Empirical Growth: How to Do Less and Achieve More in 2019


An interesting time has come. The time of a sharp social turn, when the former foundations crash upon the conceptual ridges of modernity, leaving on the surface only the most important things. People began to realize that working nine-to-five not only doesn’t mean success, but also is a very exhausting thing. Gradually, the new generation of people is hitting on the idea that material well-being to the detriment of their own comfort can no longer be a well-being.

Working fingers to the bone used to be standard practice which rewards with a basic “normal life” set (a house, a car, care for children), but nowadays personal consumer code has heeled towards mental development. Personal apartment is good, but you can rent one and spend your money on traveling and education. With traffic jams a car has completely lost its benefits, reminding today more of a status accessory than a really convenient vehicle. And the desire to acquire a family is withdrawing deeper into the shadows of career ambitions.

Obviously, there is an inverse relationship between the amount of free time and income. Those who devote less hours to their work earn correspondingly less. But it is precisely here where the classic confrontation of material and spiritual wealth, money and knowledge, professional non-freedom and useful experience takes place. The essence of the modern approach is that money has ceased to be a yardstick of pleasure, while the latter is identified with much more abstract things, such as experience. For instance, after a trip to Colombia, you are more likely to remember picturesque landscapes than the soft bed in your suite. Experience and knowledge acquired in our everyday life is much more valuable than money, at least because of its longevity. High-quality education is able to bring you benefit till the end of your life, unlike momentary salary, no matter how high it is.

But this transformation of values, just like everything else, has undergone its own evolution. Just like human life, everything that was originally opposed to a commodity has turned into the latter. With the popularization of the Internet personal emotions, intangible goods and pleasures valuable on their own have become subject to public evaluation. Nowadays, any trip to an exotic country is incomplete without a subsequent photo report on Instagram. All the experience gained in order to adjust the profession for ourselves now serves the opposite purpose. The transparency of the society due to its digitization has set new benchmarks, yet in a different paradigm. Our experience or emotions have also become a commodity.

Therefore, in 2019 we suggest you to focus on one simple fact: experience can be free. Unlike a product on the market, it is not subject to any objective assessment. Its value is in its accessibility, and its attractiveness is in its usefulness. You do not need to fly to the other side of the globe in order to enrich your soul. There is an unexplored universe right at the threshold of your home, which you can’t notice, since you are distracted by the shiny images of beaches in tour operator advertisements. Ironically, just like in a bad Coelho’s novel the most valuable things in life are not far away. What you cannot get in practice or buy for currency (metaphorical or real one) lies in local attempts to change the world around you. And these actions, being charged with a sincere impulse, can be of much greater benefit in the future. High-quality education, useful experience, or affordable vacation — no matter whether they are packed in an expensive wrapper or asceticism — are truly valued if based on a real aspiration, rather than just aim at adaptation to consumer state of affairs.

The incoming year, as well as all the following ones, is a good opportunity to look closer at the things that can make you better with the least costs. By interacting with familiar people, discovering new places and obtaining new knowledge you can get much more experience than by striving to achieve the unattainable. Ultimately, this will do no harm to you. And even if you lose the battle for the goods, the experience you’ve gained is a safe bet.


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