In 2009, the average employed American spent 8.7 hours of his day at work.
We work more than we sleep.
We work more than we eat.
We work more than we cook, talk with friends, have sex, take walks, paint pictures, eat ice-cream, write books, play with children, pursue hobbies, make sports, drink in shabby bars, and think about our lives.1
If we work that much, it should better be worth our time. If we spend more than 40 hours a week at our jobs, we should better make sure it’s leading somewhere good.
But is it?
Often enough, I highly doubt it.
Often enough, work is boring, stressful, or meaningless.
Is this really what we should be doing? Is this the way to spend our lives?
I wouldn’t bet on it.
As kids, we have a great time playing and having fun with pretty much everything we do. But as we grow up, we are taught to be more and more serious. After finally having learned how to walk and talk, the next big lesson is to sit down and shut up. We are taught to be silent when the grown-ups are talking, we are taught not to disturb our school teachers – and suddenly, time starts to run faster and faster: We are taught how to clean our teeth, how to tie our shoes, how to behave at the dinner table. We are taught how to do our homework, how to prepare for exams, how to make good use of our time. Next, we start to do internships or apply for college and trainee positions, because that’s what our career advisors tell us to do.
20 years later, we find ourselves in a job we never wanted, doing things that don’t really matter to us, and wondering if that was the way we were meant to live the only life we got.
Where did we take the wrong turn?
We were domesticated. We were put into a game without ever agreeing on the rules. We were taught to play it safe, in order to fit in.
Our society teaches us to prefer consumption over real leisure, so in order to be able to consume a lot, we work a lot – no matter what, as long as it pays the bills.
Rules and Dependencies
We live in a world of unprecedented freedom – or so we think. In reality, most of us are born into a multitude of rules and dependencies, even if we weren’t born as slaves, nor into absolute poverty.
- We depend on corporations to feed us – thus we play by their rules.
- We depend on the media to inform us – thus we play by their rules.
- We depend on counselors and advisors to think for us – thus we play by their rules.
- We depend on teachers to educate us – thus we play by their rules.
- Most of all, we depend on money to buy what we need, day after day – and thus we play by its rules.
All of these rules come with some advantages – and with many strings attached.
Instead of simply accepting them unquestioned, I propose to become a personal sovereign and look behind them: Become your personal king, your personal queen – a micro-monarch, if you want – and transcend the rules that are keeping you back.
This kind of sovereignty is about expansion – but only on a personal level: Instead of subjugating others to your will, you become a leader only of yourself. The idea behind that is that it will be easier to fix the world, if we fix our own lives first. Don’t underestimate that: Becoming a personal sovereign is a lot of work – but it’s most certainly worth it!
The Grand Plan
- Get clear about the rules you live by.
- Opt out from unwanted systems.
- Travel to space.
- Enjoy the silence.
- Connect with your values.
- Define your own success.
- Experiment, play!
- Don’t go for rewards!
- Create new things.
- Remember: Creativity isn’t just “imaginativeness!” It’s doing things.
Drop the artificial adventure of Disneyland and Netflix for a real adventure inside your mind, and outside your front door.
“Why?” you ask, “isn’t adventure reserved for children and heroes?”
Yes, it is. But deep inside yourself, you are both.
The Book, Beta
Here it is, for you: Beyond Rules, in its first iteration.
Update: The free PDF edition of Beyond Rules is no longer available. You can get the revised and improved edition for Kindle at Amazon.
Written with love. 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration. No strings attached. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it!
- Unless one of these things is our work, of course. Put honestly, who is getting paid to drink in shabby bars, other than the barkeeper? [↩]
I’m eagerly waiting for having just a little time to read it… Will try to get a hole tomorrow!
Thanks Ruben! I hope you’ll enjoy it! :)
Getting my copy right now! Congratulations, man.
Thanks a lot, Cristhyano! Let me know what you think!
It’s birth has finally come!
Congratulations Fabian, I know this is a huge accomplishment. And I know this book is going to help an incredible number of people in a really deep way. I’m really excited for you. Ecstatic, actually.
Thanks for dropping by, man! :)
Congrats Fabian! I’m excited for you. And looking forward to reading it. :)
Thank you Jared! Hope you’ll enjoy it a lot!
Some parts of me forgot you existed. Now you’ve got a booooook. I really have no right to be, seeing as I opted out of following your blog for a while to pursue other forms of stuff, but I’m proud of you.
Thanks man! No problem about opting out – I know that was important for you!
Lying just beyond the invisible hand of destruction. Beyond the conditioned mind. Beyond our past responding to our present creating our future. Is a land in which the many are no longer controlled by the few. A land in which truth is not claimed, not branded, not packaged and certainly not sold on a shelf.
I see only connections, housing infinite beginnings, sheltering their endings.
And now with ice-cream in hand I say,
Oh and could you please pass the sprinkles, monsters like them best.
Thanks so much, Jonathan! Glad to see you here! :)
Congratulations Fabian!! I am looking forward to the great read.
Thank you, Patricia!!
Congratulations Fabian – can’t wait to read this at the weekend.
Thanks a lot, Steve, hope you’ll enjoy it!
Huzzah!! I know this was some feat and no doubt it was a labour of love AND joy that will help serve so many.
Thank you so much, Tanya! I’m glad to finally have it out!
Thanks Fabian!…. YOu talk as the FriendlyAnarchist…. :) thats so sweet…. see what my post says about being an Anarchist…. (not my own writing…borrowed…. but youll see what is borrowed material and what is me, quite easy!
Say Hi to all nice People in Köln
I will, there are so many here! :)
I’ve just now downloaded my copy.
Looking forward to reading it.
Peace & Love & Dreams Come True,
Magic Mudd ;-)
Hope you’ll enjoy it! :)
Let me know what you think!
You should sell the wallpaper version of this post so I can paste it all over my house!!haha, I absolutely agreed with every word, Fabian.
Really looking forward to reading with a pot of tea in the next week, good luck and thanks.
Thanks man, I hope you’ll enjoy it! Would love to hear your thoughts, so get in touch whenever you like! :)
Just want to voice my support and utter delight. Way to go! Now back to reading your book..
Thanks Amy! Hope you’ll enjoy BR! :)
looks interesting, maybe you could make an EPUB version of it?
Tomas, I am looking into it, but it might take some time, as I have some other things higher on my task list for now. But I definitely want to create an e-reader/printer-friendly version at a later date! I’ll let you know!
LOVE the grand plan and these are the rules I share and live by myself! I look forward to reading this book right away!
Thank you, Marianne! Hope you’ll enjoy it! :)
Way to go Fabian! Thank you so much for giving me my own copy. Truly honored. The book is great!! I owe you an email and I will do that soon! :)
A pleasure, Janet! Thanks for your comment! :)
My friend, it’s almost two in the morning as I download your book. I feel like you see into my brain. Thank you for writing this book. I do believe you have changed my life….
Yay, this is probably the greatest comment I ever got! :)
Thank you, Gina, and I hope you’ll get lots of value from Beyond Rules!
LOVE THIS! Your post always bring a smile to my face. I am here saying to myself (i love this guy)! lol Thank you for your inspiring words. :)
A pleasure, Sarah! Thank *you* for your kind words! :)
thanks for the book. your ideas are brilliant, and you are a saint for sharing. Well, at least in this respect you are a saint, not like you are saint over-all. Necessarily ;p
Giving people back their freedom.
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