Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
You’re just going to keep working, aren’t you?
You’re going to keep slaving away, buy more and bigger things, believing that, at some point, you’ve made it.
Made what, exactly?
Made other people look up to you?
Made the monkey finally leap off of your back and onto someone else’s?
Made a complete mess of your life?
Too often, we live according to other people’s ideas of success. Until, just too late, we realize what we’ve been doing.
Here, then, is philosopher and spiritual enlightener Alan Watts to set you right.
Yes, he’s dead. But his words still echo strongly. Words about getting on a supposed life-path that leads you to emptiness. Words about what you value and whom you value.
Oh, I almost forgot. This is a Volvo ad. But please don’t let that put you off.
Instead, consider how much every one of these words applies to you.
Consider what rising in life really means. Consider what the struggle for success truly is.
What does it mean to actually “enjoy the fruits of one’s actions”?
We tell ourselves that we search for “meaning.” And then we trudge to work each day, meaning to tell ourselves to stop and look around.
Then one meeting follows another. One day becomes another. One month becomes another.
Until we reach another New Year or another birthday and fleetingly ask ourselves: “What have we achieved?”
Less often, however, do we ask ourselves how these achievements make us feel.
How often do people attain their goals and feel a peculiar emptiness? How often do they ask themselves: “Is this all there is?”?
Somehow, the feeling of overwhelming surprise and joy is replaced, perhaps, by a marginal feeling of relief.
We climb the mountain, but the view isn’t all that great. Instead, there’s fog and a sense that we’ve done it because that’s what we thought we were supposed to do.
Yes, Alan Watts’s words appear in an ad.
Yes, they’re flogging dreary cars — symbols of the very mindless rise in status his words warn against.
That doesn’t mean his words aren’t the most powerful you’ll hear this year.