Is it just me, or are you seeing more and more people posting about “life hacks” and “tricks” to magically get around problems and situations of every imaginable sort? What are your favourites? One of mine is about how to open a can of food if you don’t happen to have a can opener. Of course, most of us would have heard about how, during the days of the space race, the Americans spent tons of money producing a pen which could write even in zero gravity, while the Russians used a pencil.
Then there’s the story about how an empty soap box got into a supermarket and got sold to a customer. The response to the customer complaint was, of course, to set up very costly X-ray equipment at the end of the production line so that empty or partially-filled soap boxes could be detected and removed before they ended up on supermarket shelves. What happened? The X-ray equipment broke down one day, but the workers still had to ensure that no empty soap box went undetected. So what did they do? Used a fan to blow empty soap boxes off the line, of course!
These are simple examples of “hacks” which are actually creative approaches to solving problems. I have absolutely no beef with that, I’m a big fan of creativity and encourage it wherever I can. What I would like to do is make sure I am aligned with universal, non-negotiable principles, and not circumvent them, fall short of their fulfillment, or take these principles to the extreme when applying them.
Tricks are meant to, well, trick us, of course. To fool our senses, fool our brains and so forth, based on what we already know about how our brains and senses function. In simple English, to deceive. Tricks can be treats once in a while, just like the occasional dessert or cookie. Tricks stop being treats when we find that we can’t do without them. Like a substance abuser, we tend to go for the shortcuts in order to achieve the “highs” we want in life. The thing is, relying on tricks to get our kicks not only enslaves us to more and more tricks for more and more kicks, it brings us to a point where we will not be able to tell the difference between tricks and the full benefits of Truth. We start to discover that kicks can be painful.
By all means, be creative, be resourceful, be innovative and all that. Just do this one thing. Always have your own “Why” right before your eyes. Examine your own behaviour, your own responses, while you’re at work and living life in general. If your own behaviour is different from what you think your “Whys” are, then your own behaviour is the unerring record of your own true “Why.” This is because our behaviour is the expression of our true beliefs. Are you congruent in that regard? Do you like what you see? If you don’t, it is a good time to take stock and perhaps make some course corrections or refurbish the foundations of your life.
Remember this. Easy is not always good. And getting the real “highs” requires hard work. Fulfilling work. Get some today!