Breaking Consumer Culture

We’re constantly bombarded with more & more stuff, for everything in life. Buy more stuff, do more stuff, consume more stuff, be on the run, never stop, hustle, hustle, hustle otherwise one is missing out in life.

But, why is this normalized upto an extent where we’re mentally on risk? Simple Answer. Consumerism. In a capitalistic world, consumer is the victim. Companies bombard with extreme marketing tactics to nurture a FOMO Model, to be deeply embedded within our mind, inculcating into our daily habits so much that we have no way other than through it. Why do you Instagram is so successful? They’re making money out of mental massacring.

They’re breeding extremism of consumer-culture & FOMO Model is their magic weapon. The more they reduce our pain-point, that takes less effort & gives an instant-hit of gratification, it very quickly starts to adapt into our daily routines, which subconsciously starts messing with our internal voices even without our knowledge.

Unhealthy Consumeristic Lifestyle

It’s perfectly fine if we feel we’re not enough in life, it’s not our fault. We’re living in a digitally dystopian world that will go upto any extent for profits, even at the cost of lives. Consumer Culture is breeding an never enough & desperation for even more culture that we’re always comparing ourselves within someone out there & never satisfied howsoever we’re blessed with. The more these companies makes us feel inadequate, the more we’ll buy into.

I’m not against capitalism either & neither do I support socialism. Capitalism is necessary for innovation, at the same time socialism is necessary for the balance of society. I still don’t take sides by supporting nor opposing. I’m just against consumerism & FOMO-driven model.

I’m a serious victim of this consumer culture & it has taken me a set of years to overcome the dark marks. Today, I just wanted to share a few thoughts around how we can counter-strike consumeristic culture & be content with ourselves, the way we’re.

A lot of the points mentioned are inspired from my personal experiences & Mark Manson’s “The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck” — One of my favorite books of all time.

Using Social Media, The Right Way

Let’s start with the elephant in the room, Social Media. Undeniably, socials are the key reason to breeding this consumer culture at large scale. They’re designed by understanding the very fundamentals of human psychology & re-engineering them into a technological medium to utilize us. A bunch of engineers at silicon valley playing puppet games around the lives of a billion people.

Does that mean socials are evil? Not at all, upto an extent. I still don’t believe that these platforms were designed to massacre our mental health & make profits out of our misery. Unfortunately, that is how they’ve evolved over the years reaching an epitome of saturation point. Yet, there were instances they could re-consider their existential running model, yet they chose not to.

Social Media is yet another virtual tool for our social lives. Even though we’re psychologically engineered by these systems to think & act in certain ways by their user experience, we still have the absolute power with our choice & attention. What matters is how we choose to perceive what we encounter in the tool. We still have the liberty of choice, which is not to be forgotten.

People are not showing off. They’re genuinely sharing happiness. Maybe you’re viewing from a jealous perspective. — Unknown

This quote couldn’t be more true. Most people are genuinely sharing their happiness, but when we’re at an not-so-satisfied phase in life, we feel instant FOMO & start associating it from a negative perspective. This is yet again an subconsciously engineering choice.

So, what can we actually do for tackling social media’s influence in our lives?

A few tips that I’m trying out:

  • When you’re feeling low, uninstall apps, just use browser version. The more we consume stuff when we are low, the more miserable we feel. Don’t completely cut it off, you’ll get even more frustrated. Take a break. Use occasionally. The more we’ve the app in quick-access, the more we tend to use it. keep a healthy distance.
  • Finding Alternatives: This is something I’ve been struggling to. If you’ve an offline social life & stuff to do around the city, get out, stay away from screens as much. But, if you’re like me who’s work, social life & literally everything is at another city & you’re all alone within the four walls everyday, tired of doing anything & everything only through screens, this is a riddle to solve. I’m thinking of building a small playbook for myself on this.
  • What could work is, keeping yourself engaged into something always & not allowing the mind to wander around too much freely to breed overthinking & FOMO. I know the same read, write, watch, stuff is all cliche & boring because I’m too tired of the same typical advices. I’m also tryna re-invent something soon. Let’s see.

Slow Living, A Way Of Life

It is fine to slow-down & do things at your own pace. It is fine not to follow the hustle culture & always keep on doing something or the other. It is fine to miss out on stuff. It is fine to be ordinary. Joy lies in the small moments, cherish them by giving the liberty to yourself for slowing down. The mind desperately seeks peace & slowness.

