Nov 7: Means To Live

Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for.
— Victor Frankl

We're At Our Highest And Our Lowest

As a race, collectively, we are at the highest level of performance, or degree of thriving that any human has ever been on the earth to see (just look here or here, or here or here).

It's incredible. We are lucky to be alive right now.

But, right now, compared to our potential that is sitting at our fingertips, we are also likely at the lowest level humans have ever seen: the freedom, resources and knowledge available to us are immense... 


And yet, we choose to watch cat videos.


We’re distracte... ooh, HAVE YOU SEEN THIS VIDEO?

A lot of that is not entirely our fault. For years we've seen and witnessed that "technology is progress". And in time when corporate America seemed to be filled with people who try to game the system, technology came through as an impersonal, benevolent, beacon of light for us all.  

And in so many ways it is. Without technology, the incredible advances in those articles above would not have been possible. 

Because technology has helped us so much, we let our walls down. We scroll endlessly. We entertain ourselves.

But when you have 1000 people at on the other end of the screen working every single day to make the platform more addictive, and hack further down our brainstem it is anything but neutral or helpful. 

There are several good intentions for all this that companies like Facebook believe in, and to their credit, have helped a lot with (creating a more open, connected world for instance). But it's core business metric is not connection... it's time on site.

This attention economy has created competition between all of these organizations that is a race to the bottom - where if one person gains 5% more of your attention each day, that means another loses 5%. They have to go back to the drawing board and become more addictive just to keep up.

Our goal with Chasing Sunrise, 21 DED and Damn Early Life is to give people their lives back - so know that we are in your corner.

We Have A Choice To Make

All this brings us back to the point: our potential as individuals and together a society, at the highest it has ever had the chance of being in history, is sitting there, right in front of us, on the table, while we're scrolling through Instagram.

And part of the reason we aren't dropping the phone, grabbing that potential and taking it out into the world, is because we don't have meaning in our daily lives strong enough to overcome a dopamine rush. 

Fo over 60 years we’ve grown up with television, we went to school with pre-planned curriculum, today we scroll through infinitely long feeds of apps that use algorithms to keep feeding us exactly what will stimulate our personal brains without us having to think.

We have been given our "purpose" in life in so many ways... 

Trouble is, the thing that can save us, isn't something that is going to be fed or shown to us.
It's something we have to create, and then we have to feed it to ourselves every day.

Ultimately, women and men should not ask what the meaning of their life is, but rather they must recognize that it is they who are asked.
— Victor Frankl


So Today’s Challenge:

Grab a pencil and notebook, and write or list what comes to mind when I ask you:

What is your meaning to life? Do you have one?

I don’t mean what goals you are working on this month for DEL, but what’s inside, under that. What’s actually driving your goals? What do your goals add up to, what do they mean for you?

If it’s hard to answer, that’s actually really powerful. Sit with that question and don't give up on it, because it's arguably the best thing you can do for yourself, and the best thing you can do for all of us.

Got a few things written down, now go down another layer and try to answer:

What are you wanting to live for?

What is something so important to you that you would be willing to die for? 

Spend some time this morning here, on what gives your life meaning, or at least sitting and exploring that question. See if it has any impact on how you approach the rest of your morning, or the rest of your day.


And, of course, a morning jam. Something mellow as you think this morning ….

Gordon Swenson