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Johannes Holmberg

UI developer & designer

What would it be like if you took everything you knew about yourself up until this point and threw it in the trash bin?

What would happen if you could discover things about yourself only by imagining it? If you just took away the limitations you’ve been learned to accept, just for a moment, what would happen?

Too often, I find myself wandering around in my own footsteps. Like an invisible rubber band I'm snapping back to the things I've been taught. I've been learned that it's okay to eat a pizza on Friday. I've been learned that I should go to the gym on weekdays, otherwise I'll get fat. I've been learned that I should constantly be connected and social, otherwise I'm considered a misanthropic. I've been learned that I should religiously follow the news, otherwise I may miss out.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong in doing these things. I'm just mentioning things I've been learned.

So presumably there's been some kind of teacher at work here, in fact this teacher works everyday, just that this teacher is not personified in any way. The teaching comes in form of conventions around us. Advertisement, social impact, group pressure and so on. This teaching inflicts upon ourselves. I'm led to believe there is some kind of package I should fit my life in. I start to put up boundaries, limitations and associate myself with things that seems to be me (because that guy in the commercial he sure looks like me). A picture of what I can and can't do starts to come into sight.

I find myself going back to that picture time and time again. I'm ordering french fries instead of something of unknown origin because that's what I've been taught is good and safe. What if, next time at a restaurant, I looked at the menu as if everything on it was new to me, I had no idea about preconceptions, no past experiences, no nothing. Then I would open up for the opportunity to start reinventing myself and my conception about things as they are.

I think that's crucial for evolving a constructive thinking about what today is determined as 'common sense'. Feel your way through living and don't just accept the package your environment creates for you. 'Common sense' today tells me that it would be logical to have a TV in my home because then I won't ever run into a situation where it can happen that I'll get bored.

My common sense tells me that having a TV will just fill me up with a vast amount of balderdash and it'll keep me from doing the things I really get a joy out of. So for me the only logical thing to do is to have no TV. Instead I fill my life with books because reading is something I've discovered that I truly get a kick out of.

Pay attention to the notions you've come to accept as true. Are they there because someone told you so or because you're finding it the only right thing to do?