Individuals have their own definitions when it comes to success and failure. In two recent podcasts, the topic of unorthodoxy and success drove a conversation to an uncomfortable realization: Thinking only can help so much before it impedes upon action, then sometimes it may be better to go through various stages of life without thinking. That is, if one cannot think in moderation, they may have to disavow it all together. Since balance often comes up in the conversations of That’s what I believe, thinking too much every once in a while is well worth the risk.
Turning ideas into action requires critical thinking and when we realize the energy of these thoughts, then we are more likely to benefit from its power. When it came to unorthodoxy, we found that structure and orthodoxy may be necessary from time to time. Misunderstandings are often the common forces that deter individuals from pursuing goals that are out of whack with the mainstream. If friends and family do not get it, then who do they have who is supportive? Pursuing a job without a map or securing a position in a manner outside of the ordinary requires extraordinary perseverance and patience.
There are some serious problems within the system of orthodoxy and no amount of government spending will be able to assure long-term stability. It must come from us, the individuals who figure it is better to work together as a community and move forward. Define the American Dream, not only in the cultural context, but also in terms of yourself. Times are tough, but they have always been tough. The American Dream at one point was an unorthodox idea. Materialistic success may not be the paradigm of individual agreement, but it is the most common or easy to understand and common conception of achieving the American Dream. There is no reason why anyone should accept material rewards being the primary motivation for living a life of purpose. Unemployment is closely associated with failure in the United States, so much so that we tend to take jobs for the sake of being employed. Of course there are those who need to work to feed and clothe their family. But if possible, why not take a while longer and consider options?
There is a cumulative effect when individuals agree to do things differently. Instead of amassing wealth and security for the sake of wealth and security, perhaps spend more time and energy building community and getting to know our neighbors? Why not share? No matter what happens, strong communities tend to survive. No dollar amount can measure their value. Instead of worrying whether or not the federal government will have new executive leadership, perhaps we can spend more time and emphasis on city councils, school boards, and ad hoc community groups. Instead of thinking so much about where we are going, we should acknowledge where we are at as individuals. The federal government should be able to look and prepare for the future and not spend so much time and energy doing what we can all do now in the present if we were to work together. We all have a choice and can decide to change. So, what is it then? What is the general mission statement that we can start to embrace?
An example of some immediate actions to take:
- Do more than what is asked and learn how to become self-motivated
- Embrace sustainable habits and teach others what you learned
- Stay a little bit wild and creative (we need innovation in order to grow)
- Sit down with a friend for a conversation with your cell phone turned off
- Listen/read Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s speech on GNP and then share your opinions with another human in person
- Buy stamps, stationary, and write down the addresses of your city officials, county officials, state officials, and so on in that order
- Write your own list and put in a spot where you will see it as often as possible