Growing up with mindsets was pretty much a given for the millennials and not only. Our minds are modeled to fit in the boxes set by society, parents or religion. By the time we are eighteen we find ourselves constantly struggling to find who we are. But no matter how much we search, all we stumble upon is prejudice and a prescriptive life path designed by our families: you should study hard to get a well-paid job, buy a house and a car, get married and have kids.
Having a hobby is sometimes part of the plan – playing sports, painting or writing on your blog. Yet hobbies are nothing more than a concession aimed to diffuse the tension of living a predefined life; in other words, a hobby is similar to the spout of a teapot – can’t escape the heat, but at least is free to whistle.
The deep quest for our authentic self continues through adulthood. The modern world could not conceal it, so it found a word for this as well: sabbaticals. Once the burden of our own life wears out our body, we take a break. Some manage to get closer to who they really are: take risks, make drastic changes to their lives – move abroad or start studying what they really like. Many go back to the routine, realizing that’s all they have. Their own self can no longer be rescued. So, they look up either with prejudice at the others’ rebellion or with admiration for their courage.
The continuous search for purpose and authenticity has turned into business. Big companies such as Google, SAP or Goldman Sachs have even introduced meditation & mindfulness programs for their employees. Everybody wants to enlighten, to let the silence push their true selves into consciousness. Away from the routine, we look for healing, self-discovery and a higher something we cannot name ourselves; we desperately look for validating a simple truth: happiness is not about how good we are in following patterns but how strong we are in fighting against them.
No wonder motivational books are top sellers and “how to be happy in n steps” articles are the most searched on Google. The standards set by society are followed by the vast majority in an attempt to fit in, to please parents, bosses and friends. Or simply because nobody ever taught us how to redefine ourselves in their absence.
Yet, people have not given themselves up fully. The more books we publish on the topic and the more we talk about it, the more we feel we stand up for ourselves. But is this true change? No. In order to relearn how to live beyond mindsets, we must first unlearn, set our minds free from the cage, shift from emulating others towards building ourselves. Cutting ties. Taming fears. Going back to our unborn self and redesign it. Not letting it harden into new mindsets again; but keeping it like a piece of clay that allows us to constantly fine tune our amazing self.
**Image via Pixabay