In pursuit of self-improvement, fueled by the fist-pumping idealism of motivational speakers, trendy psych-pop books, and internet gurus, we’ve begun to see ourselves not as people but as businesses.
Sometimes I feel sick to my stomach when I think about what's happening in the modern world. I'm not talking about the global tragedies we're all aware of but something more local - I'm talking about the erosion of the individual.
When I was younger, I thought there was something fundamentally flawed with me. I couldn’t accept my flaws, and so I tried to systematically destroy them under the guise of “healing.” I saw myself not as a person but as a business that, with a tweak here or a fix there, could finally be acceptable and be 'valuable'. My doubts, my fears, and my weaknesses were to be eliminated in order to enhance efficiency and performance.
It felt like I was waging war on myself. Creativity, play, and communication weren't things to fulfill me; they were things to be exploited. It felt like I was becoming less of me.
That’s the irony of it all.
In a sense, when you start to see yourself as a business you start making everything in your life transactional - your passions and relationships become transactional and you start to ask yourself 'What do I get out of this?'
I still don't know if I've beaten this way of thinking. I do think I'm starting to learn more about myself and pursue avenues of self-discovery that I had previously closed. I'm reading new books, I'm trying new things. Not to become 'better' and change myself but rather to learn, to experience, and to let go of what I think I know for the novelty of the unknown.
If we open ourselves up to the unknown and accept the unpredictability of ourselves in all our imperfection, we may just be able to find that magic that I think we’re all looking for.