Tony Robbins, Gary V, and Tim Ferris have popularized a new way of working, making money and providing for self/family to people in my generation.
Their message is one of Mastery and Freedom.
Mastery over the self, the sleepy habitual ways of the brain/body, hacking our habits to become our best selves.
Like a flower sprouting in the after math of the Self Actualization movements of the 1960’s (with Maslow and Assagioli),
Robbins and friends have enlightened a new wave of hack-and-tech entrepreneurs to climb their way to the top of economic ladders.
They have invited us to step up and away from the rat-race of 9-5 jobs, by exporting unnecessary tasks to our iPhones, or to servant-assistants in India, Pakistan and the likes.
This has helped many Millennials reach levels of “freedom”, and financial capital unparalleled in previous generations.
There is a sense of “I have made it, I have crushed it so hard and so much better than others that I am out of the rat-race. I have outsmarted everybody”.
The energetic emphasis on “crushing it” and “conquering” is akin to the exhaustive process of working on our bodies into near-eating-disorder, trying to reach a perfection that is often masking unsecured and unloved addictions.
The climb to the top, defeating your competitors and turning citizens into consumers has been the way for modern Capitalist freedom-reaching movements.
“If I can, I should”.
If I can reach the top, I should, I f I can become better, I should. If I can make more money, I should.
The tactics and language employed are often akin to militarized actions in the Middle East or Vietnam.
We go out and conquer our business “plan-of-attack”, our life coaches ask us what our “mission” is, and to build our own “Empire”.
The military-language has infused its way into our consciousness in such a way that we do not know what is like to live in times of peace. What it means to MAINTAIN relationships, instead of reaching for growth.
.If you are not growing, you are dying.
Let’s go a level deeper here.
Our imperial and militaristic entrepreneurial language works.
To the extent that we live in a dualistic, Indo-European reality, this war-tactics get us the results we want.
Look, I love them too.
I am geek for life hacks, and my brain loves making maps to conquer my goals.
And as long as understand life and perceive from a war-like, colonial and colonizing mentality, it all works.
So what is your point, Fabio?
My point is that I want to invite you to look at the consequences of utilizing such language and mindset.
1. There are other realities other than Indo-European/conquering-realities. I invite you to learn from other cultures, many indigenous, who by virtue of their cosmologies (how they believe the world was created and functions) and language (non-verb-To-Be) do not have a “hacking/progress/growth” mindset.
2. Freedom is misunderstood. I believe that freedom in our culture largely means escape. Escape the 9-5, escape poverty, escape the daily grind, escape deeper commitments, escape working and scrubbing floors and taking out the trash. An app can do it for us. Or Mexican migrants will take care of my loans. I’m too busy making my “.Com” money…so I can escape further to Mars. What if Freedom is linked with responsibility? What if those are connected to growing up into adulthood and elderhood? What if it has to do with the commitment to a place, a people, a person, your children?
3. What would it be like to learn and have our ways be informed by indigenous folks, feminists, trans and other marginalized communities?
The world, the wood, plant, blood, flesh and water world function, like an orchestra, because of the diversity of the ecologies within it. We need diverse voices.
What would it be like to include in our economy-driven, freedom-seeking, death-escaping, conquering business strategies, these diverse philosophies?
4. It is my opinion that all economy is based on the Earth. We can abstract numbers and create a virtual world. Yet Still. We are bound here. We have, as our indigenous kin remind us, a responsibility to this place, this very real place. Our hacks and short cuts, our apps and money won’t get us out deeply cosmological and mythic dilemma we have gotten ourselves into (clue: climate change and 6th mass extinction).
5. Climb to the top.
Where are we climbing to? What are we trying to reach?
The top of What?
And who are we hurting or enslaving in our climb to the top? Who are we responsible to in our climb, throughout and when we make it to the top?
Plants? Minerals extracted by minors in the C.R.Congo?
Derrick Jensen has written a brilliant book to address this called “The Myth of Human Supremacy”, shedding light on how our modern behaviors and hierarchical systetms hinge on bestowing “rights” on humans alone, pinning us at the top of a fictitious Babel tower.
I invite you to question imperialist expansion in the entrepreneurial world, remembering that any Empire needs slaves to be built and function, whether they are human, digital or mineral/animal/plant.
Borrowing a term from many PoC communities, I bid you to to Stay Woke.