A few years ago I heard someone say, “Everything that exists in the world was created by man. Everything.” Rituals, holidays, cities, objects, innovation – it was all created by a person who had an idea, convinced enough other people it was worthwhile, and brought it to life. If that’s true, then are we living someone else’s reality?
That’s when I decided that everything was up for discussion. I started to give myself the permission to ask, “Why?” I know this topic can come off as controversial as it may question some your beliefs, but hear me out.
I have 3 arguments for why you might want to start questioning everything around you:
Intelligence Is The Ability to Hold Two Opposing Ideas in the Mind at The Same Time
I’ve been travelling with my kids since the day they were born. They’ve been on 36+ flights so far in 2 years. Everyone always says, “Oh… you’re so lucky, do it now, before they start school.” Which really bugs me. Why can’t we travel after they start school? Why is school dependent on physical location? What is school? How do I want to educate my kids?
So after a few months of hearing this, I decided to educate myself on education. I discovered some interesting perspectives. I found people that warned of the collapse of the traditional school system. I watched amazing TED talks on how education needs to change. I even got a chance to speak with brilliant leaders taking action to improve things. I went to the complete opposite side of my current understanding of education. I questioned everything. Why do kids start school at 5-6 years old, in a building, broken into classrooms, for 10 months of the year, for 12 years? I learned a lot. I’m now able to hold two opposing ideas in my mind. It’s not about right or wrong – it’s about broadening your understanding of the subject. That is intelligence.
It Shouldn’t Be Inappropriate To Talk About Money, Sex, Religion or Politics
How else are you supposed to learn about some of the most important topics of your life? Recently,I got involved in a political initiative for the first time in my life. Up until that point I had never voted. Why didn’t I vote? I was ignorant. Neither of my parents or my friends had ever talked to me about politics. It wasn’t something we discussed. It wasn’t until I had kids that I realized our decisions today were going to have a bigger impact on them, than me. So I decided to get involved. I decided to start asking questions.
What I learned was that very few people feel comfortable talking politics. Why? Because they were told so. That needed to change. We can’t be making HUGE life decisions in a vacuum. Also, the best way to learn is via conversations, that way you can hear other perspectives and have your ideas challenged and learn new things. It’s not about arguments and disagreements, it’s about discussions and having a broader understanding of the issues. Then you can decide with a greater understanding. It shouldn’t be wrong to discuss these topics. Start by asking “Why, why is it this way?” That’ll kick it off.
Everything That Exists Was Created By Someone No Different Than You
Taking religion out of this, I think we can all agree that every ritual and structure in our society, has been created by a person. Father’s Day, diamond engagement rings, even the fact that women shave their armpits – all created by someone. How do I know this is true? It’s because I see it happen every day. It’s how companies are built. Think about it… why are you addicted to Facebook? Because Mark Zuckerberg built an addictive product. TV. The car you drive. The neighbourhood you live in. Everything around you – man made.
This can either excite you or frustrate you. I find it energizing because it means we have the ability to shape the world we live in. You might feel frustrated because it means you’ve been living someone else’s life – metaphorically speaking of course – as was I.
This discovery really hit home when I watched an interview of one of the top business minds of our century, Steve Jobs. Here’s what he said:
“When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and you’re life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into
the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money.
That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.
Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”
How about you? What did you believe growing up that later you found out was not true? What have you questioned lately? What did you learn? Leave a comment below. I read & respond to everyone.