Turning on easy mode in life
Modernity has removed variation from our lives, and has created similar life paths for a huge mass of people. If we get standardized education, see the same news and TV series and movies, follow the same trends & memes on social, read the same New York Times bestsellers… Is it a miracle that we want the same things and need to compete with each other for them?
There’s a sort of aggregation going on. If social media used to be intimate with you seeing posts from your friends, now it’s global where you mostly see the same things everyone else sees. The local news is dying because people are aggregated to the mainstream news. There are more books, blogs and podcasts than stars in the sky, but the top 10 get nearly all of our attention – that’s the power law.
While there has never been more potential information diets to choose from, the number of people sharing a >80% similar information diet has never been this high!
As we consume what others do, we want the same things, which breeds competition, which makes life complicated. If I want the same type of house, spouse, job, hobbies as everyone else, I can spend a lifetime competing and running on the treadmill.
When asked, 9/10 of my (well-paid) coworkers state their hobbies as travel, eating out, skiing or some form of collecting (perfumes, watches, cars). Isn’t it magical that they all, out of their own free will, decided to gravitate to the hobbies normally associated with wealthy people?
You play life on easy mode when you want something fewer people want. Don't care about living in a city? Enjoy 5x lower rent with 5x more living space outside the city. Prefer hobbies like walks in nature, reading books & cooking over traveling and eating out? Your preferred life is so much more attainable!
The way to turn on easy mode isn’t to pick an alternate, easier path and force yourself to follow it. Rather, turn off the shared reality and simply observe your mind. Find the few desires you intrinsically have, then pursue them. You’re much more likely to fulfill these desires than those force-fed to you, and millions of others.