It’s been a busy month and I’ve been slower than usual. Yes, I have indeed been playing Elden Ring, but I’m also really busy with paperwork in relation to immigration business, contracts and banking. Being a number / cog in the system takes renewing, and in Japan, that renewal process is usually around March. Those things alongside my focus on work and you have a frog that doesn’t have all that much cognitive energy to spare when it comes to writing about the fleeting nature of time and your brief existence on this Earth.
I digress, I do have a little time to write today, and for the few that read it, it may be of value. To anyone else, it’s irrelevant and I’m a nobody.
“Why would you call yourself a nobody?” some people may ponder. Well, that’s today’s topic, because for the most part, I am a nobody, and so are you.
Generally speaking we live in an age where everything is connected and we can keep in touch with people from halfway across the world almost instantaneously (albeit we tend to be quite disconnected from each other as humans, ironically). This is a good thing, because the more access we have to resources of all kinds – whether it be resources in the physical or informative form – the more capability we have to create the lives we want. Freedom is awesome, but with freedom comes the tremendous need for self-awareness and purposeful action.
One of the unintended potential side effects of all this instant access however – and the cultural “mindset” being taught in Western society – is the idea that you are a special person that can achieve anything. This isn’t entirely wrong – you can train to become lots of different things with concentrated effort, and metaphysically limiting factors aside, you can be most things.
That said, you’re not special or important in the grand scheme of things. You’re probably just some guy or some girl that almost nobody cares about. You’re a nobody, but social media especially doesn’t want you to think you’re a nobody. It wants you to think that getting likes and retweets makes you a special person that everyone knows about. You’re special after all!
There’s a big problem with this, and that problem is the construction of the idea that other people’s thoughts and feelings towards you actually matters. They don’t, but with enough time on the internet, you start to believe they do. You start to think that you’re so important to the world that what you say needs to be the right thing to say, and when people don’t like it or controversy hits, your numbers go down and just like a sigma male on his grindset to achieve debt infused, meaningless wealth, you begin to panic, sniff more coke and think about how to increase those numbers no matter what.
You’re democratizing your worth, basically. If numbers go up, you’re saying the right things and consensus says you’re special. If numbers go down, the Orkz get pissed and look for a new leader.
This is a potential side effect of the information age and social media, not an actual. It depends on how self-aware you actually are regarding your actual worth rather than perceived worth.
The reality is that you are almost certainly a nobody to 99.99% of the population of Earth. You’re just some guy or girl that does stuff, and you’re taught to believe that this is problematic because you are supposed to be special. Drop the pseudo-ego and be honest though – you’re not. Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are what we can consider as “special”, because their industrial influence is so far reaching that the entire world knows about and is affected by them. This level of influence is exceptionally rare, and you’re not part of that exception. You’re just some guy/girl pretending to be special.
This sounds like a bad thing, to be a nobody to most, but it’s pretty much the most freeing thing you can be given the right way of thinking about it – more on this in a bit. Reality often hits hard at first, but being able to accept it allows you to live with a lot more quality decision making.
When you acknowledge your actual worth, you begin to value your time more appropriately and stop playing games to try get your rookie numbers up on the wheel of consensus. I’ll use myself as an example: I no longer use social media and I’m a dude who lives in Japan with a few close friends, a nice girlfriend, family back in my home country and a bunch of students I teach English to.
That’s like 60 people or so that know me quite well, and maybe 5 or so that know me really well. There are international friends, too, but for the most part, that’s about it. That’s like 0.000001% or so of the world population. Four zeroes is 790, so I’m well off having 1%. Jesus!
I’m a god damned nobody. Nobody knows me in the grand scheme of things, but the people who do know me, care about me deeply, and I them. It is nothing at all when compared to the world population, but what matters is that I am somebody to those few people, and they are somebody to me. They’re not even 1% of the population, but they are the world to me.
Notice the difference? I am nothing on this Earth, but something to some people on this Earth, and those people are the ones where thoughts and storytelling matters. I am special but to specific people, and likewise they are special to me. Otherwise, I’m just some guy. Whatever happens outside of my personal sphere is irrelevant to me.
This is appropriately valuing your actual worth and being realistic. By deluding yourself into thinking that you’re some kind of world titan, you’re diluting your own ability to value others appropriately, and constructing a false sense of worth that is at the mercy of consensus. It’s a second-handed form of self-worth. Unhealthy, and it tends to turn people into annoying manlets that try to sell you bullshit.
As I mentioned, this is a potential side effect of the internet. The internet itself is great, but when you switch off from it like I did for a little while, you start to identify how much noise there is that clouds your ability to value your time – and conversely yourself – appropriately.
Now as I mentioned above, you have to think about this in the right way, too. As you subdivide down into essential people in your life, you can’t just think that your self worth is based on your personal groups thoughts about you – that’s still second handedness but on a small scale. We are social animals and it’s pretty much an essential need in our life to have people in our lives, but you’re still an individual that values themselves first. You are nobody, but you’re still the ultimate decider of your life and the one that makes it a good life. You still choose and act according to what is important to you.
As far as my understanding and reading goes, this is part of one of the issues in Japan, where you are nobody, but you belong to the group and value is based on how well you work with the group. To stand out is to be ostracized because you are trying to be more than what the overall sum of the group is and you are breaking the “harmony” that is in place. To be invisible and a cog is good – to stand out like a mountain is bad. These roots tend to stem from the Edo period where Confucian thought and Bushido drove this idea forward – fun fact, but if a Daimyo died, all Samurai under the Daimyo’s rule would usually commit seppuku (suicide) as they no longer had their leader.
People don’t off themselves when their CEO dies, which is good, but there is an element of people who fail to achieve desired results in work or choosing to think otherwise being ostracized from the group – and many do kill themselves, usually by jumping in front of a train. These aren’t considered suicides though, usually “accidents”. It’s a complex social issue, it’s the extreme opposite of the Western idea, and it’s not what I mean by being a nobody. Much of this kind of thinking really does make you believe you are absolutely worthless without group acceptance. Sorry Japan, but fuck off with that.
When you’re a nobody, you’re nothing in the world, but you’re something to some people. You’re primarily something to yourself though, but what that something is depends on your values and what you aim to achieve in your life.
You’re always putting yourself first and always the primary judge of your character. The special few people that are involved in your life get to share in that, but to what extent is up to you.
Basically, balance your measurement of what is valuable and realize your actual value. Unless you’re a mega CEO that spreads their Amazonian tendrils across the planet, almost everyone on Earth doesn’t give a shit about you.
But hey, your friends, family and girl/guy does, and that should mean the world to you.
More content soon.
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