i am unknowing

The Ultimate Flex

April 03, 2024

I recently moved from a place with very rich people who are obsessed with money and status, to a new place with rich people who are obsessed with money and status. I think it’s pretty drilled into US/Wester culture at this point. It’s a focus on individualism and achievement, instead of community and self transcendance.

This is a trap I’ve consistently fallen into in the past, and it feels almost natural for us as humans to want to flex (Gen Z speak for “show off”) our success and peacock a bit. I find myself in a constant battle between my fast-car-big-house-money-driven self and my slow-down-simplify-everything self.

Really nice things are cool. But I’ve realized that with them come an unexpected invisible mental baggage of having to deal with the stuff. Even if whatever it is is way below your means, it’s still something you have to service, maintain, look at, clean, and eventually throw away, or sell. And deep down, if I really think about why I go the thing, it’s almost always because I think it will validate me in some way.

It’s easy to fantasize about all the good times you’re going to have with your stuff. How much more people are going to respect you because you’re in your Porsche, or pulling into your big, long gated driveway. How much better music you’re going to make with the Moog One, or 909. But it’s all bullshit. You don’t need the stuff. In fact, it’s much easier to achieve your ultimate goal (being content) without the stuff or the need for the stuff.

The ultimate flex is transcending materialism and all the crap that is fed into our easily manipulated lizard brains, and being true to your deepest self. The ultimate flex is transcending the self and its desires.

I'm Carl and I'm just gonna write about my life

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