I first started thinking about conveyor belt living towards the middle of my 9-year career in the City. This is the human tendency to follow a somewhat preordained path in life. A path not dissimilar to being on a conveyor belt.
Our socioeconomic and educational backgrounds inevitably shape these paths that we find ourselves on. The danger here is not being on the conveyor belt per se. Rather, the danger is being on it unconsciously, without having wholeheartedly willed it. For example, those of us who have been fortunate enough to benefit from ‘good’ schooling, often find ourselves seeking ‘good’ universities and then ‘good’ jobs. But, what does ‘good’ really mean?
Over the years, we buy into the idea that we SHOULD do certain things because that is what people expect. Things that may offer some status gains, but that do not bring us any real fulfilment. And, traditional education, steeped in ideas from the industrial revolution, has a lot to do with this. It is far more concerned with preparing an obedient workforce rather than in nurturing human potential.
What ever happened to the idea of pursuing one’s passions? I am struck by how our childhood dreams are driven out of most of us. We are conditioned into making decisions based on fear and insecurity, rather than by asking ourselves what we would really love to do in life. The key in all of this is self-awareness, along with the courage to take action. Whether we get off the conveyor belt or not, the crucial question is: Have you made a conscious decision or are you just a passive participant?
Beyond conveyor belt living
Some of us may have more flexibility than others in making these difficult life decisions, but we always have a choice. We owe it to ourselves to take stock and create the lives we want!
Harsha is a 1:1 coach and independent thinker based in London. He empowers people to find more clarity, confidence and focus in their lives — to cut through the noise, in a world so full of it. Harsha’s new book, Machine Ego: Tragedy of the Modern Mind, is now available in paperback and Kindle through Amazon.