Blog 50: Are you a cog in the machine?

The other day, I took a nap in the afternoon. I don’t know whether I was asleep and dreaming or it was just my mind making up stuff since it was left to relax, but I conceived this. A comical, hypothetical scenario: I’m in my college, listening to the lecturer with all the students. Of course, everything was going over my head, I was bored and partially feeling sleepy, thanks to the brrrr-ing of the creaky fan. 

But then the math teacher starts to talk about something interesting, which alerts me, I straighten up. She starts talking about life, of horribly hard it is to live a good life. And she highlights repeatedly that, especially without a degree, you’ll not amount to anything, you can’t make your parents proud, you can’t live a life with your heads up, etc, etc.

Then, she says to the class, “Do not take Sanath as an example!” “OK? attend college classes regularly, take great marks, get a good job, earn and make your parents proud”

Then I stand up and say: “Mam, you have to be more specific”

Then I continue, You have to say specifically why they shouldn’t take me as an example! And without letting her speak further, I address the class:

 “If you don’t want to be a person who wrote more than 40 blogs this year, finished writing a book, makes music, and moreover teaches music to a dozen of students, then don’t take me as an example. And unlike you, mam, I won’t talk about/preach anything that I don’t practice!”

“If you don’t want to be an artist, don’t take me as an example. If you don’t want to lead, don’t take me as an example. If you want to be just a cog in the machine, don’t take me as an example. If you want to be just a number in this system, don’t take me as an example!”

Then I woke up springing out of bed, anxious about losing that vision. I captured the vision shortly on my phone’s notes app.

Anyway, that’s a hypothetical scenario, I hope you’re not judgmental towards that dream. I hope you won’t make me an egotistical narcissist based on an uncontrollable dream I had. And, I don’t know, probably, all those braggings were probably part of my ego luring into that dream. But don’t worry, I’ll not let that eat me.

Sharing this dream put me in an uncomfortable spot, but I thought that would be a great way to start this blog, and I believe it is the best preface I could have written for the concept of this week’s blog.

Though the scenario is hypothetical, we still have a few insights to squeeze out of it. Mainly,

  1. The scenario is screaming the flaws of the conventional system.
  2. It is screaming that the choice to not be just a number in the system, not be a cog in the machine, exists. And that choice exists within every individual. Creativity is the choice!

We all know about the flaws of the broken system. We go to college, try to memorize all that does not interest us, and most of which will be useless to your life, most of what is taught there is not what the job interviewer asks, and moreover, it doesn’t help you when you get a real job, so they’ll train you again.

Basically, the system is so screwed that, students are going to college seeking money instead of seeking knowledge, i.e, if I do this course with so and so percentage, I’ll get a good job of so and so package. Poor students, they’re not able to think beyond that. Why do you need money? Money gives you freedom. It provides you the freedom to do the things that make you happy. But will that job assure you that? Will that job assure you of your happiness?

And it’s not the student’s fault, it’s the system’s fault. The system is designed in such an ill manner. Employers should provide jobs based on employees’ work. Hence, these so-called degrees should be short and a place where you are taught how to make yourself worthy, and how to make/create something worthy. Colleges must just give knowledge. What students do of it is purely left to them.

Of course, this won’t work for all either. Any system is not suitable for everyone. But at least there will be meaning in the system’s structure.

Working a job only for money is a crime! And going through an educational course just to get a job is an even cruel crime to commit!! A crime against yourself and society as a whole!

You are becoming just a cog in the machine. Over a long time, your creativity, your true self dies. You’ll be just another number!

We all know all of this. Many talk about these too. But talking Ill of the system isn’t enough. You must act! Only a few people, not even 1% choose to act. Because it takes courage to do so.

Those few people, Seth Godin calls him/her “Linchpin”. I would call him a creative person. Seth Godin describes and explains very deeply about the screwed system and about choosing to opt-out of it in his book Linchpin. And of course, the name of this blog is stolen from his book Linchpin.

A creative person does not keep blaming the system, staying idle, and doing nothing. He realizes the flaws of the system and soon he’ll think of something he can build on his own so that he can soon be not part of that screwed system!

I say this to myself:

I cannot make myself fail-proof, but I can make myself success worthy!

What I’m trying to say is: The choice lies within you! I’m not saying you quit college or your job. If that’s what it takes for you to be your best version and that it’s a feasible option, go ahead, and do that.

Mainly, stay true to yourself! Do what makes you happy. Lead a meaningful and fulfilled life! Do not let that child artist in you die! Do not take advice from people who are not practicing what they preach! Have the courage to be you! Speaking of a fulfilled life, start by reading my book – The Flower Of Fulfillment.

Thank you

Yours Loving,

Sanath Kumar Naibhi


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