The Tyranny of the Perfect Life
Similar to the desire for the perfect day, an ideal life can mean enforcing a rigid uniformity that does more harm than good.
Chasing utopian dreams never takes us exactly where we want to go, because ideas change, people change, and new technologies develop.
This is a professional note extracted from an online article.
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Life is always more out of our control than we would prefer it to be. Even with the most meticulous planning, the perfect day only shows up now and then.
If we were to have a perfect day every day, it would quickly become just another normal part of our experience. Then we would need a new fantasy to take its place.
Dictators from history had an ideal world in mind that would last. But their dreams were never realized, and instead left catastrophic destruction behind.
We are unable to plan a perfect life without also fully understanding the complexity of life. Things we think we want now might be different from what we want in the near future.
We believe people have many needs and values that can come together in perfect harmony. We think, under the right conditions, education, technology and political systems, we can completely solve all our problems.
But we have to stop and consider these questions: What if our values and needs contradict each other? What, if we gain somewhere, we will lose somewhere else?
Choosing one way of life means giving up many others. A desire for privacy is at odds with convenience tools like Google and Facebook. Long-term travel will mean being lonely at times.
It is not possible to combine a diversity of forms of life within a single person.
Obsessing over the idea of having a perfect life where you compress yourself into a focused point, means that you will suffer from tunnel-vision. Tunnel-vision means that you will miss much of life.
The perfect life is always around the corner, but the decent life is right here already if you can stop for long enough to see it.
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Life hacking is defined as an approach to getting things done arising from “a systematizing mindset, willingness to experiment, and fondness for tech."
The idea of hacking life arose ...
A series of trends are grouped under the rubric of life hacking, labeled "the Californian Ideology." It is a mix of cybernetics, free-market economics, and counter-culture libertarianism. It is very individualistic and distrustful of institutions.
Later on, the life hacking mentality showed up in seemingly unrelated phenomena as the pickup-artist scene. PUAs are a product of a subculture believing that all human activities can be "optimized" by applying systematic processes and formulae like workflows and algorithms. Life hackers started out analyzing and streamlining their to-do lists as well as their intimate relationships.
Life hacking is a kind of American self-help. It was practical and evidence-based.
Getting Things Done or GTD, promoted the idea of breaking tasks down into pieces and sorting them by how much time they'll take to accomplish, then allocating reminders. The goal is to free you from a mental to-do list running in the back of your thoughts, making it possible to focus all your energy on a task.
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Fun is the experience of developing mastery. When we acquire new skills and recognize valuable patterns, our brains reward us with a shot of pleasurable sensations.
Games are optimal learning environments:
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And even games become boring at some point because they eventually run out of things to teach you. That's when you stop playing.
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Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy(1945) is an extraordinary work of synthesis, introducing global (particularly eastern) spirituality into mainstream western culture.
The Author and Philosopher's fresh take on religion, shaping it as an 'empirical spirituality' was a huge influence in the 1960s and which has since then led to more people (now 27% in the US) being 'Spiritual but not Religious'
Aldous Huxley was heavily criticized after his death by newer philosophers who didn't subscribe to the Perennial Philosophy.
While the author insisted that the ultimate mystical experience is the moment of pure oneness with God where the concepts of 'I', language, image and culture are dissolved, his critics argued that all religions are true and some of them are truer than the others.
One of the critics states that human beings construct reality using their bodies, rituals, words, actions and cultures.
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