We are living in the world full of “I”s. we are constantly observing how people brand themselves and market their lifestyles on the internet. We know a lot about what they do, what they wear, where they go, how much money they have and what their professions are! We envy most of them only by looking at their pictures where their prime moments are captured in a snapshot. But what is really behind all these “I”s?
I have read three books in the last two months that somehow described this issue from different angles. In Focus, Daniel Goleman describes that : “When we are feeling good our awareness expands from our usual self-centred focus on “me” to a more inclusive and warm focus on “we”.” So lacking self esteem, self confidence and focus can be one of the reasons that we see so many use of “I” and “me” on a daily basis.
In Presence Amy Cuddy quotes from a Wall Street journal interview: “There is a misconception that people who are confident, have power, have high-status tend to use “I” more than people who are low status….That is completely wrong. The high-status person is looking out at the world and the low status person is looking at himself.” So lack of inner power can also lead to a more projection of oneself.
As Richard Leider explains in The Power of Purpose: “There is purpose whenever we use our gifts and talents to respond to something we believe in, something larger than ourselves.”So those who have meaningful lives focus less on themselves and more on subjects that are not only to their interests but can serve a larger group of people.
So we can conclude that as long as we observe the world with only one angle and that is “our” perspective, the chances that we live a mindful and meaningful life are minimum . It seems as though all the “I”s we hear nowadays come from the lack of confidence, focus, inner power and purpose. As Leider says: “We can easily fill our lives with busyness. There is always more to be done, always a way to keep from staring into the mirror. If we are not careful, we can begin to mistake our busyness for meaning, turning our lives into a checklist of to-dos that can occupy all the waking hours of our days, and leave us breathless, with our feeling of friendship left incomplete. It isn’t enough to be busy, ants are busy too.”
Aren’t these phrases simply summarize FOMO (fear of missing out) of the generation who has confused self-awareness with narcissism and has decided to close its eyes to all its talents and gifts with the hope of gaining immediate satisfactions from self-projections? Is there a way that we can stop this destructive trend?