March 20, 2024   sovereignty

Rejecting the tyranny of productivity

The idea that we should be able to force ourselves to do things we don’t want to do is just an idea. It’s not something you have to believe.

I think it’s a tragedy that so many people (especially ADHDers) do not realize how much their motivation is utterly unstoppable once it’s aimed at something they actually WANT to do. Because they’ve spent so long trying to force themselves to do things they don’t want to do, and feeling bad about it.

I am just beginning to appreciate how much internal de-programming from social conditioning I’ve done in my life because the source of my bad feelings was actually social-cultural messages, and when I got to the root of them I was just like “nah, not believing that”.

Healing from my family stuff was emotional work, but undoing social conditioning requires something else–an internal “F*** you” to messages that are inherently judgmental to your basic nature.

I was not made to do what other people want me to do. It’s just not how I am wired. So of course my body-mind protests when I’m in that position. It completely shuts down. But when I’m doing what I love to do, what I want to do, and following my internal guidance, I have an immense amount of energy and drive.

This is why institutional education makes me wilt and yet I’ve spent my whole adult life taking classes and workshops and learning things. I love learning–I just need a high degree of autonomy and teachers who get that and support that. But if the only option for learning I ever came across was our education “system”, I would have concluded that I don’t like learning, because I can’t be happy under those conditions.

The same goes for work–I’ll work all day on things I am interested in and want to create, but working for other people was intolerable to me. I don’t think that would always necessarily be the case–people hold authority differently, and some leaders can handle people who need autonomy. But it’s not the norm. The norm is conformity. And I am just not here for that.

And I know that it comes across as selfish or entitled to some people. But it’s really just a fact that I’ve had to accept about myself. The more conformity is expected in a given environment, the less of “me” will show up in it. I can play along for awhile, but it starts to feel pointless. And I’ve had to spend quite a lot of time alone to really understand how much I need to follow the moment-by-moment impulses inside me in order to feel free and happy. This is literally how all animals live and so it’s a completely natural state to be in. And yet our social-cultural conditioning is based on “civilizing” us out of that awareness and teaching us to conform to systems and schedules.

This is not an intellectual protest–it’s my body itself that protests. I’ve never been a fan of idealism because it is usually too far removed from the territory it aims to liberate to be useful and it often becomes tyrannical. So I want to be clear that all I’ve done is removed what makes me unhappy and followed what makes me happy, and what I’ve come to is: I’m allergic to most social and cultural expectations (especially around time and work) and I’m at my best when I ignore them.

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