In this world obsessed with self-improvement & peak max productivity, everyone is trying to be the best version of themselves by multitasking everything in life to attain it as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this is what consumer culture has bred. A never satisfied set of intelligent monkeys. Unfortunately, we can’t change the world. What we can do is change our choices.

Take it slow. Live the moments. Don’t fall for society’s noise. There’s no rules & deadlines in life. It’s all unwritten societal pressures. You choose your pace, that satisfies yourself & gives you peace, that’s all matters & it really doesn’t need to make sense for anyone else. This is your life.

I’ve written a detailed blog on Slow Living before, do check it out here.

Simple Dreams Matters

You don’t have to be the next Elon Musk. You don’t need to do everything in life that is gigantic, adds value to society, leaves a huge legacy. You don’t need to strive for greatness for the attention & pride it brings. This is all status-driven games. Never fall for these.

You can choose to live by the lake with your loved ones, a small garden, a tiny home & that’s perfectly fine! You really don’t need to dream big for the sake of living the legacy. Your dreams can be even the simplest of simplest ones & if that brings you happiness, that is all what matters.

In the grandeur scheme of the universe, none of what we do here on Earth will matters, amidst this randomness everything will end & begin again. So, don’t take yourself too seriously. We’re just a bunch of monkeys with accidental cognitive mutations that made us smart. We don’t need to take the man-made philosophy of greatness & legacy too seriously in life, because just after a few years, none will even recall. So, do everything you’ve wanted to & don’t take the stress of the greater good into your shoulders.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dream big. Yes, you should, if you want to. But, I’m just reminding you that it’s fine if you don’t want to & that makes you no lesser to anyone. Our beauty lies in the raw ordinary, not the glorified illusion.

Don’t Try Too Hard

Ever notice that when you care less about something, you do better at it? The person who’s least invested in the success of something is actually the one who ends up achieving it? Notice sometimes when you stop giving a shit, everything falls into place? — Mark Manson

When we enforce ourselves so much to achieve something, by hating the process all-together, we end up hating it even more. Rather, don’t do it. Don’t try too hard. Just have a long-term idea, make very very short-term goals. Just focus on doing it, don’t keep high expectation, don’t track & analyze your performance too much. Just do it for fun. That’s when we start loving the process. Atomic Habits to the rescue. Tiny Steps + Patience + Curiosity. I know it’s hard, but it’s the only way out.

Visit Self-Care Spotlight. This page helps me a lot.

Life Sucks & It’s Fine

Let’s normalize this. Shit happens & it’s a part of the process. Don’t strive for perfection in any aspect of life without hurdles. It is the barriers that we cross, the problems we tackle & the struggles we go through what makes us cherish the good part, is what makes us value the good things.

Happiness comes from solving problems. Don’t see it as an excuse, but as an opportunity. Every problem has something to teach us. Let us be open to it & extract the maximum we could learn from it. It’s all about self-affirmations, what we say to ourselves, what we believe in. Our mental voice is more powerful than we can every imagine. Greatness begins from the inside.

We’re Not Special

None of us are special. We’re just a bunch of monkeys with accidental cognitive abilities millions of years ago & we evolved in unexpected ways. This is all a product of pure accidental randomness & none of us were destined for any of this. As a species even the ability to think this is a major bonus. So, don’t overburden yourself with such man-made self-glorified bullshit.

Rather than hunting in the forests for food & survival, if we’ve even evolved upto this extent, that is an add-on by itself. Don’t self-suffocate yourself with greatness tag. Relax, we’re all just wisers monkeys with wifi. It’s great to envision & dream, but don’t judge your existence & self-esteem with such man-made metrics.

Power Of Choosing

At every single moment, we have a choice on what to give a fuck about. The more we give a fuck to the smallest of things that doesn’t matter, the more we ruin our mental peace. At any single instance, it is great to ask, “is this my attention-worthy?”. Prioritizing what we choose to give a shit about & cutting down everything else can, at greater volumes, bring in so much peace. Always remember the liberty of choice, be it mentally or physically. There’s always a choice to what you let into your head. Choose wisely.

You Don’t Have To Prove Anything To Anyone

These are all a part of society’s obsession with status-driven games & running the rat-race of life, because everyone’s doing it. This is your life, your choices is what ultimately matters. You do what you wanna do, in your pace, with your time, for your happiness. There’s no need to satisfy or appease anyone for your actions, interests & choices. The more we fall for peer-pressure or societal pressure, is when we start playing the status-games of trying to prove others about our actions because this seeks their validation which feeds our self-esteem & ego.

