We are obsessed with growth for the sake of growth in modernity, whether it is the new start-up, the economy or an individual’s relationship to themselves. The pace and focus of life today seems to hand this script to us as the default option, such that we can so easily end-up like the dog that chases its own tail.
Growth for the sake of growth
Rather than run after growth, a better question to ask might be:
“What is the minimum (size, scale, possessions etc.) required for me to get what I need?”
Asking the question in this way really forces us to consider the fundamentals of how we relate to life itself. What we consider to be needs and if we can define a minimum for ourselves. And, each person’s answer will be unique to them, guided by their individual circumstances.
This question can also expose the hidden beliefs behind your everyday choices. Beliefs that operate outside of your conscious awareness, but that guide so much of what you do. Beliefs reinforced by a global culture that sanctifies growth for the sake of growth.
Here’s the thing to watch out for. If the minimum we “need” is always “more”, there is just no end to it all. We can end up like the dog that chases its own tail. Pursuing growth for the sake of growth. Always seeking, but never finding.
Of course, the insatiability of human wants is a timeless problem. And, perhaps the time to look deeper has never been more pressing than it is now. Because seeking growth for the sake of growth is not only mentally exhausting at the individual level, scaled up it can also carry us all towards systemic fragility and ecological disaster.
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.