writing.

You see there’s the potential for opposition and resistance when you share that you want to change direction.

So I think it’s best to grow your new self quietly for a while until you’re ready to get it out there.

But overwhelmingly I suggest you start. Whatever it is, do it.

Don’t wait for permission, just get out there and start. Forget the consequences because pondering them will keep you where you are.

What You Missed This Week

I was feeling a bit seedy Friday after a few beers Thursday night and I was travelling yesterday so I didn’t write both days.

At this point two days missed is rare so I’ll forgive myself and get back on the waggon.

I’m back from holidays since last night so tomorrow marks the time for sincerely committed work.

Anyway, here’s stuff from last week;

MondaySEO For Artists: How To Use On Page SEO To Get Found Online

TuesdayKnow Your Audience: Why You Need To Give People What They Want

WednesdayHow To Overcome Writer’s Block: 52 Ways To Access Creativity

ThursdayHow To Use Medium To Reach A Broader Audience

Friday — No article Friday

Saturday — No article Saturday

Sunday — You’re reading it.

That’s all for now,

See you Monday!

Originally published at larrygmaguire.com on July 23, 2017.

Like More of This Kind of Thing?

Howdy, I’m Larry, Writer & Artist. Thanks for taking the time to read my stuff. I write about art, creativity, business & marketing. When I’m not doing that I write short stories about the ordinary lives of people and the challenges they face. My stuff can be edgy, hard hitting, and sometimes controversial, but never contrived. If that’s your bag you can Sign-up To Sunday Letters Here.