One of the most prominent things I have noticed since I started my little spiritual journey is how my outlook on life and its ‘must-dos’ have changed, along with my priorities. Of course, I am nowhere near where I want to be in terms of what I prioritise in life, but I have come quite a long way already. Let me explain.
We are conditioned from a very early age to decide what we want to do for a career and we are pushed to pursue that career and to make as much money as possible. I mean I remember being asked in nursery what I wanted to be when I grew up, and while that may have been an innocent question, it had a huge effect on the kind of priorities I grew up with – your focus should always be career and work. Then we get a little bit older and we go to school and are pushed to stay in school and to ‘compete’ against other students to get the best grades in order to get in to the best universities and get the best jobs and earn the most money…And then when we are adults, suddenly we have these responsibilities and an even greater urge to be successful so that we can afford a house, car, nice clothes, watches, trips etc etc and get some kind of social status and live ones ‘best life’…
…but the realisation I have come to is that you do not actually have to adhere to the way the government and society wants you to live (ultimately the way we view career and work now is massively beneficial for the government and businesses – we want to earn more so that we can buy more things we do not necessarily need). I used to be all about the ‘hustle’ and about making money and become a billionaire and live life happily ever after. I worked several jobs so that I could buy myself designer shoes and eat in fancy restaurants. And while I give kudos to people who are working hard to give themselves a better life, for me, the constant pressure of always having to be better and do better and get a ‘good job’ and be an independent power woman became toxic after a while and it really just hit me one day that we all die regardless. Whether you have £1 in the bank or a million, you will still die. And I think when you come to that realisation, not just knowing that we all die in the end, but actually understanding and accepting the fact that we all die, then your priorities completely change.
For me, it just made me take a good look at my life. What actually made me happy? What actually gave me peace? And suddenly, living a life in excess did not seem so fabulous anymore. I did not want to spend the one life I have slaving away at a job that gave me lots of money but minimal personal joy. I did not want to wake up one day when I am 50 and realise I have wasted half of my life being so focused on what we are told by society we ‘must do’ and not actually doing what I want to do. And this is not to encourage people to quit their jobs and do fuck all (haha), because unfortunately we do live in a capitalist society and we therefore have to work to survive. I am just trying to offer a different perspective on the traditional ‘hustle’ model where people spend their entire life stressing about work and making more money.
I no longer have the urge to climb the career ladder. I just want to do something that makes me happy. I no longer have the urge to get the newest and trendiest clothes or the newest and coolest phone. I still have an iPhone 6 which works perfectly for what I need it for – i.e. connect with my friends around the world, and to speak to my mum over WhatsApp from her various travels. The funny thing is that I keep getting ‘shamed’ by social media and companies for not having the newest iPhone and those damn earphones. But it does not even faze me because I know that I do not need it and it brings no real joy to my life. I simply no longer feel I have to justify the way I choose to live my life because it is mine to live, and mine alone. And it is such a liberating feeling!