We are taught by our parents, schools and society to expect a linear life. A life with no surprises, no unexpected twists and turns.
A linear life is an ‘insane-race’ for becoming ‘one-of-many’ by following some insanely monotonous steps such as going to school, competing college, getting a job, buying a car, getting married, having kids, losing health to earn more, then spending that money to regain health and finally one day, leave this world!
Interestingly, in this paradigm of a ‘linear life’, you make yourself believe that you are ‘gaining’ your ‘identity’ (such as of an artist or an engineer) while you may unknowingly lose your actual one. This is because your dreams might have never got the attention and encouragement it deserved. ‘Being-you’ is never a priority within this paradigm.
In reality life is essentially ‘non-linear’, twisted and convoluted with all its uncertainties that we can hardly plan for in advance. Therefore, teaching our kids ‘linear-skills’ is only half the work.
Linear-thinking teaches them to follow the rules, but what about making new ones! It teaches them to flock around, be like others and maximise wealth, but what about following your heart to become the best you can be and maximise happiness!
Following the rules surely helps them survive however, building a mindset to make new rules might help them excel.
Linearity is a plain vanilla. It is proven, stable, even essential but monotonous. Non-linearity is the cherry on top of plain vanilla. It makes the whole package interesting!
In a ‘non-linear’ paradigm we give ‘change’ a chance.’Non-linearity’ is a mindset in that we accept de-tours, we do not over emphasise planning rather have an action bias. It mandates us to be in the moment, drop our prejudice, celebrate vulnerability and embrace possibilities.
Think of it!
On a road trip you might have had, probably it was those small detours that you took along the way were the most intense and interesting part of your journey. Having an overall scheme of things is good however, encouraging some interesting deviations along the way might prove to be more meaningful and even fun.