This is the biggest zero-sum game one can ever play. Stay Away. Don’t give a fuck to anyone’s voices. Learn to filter between good advices & crap noise. Most are noise, choose wisely. Don’t end up narcissistic either. Maintain a balance.

People & Environments Are Supowerpowers

The people we surround ourselves with & the environments we spend most of our time on have so much power over our life’s choices. The people we surround ourselves with & the related content we consume on socials, determine our general thinking perspectives & the values we choose to follow. This is what dictates the trajectory of our life & often undervalued.

Choosing the right people is very very significant. Surround yourselves with people like whom you want to be in life & see how things begins to change. Occasionally reachout to people, talk about life, interests & happenings. Share Joy & Happiness. We’re social animals. It is our basic instinct to survive in tribes & seeking validation, care & social comfort is not illegal. It’s not your fault, it’s a natural choice by nature. Happiness is joyful when shared :)

The environments we spend our most time on, home, work, anywhere else has immense mental power over our moods. A clear-distinction between work-space, personal, chill & others are very very significant. The majority of the actions we take on an space determine our vibe with it & subconsciously creates habits to repeat it in the future. Choose what you do at every space very wisely & bring that clear distinction.

Execution is Momentum Game

The key to imposter syndrome, the key to the feeling of inadequacy, the key to feeling not enough is execution. Even the tiniest of actions, be it even 1% on a daily basis can go a long way around make ourselves feel accountable enough. There’s a Quote from Atomic Habits, which goes like: “Decide the type of person you want to be & prove it to yourself with 1% actions on daily basis.” Key is to take small actions & keep going. Everyday won’t be the same & it’s fine. Intensity doesn’t matter, consistency does.

Regular Breaks & New Experiences Are The Secret

The more we take regular breaks from our routines & give our mind sometime to relax, it clears up a hell lotta noise. Never refrain from taking breaks for yourself feeling your “wasting time”. Unless you take breaks & give your mind some peace, it won’t be able to function in it’s peak productivity. The more you give yourself the liberty to take breaks, the more your mind functions even more effectively. Take on that trip, that vacation, that adventure, anything even a small morning walk you’ve been delaying. New Experiences & Some Fresh Air is all the mind seeks.

Never Compromise With Toxicity

Cut off toxic people from life, howsoever close they be. Toxic people drain the shit out of our mental peace & this messes up with every aspect of life. Such people find sport in spreading toxicity & these people should never be entertained, especially in our close circles. Our mental energy is precious, never compromise our peace of mind. Cut such people off, say to the face, because none else will standup for you that yourself. Yes, you will end up disappointing people, but for peace of mind, it’s all worth it.

Things Will Workout, Always.

It’s common to fall into the pressures of peers, society & internal voices to overthink on even the smallest of reasons why things won’t workout. It’s our natural instinct. We evolved from monkeys & our basic instinct is to anticipate any possible predator that may hunt us or any hurdle we may face. It’s embedded deep within our DNA & it’s not a glitch, it’s a natural feature.

What matters is when we allow this to take too much power in our lives. Our self-affirmations & mental voices are what we believe in.

Good Things Take Time :)

Self-Affirmations Are The Key

Unless, we ourselves have the belief for something to become a reality, how can we expect the world to? Even if the entire world thinks something is impossible, if we have the belief in ourselves, our actions & perseverance, the probabilities that things could change phenomenally are unparalleled.

Have faith in yourself. Be careful of what you say to your mind. Discipline the mind. Draw mental boundaries. Even if you find yourself crossing the borders of overthinking, discipline yourself, control the mental voices & streamline the right ones. What we feed ourselves has immense superpower. Cut off anything & everything that makes you feel bad, take care of your mental health because none else will.

Peace, Over Anything

Ultimately, seek peace in life, over anything. When we’re peaceful in life, in content with ourselves, we have the liberty to convert it into happiness at any moment. Less noise, less distractions, less guilt, less of everything roots from minimalism. Don’t fall for status-games & fall into the rat-race of never ending comparison & consumer-culture.

The more less, more merrier. Minimalism, silence & happiness are the key.

Peace is the ultimatum.

Pure Peace.

I’ve moved this to my second-brain. Check it out :)

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on a quest towards serenity.

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Rahul Janardhan

Rahul Janardhan

on a quest towards serenity.

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