I have never been one of the cool kids.
I’ve never had the latest toys or hung with the best crowds or had the social advantages of others.
Now, I don’t say this to complain about my lot in life. I simply want to illustrate something I think a lot of us deal with everyday. It can be hard to focus on goals when we’re consumed with chasing an impossible dream not of our own making. A lot of the aspirations we carry around are not our own. They are those of the sales and marketing departments of a million corporations intent on making you believe that you’re incomplete without them. It might be that sugary breakfast cereal that wants you to imagine it will somehow contribute to your athletic best. It might be the mobile phone provider that makes you want to feel like you’re behind the times if you have last year’s model, two year’s left on your contract, and huge buyout to upgrade. It might be the computer company that has that unique ability to touch the nerve that makes you wince when you realize your computer doesn’t do that. A lot of what we believe to be our aspirations and goals are really the product of a unique and masterful co-opting of your dreams.
That’s why when you’ve chosen to strike out on the Paleo or Primal path, you might find yourself struggling with more than a little bit of cognitive dissonance. As you break away from mainstream ideals about eating habits and consumption, you’ll probably notice yourself start to break from other mainstream ideals as well. I’m not sure if it’s because those of us in Paleo or Primal community are more predisposed to being open to counter-societal messages or that going Paleo or Primal opens us to them; it would be an interesting sociological study. What I do know is that going Paleo has opened me to questioning my broader consumer habits. I wrote a while ago about how going Paleo has provided a nice convergence between some of the more predominant cultural trends like minimalism and mindfulness. This is kind of the evolution of that earlier thought. I used to be really consumed with being one of the cool kids tricked out with all the latest gadgets and toys. I know now that there are simpler, more important things to be considered in life. Toys are nice. I like toys. But toys aren’t the end game. Being healthy, loving life, appreciating time with your loved ones. These are all more important than the newest thing I apparently need to live a full life. I was never very good at being cool anyway.
I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the subject. Has going Paleo or Primal opened your mind to new possibilities? Was it your contrarian viewpoint that lead you to going Paleo or Primal? Share your mind in the comments.