Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin can openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose your future. Choose life . . . But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life: I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons.
From the movie “Trainspotting”
In consumerism era everything is labelled and branded including very private sides of our lives. Our emotions, personal and professional achievements, feelings have become objects of trade and promotion.
Day by day we are bombarded by images of smiling, glamorous looking “successful” people encouraging us to buy more goods or to improve any possible sides of our life: career, physical appearance, sexual performance and psychological state of mind. These intrusive ads try to convince us: a modern person must be successful, financially stable and physically attractive. Can I wonder who decided it?
I’m becoming allergic to the very word “success”. What is success after all? Does it mean that an owner of an oil corporation whose income is billions of dollars is more successful than a school teacher or a single mother, or even a street dog? Do I understand it correctly that to be/to be known as (highlight the appropriate) successful one needs to dedicate his life to self-promotion, jumping over heads to reach his goal, then to eventually find him/herself on the top, observing his fame and wealth with a pleasant smile of satisfaction? A fool who for weird reasons refuses to strive for “success” is labelled as a loser. A loser can be easily spotted by some indicators: low paid job, a humble place to live in, constantly struggling for survival, or even worse, drinking and having no goal in life whatsoever. In other words, a loser has a low market value – cannot be sold for high and cannot consume a lot, he’s a trash.
Is it really as clear as it seems? Why should prosperous employers wonder about your goal in life and who you want to be by age of 40? In other words, is it so necessary to actually want to “be” someone at age of 40? Isn’t it enough to be yourself at age of 40 and why are we all expected to have a goal in life? If somebody deliberately does not want to live an American dream, does not want to become a top-manager of a transnational corporation or Hollywood actress, does it mean having a loser mentality?
No idea, to be honest. We are merely sinking in the ocean of ready-made ideas and fast-food philosophy. Somebody decided that a human being must be happy and positive, and for this sake, must learn how to achieve it. If looking at this situation from a different angle, positive thinking is becoming a pure obsession: additionally to having a life ambition one must be positive. Happiness has become a good that is sold as happy-ending movies, books advising how to be a happy person. Every day TV and internet try to convince us that happiness is incomplete without a new iPhone or iPad; smile is an essential attribute of positive thinking obsession and has a high market value. Official banner of mass media is “Be positive, smile and you’ll reach your goal. Pessimism is an enemy of success”.
Of course, there would be nothing wrong to be wealthy and happy if it was not the only allowed option. Pessimists without ambitions seeing life in a dark light are considered a flaw of mass production. Somewhere there, at the factory of minds, an error occurred and these freaks came to life. And the worst thing is that these freaks do not want to buy happiness.
But not all is lost. Depressive and negative thoughts must be killed in an embryo by happiness pills and life planning books.
Well, it looks like we have no right to live the life how we want it. What if somebody might enjoy moral masochism? What if success is not about career and bank accounts ad happiness is not always about positivity and toothy smiles? Who can be a judge of success and happiness if not a person himself?
I am fed up of these suggestions how we need to live, look and feel. Emotions unlike cars cannot be standardised. Everyone deserves a right to be himself and feel how he wants without being labelled. Viva to all the freaks who do not give a shit about “Brave New World” that demands long-life planning, promotes growth of desires and unscrupulously kills the most charming thing – spontaneity. Giving it more thoughts, how can one burdened with ambitions, desires, and long-life plans be happy at the same time If I am to propose a definition of success I’d say “ability to stay yourself and do what you really want no matter whether it is prestigious or not”.