When I (Zach) was at the EntreLeader Summit conference in Dallas I was challenged by Seth Godin to write every single day. So I have set a goal for myself to write a blog post every single day and here are the first two posts: (I normally post them on zacheway.tumblr.com)
"Have you ever felt like you have no idea what is happening in your life or what direction you should head or where you are going? Maybe that’s a good thing. You wouldn’t want to mindlessly wander to your destination without ever questioning if that was where you intended to head. Maybe that feeling is a reminder to check your priorities, maybe it’s a warning that you have been distracted for too long. I don’t think people get that feeling when they are too wrapped up in the little things, I don’t think they really think that far in advance. I would rather have this occasional feeling than be numbed to it by continual distractions. Whenever we face trials we should consider ourselves blessed. Trials promote perseverance, and perseverance when it has finished its work produces character and maturity and hope."
"Consumerism culture has changed us. I’m talking about produced and marketed peer pressure. The new gizmo came out and what did we need? It has a better camera and a better processor, it’s faster and will make coffee for you instantly, it protects your home and makes you more productive, it helps you keep an eye on your baby and it gets better gas mileage. It’s a brilliant product and it will make you happy. We have been trained to think we need the newest and the biggest. Holidays have lost their meaning and sales begin months in advance to help us prepare for the comparison battle. Cheap tricks, cheap thrills. There was once a holiday where we sat around the table and talked about what we were thankful for. Now we stare at our screens tapping our way to happiness, scoring sweet deals for stuff we don’t need. We think it’s going to make our lives less complicated or better in some way, but we’ve skipped family breakfast to grab a coffee and a microwaved sandwich at the drive through in order to make it to the store before everyone else buys stuff they don’t want- but hey! it’s on sale, man! Somewhere along the line, want replaced need.
Yes, we can complain about consumerism all day, typing out our woes on our brand new handheld computer (that also doubles as a phone if we ever need to take a call). But complaining doesn’t fix anything. Complaining is something babies do when they want grown ups to do something for them.
No one is changing it for you. You are the grown up. You can subscribe to consumerist culture and complain about it or you can put your big boy pants on and do something about it. I’m not asking you to change the world, I’m asking for you to change your mindset. Start with you, because the only thing you can control is you. You can’t change your neighbor and you can’t change Walmart. You can change you, and your change might inspire other people to change- but you can’t force them to. They have to wake up for themselves, and you should never wake a sleeping baby, anyways.
Your time is limited and it’s the most valuable resource you have; spend it wisely, and live so that your values line up with how you spend your time and your money. Happiness can be bought, but it’s a fleeting feeling. Happiness is just an emotion, it comes and it goes, but joy comes with contentment, and contentment is hard work.
Consumerist culture won’t change overnight, but you can decide to wake up tomorrow and change yourself, and next week you might have to wake up again and change yourself. But it is progress. Small continual changes. Focus on the little things. Progress. One step at a time. It’s up to you."