Is Our Constant Need for Progress Enslaving Us?

Is our constant need for progress enslaving us? -> The issue here is an issue of self-knowledge. How can you live well if you don’t know yourself?

The comprehension of a successful life in our modern western societies is mostly driven by external factors that oftentimes leave us dissatisfied and unfulfilled.

People with a good job, plenty of money and influence are valued more in society. Knowing this, we look for jobs, not necessarily fulfilling ones, but simply ones that will help us pay the bills. When we are able to pay the bills we start to purchase luxury items, and our ability to distinguish between need and want is blurred. These purchases often justify the lack of time and happiness in our everyday lives. Due to an eternal amount of luxury items and ubiquitous marketing, we feel forced to satisfy all of these “needs.” New desires are constantly created, which lead to an overwhelming feeling of being lost in this fast-paced market and world.

The government wants us to believe that success is equal to progress. They want their companies –country– to run as efficiently and with as little concern as possible. So most of us take part in this development that happens faster and faster each day. We do not want to miss the newest invention or event so we have to frequently be updated and have the resources to buy the latest gadgets. If we want to be part of the progress, we have to live life just as fast, because of the rapid changes in our world. We enslave our lives to modern comforts. We risk our health to have enough money to be a part of this consuming society. And at the end of our lives, many of us will spend our hard-earned money on paying to recover our lost health. We live to work and don’t stop to look around and appreciate what is around us.

Nowadays, more people than ever before are moving to cities, where they can live faster, reach more and earn more money. In cities, we rarely have a chance to lay back in nature and listen to our inner voice, because our actions are often governed by external circumstances and pressure of the masses in these metropolises. Societies expect and make their members work, and if we don’t think about our real desires, which are hidden deep within us, then we become slaves to modern society.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel, as there are many people who have found their real passion and destiny. Many of them have used this new vision for good. For example, many have used their time and talents to highlight what is wrong with modern society and have engaged in volunteer work. Movements like Van Life and Tiny House give us hope that there is an alternative way to live. Also, current trends like yoga, meditation or holidays in nature instead of going to all-inclusive luxury resorts are signs of further development.

Studies have shown that experiences and not material goods, bring about the highest levels of happiness. Now, the choice is ours. Do we continue down this path of fake gold and false hopes or do we pursue something else, something real?


Julius Henne is a voracious traveler and nature seeker. Follow him on Instagram or Facebook.

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