In the first two parts of “On Being ‘Half Alive,'” I wrote about the monotony of capitalist society, how we’re not hard-wired to live in it, and how your negative thinking should be held at a critical distance.
Now that I’ve addressed societal conditioning, I’m going to address how to get out of it. But I mean, really…
How do you get out of it?
Every single day we get up and work because we have to eat, pay rent (or mortgage), pay bills, provide for our children (two and four-legged), etc. We do it out of necessity and often out of love. I’m not telling you to quit your day job. Don’t walk into the office (or wherever you work) tomorrow and say, “Hey, this lady told me to quit because this job is killing my soul. So, I quit.” If you do that, then I will hit you over the head with a cast iron skillet (metaphorically speaking).
The first thing you’ve done is to acknowledge that you need to make a change. If you’re currently in a soul fulfilling job and don’t aspire to get ahead or obtain future goals, then stop reading. Congrats. The rest of us have some work to do.
It’s time to brainstorm.
Ask yourself what you want. Not what other people have told you to do. Your mother, father, mentor, teacher, etc. may have told you to get a job and be happy. Okay, cool. They gave you advice from their frame of reference, and they probably did it because they care about you. But, make no mistake, only you know what is best for yourself. So, without any limitations whatsoever…
What do you want?
I asked myself this question not long ago. The result was astounding. I’ve spent my entire life building up a career as a writer and a college professor. It’s what I’ve always “wanted.” But reality has set in, and now I can safely say that I do want to teach, but I want more than that. What I have to teach goes beyond English Literature, and nothing is keeping me from expanding my horizons.
The sky is the limit, people. Think of anything; it doesn’t matter how outlandish or crazy it sounds. Then visualize it. I’m sorry to go all The Secret on your ass, but being able to visualize what your life would look like is essential. You have to associate what you want with good feelings. Is the visualization making you feel awesome? Accomplished? At peace? Hold onto that.
Every single day you have to visualize your dreams and feel the emotions that come with them. You have to remind yourself on a daily basis what it is that you want without hesitation. If the negative, “That’s not possible,” thoughts start to pop up, be patient. Maybe tell them to fuck off. Maybe try again later when you’re not grumpy.
The planning part is next, but for now just be with your happy thoughts. Some people make vision boards. Others write goals down and pin them on the fridge or mirror. You might want to tell Alexa to remind you every morning, or set an alarm for visualization.
Whatever you do, don’t let yourself forget. We get so caught up in our day jobs and lives that we put things on the back burner. If you do that forever, you’ll end up with ashes. We want a Pheonix here, not a funeral pyre.
So, go forth and visualize. Have fun.