What is the High Definition Life?
In my books, blog articles and videos I talk about the High Definition Life and Idyllic Illusion. To expand more upon these concepts I’ve included an extract from the third book in my Work Life Wide Open series ‘Master The Seven Works - Repurpose Your Life’.
In a world of excessive overwhelm, increasing busyness and a lack of truth and integrity few would deny that many amongst us are disorientated and questioning our purpose in life. We agonise over the value we are giving, or not giving. We question our contribution to our partners, our families and the local and global community we are continually co-creating.
We are lost whether to spend more time on our work life to make ends meet and be of value to the world or to focus more on our personal life so that we have something of value to come home to after working so hard. We are in conflict, caught between a healthy desire to give more and an insecure need to get more.
We pursue more in a vain attempt to make us feel better about and cover up the disconnection we feel from our selves, our creativity and our most important and meaningful work. Our disconnected, often chaotic life experience reminds us daily that we are not getting what we want out of life from our relationships and the things we possess.
In the main, the things we do are merely ways to entertain ourselves until the next metaphorical ready meal swings by on the conveyor belt of distraction. As easily as we can select another meal from the menu if we’re not satisfied we can, and will, choose a new phone or a new car as readily as we’ll change jobs, careers or romantic interest if we’re not happy with some aspect of them. The throw-away society that we have co-created is the perfect breeding ground for distraction. The underlying problem we refuse to see is that in these superficial changes we take ourselves with us. We are the common denominator.
At the deepest heartfelt level of our endless search for the next best, we yearn for connection, fulfilment, freedom, happiness, satisfaction, truth and meaning on a consistent basis. This is true whether we recognise this in ourselves or not. Yet in our never ending attempts to find and acquire these seemingly elusive qualities of the good life we blindly look not to ourselves but elsewhere.
We focus our attention out there to try and get everything we think we need and want in here as fast as we can. We work and play hard no matter the cost to our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. As a result, the health of our immediate environment and the beloved planet we are privileged, for the moment to call home are in severe jeopardy. We know we must make a stand and create meaningful change.
Yet still, we demand more life content and bigger and better things. All of this unnecessary stuff distracts us further from the truth we don’t want to see. We are lost, without a meaningful story to guide us. Take Hollywood by way of analogy. We all know that regardless of the quality of the computer-generated (CG) effects in a movie, no matter how real it looks, if the story isn’t up to scratch we will be disappointed. We will feel like we wasted our time and money and so did the film studio that produced it.
Now, consider this waste of resources on a grander scale and you have our current life context. This big glossy high budget production has plenty of action, disruption and catastrophe. This disaster movie can be so exciting and enthralling that we watch it day in and day out, on repeat. We wait for the story to take a substantial twist or turn, but it doesn’t.
The problem is not that the situations in our day to day lives or those played out on the world stage don’t ever change. It’s that they don’t change significantly. They improve just enough to keep us in our seats or glued to our devices, watching and waiting, encouraging us to do little else but keep doing so we can keep getting.
We don’t get up off our behinds and work to create our own movie and live our own story. We keep watching the screen as if it’s the only channel and the only thing worth watching. We do the same with our lives. We don’t change the channel even if we wanted to because we don’t know what’s on the other side. In the not knowing is fear. We continually let the belief system we have subscribed to, that we are not enough and that we can’t make a real change and a big difference, rob us of our life passion, creativity, meaning, happiness and joy.
It has become so natural for us to look to technology and work of any and all kinds to fill this gaping hole that constant distraction and denial of our true feelings has left in our lives. Ironically, both work and technology promote themselves within our culture as the solution to their own problem. You’re disconnected from everyone and everything so get more 'connected' to feel better and stay that way. Work harder and longer to earn your security and flexibility to do what you want when you want. Of course, this propaganda distracts us from our self still further. It puts the only ‘real’ solution firmly out there, out of reach. A little or a lot like religion in many ways, these solutions are touted as the external cure-all to an all internal dis-ease.
The High Definition Life represents the extremely fast changing technological and natural context we have all been and continue to be party to creating, using and abusing. We have allowed it for good or bad to pervade our lives and both our natural and artificial worlds. As a result, we suffer conflict and chaos, internally and externally, directly and indirectly. This disorder arises out of the underlying disruption, turmoil, exploitation and manipulation of the natural world, ourselves included, from which the technology itself and consequently the work we so rely on for our livelihood and wellbeing spring forth.
The inherent chaos and disorder of the High Definition Life are undeniably created by our undisciplined pursuit of more. The resulting overwhelm we are experiencing is compounded by our incessant irrational need to keep doing more and more meaningless work to fuel this mindless pursuit. This work, no matter what it is or whether or not it makes us truly happy, we tenaciously believe will get us where we want to go, irrespective of the cost to us and the planet we live on.
Where do we want to go you cry? To freedom of course, from the chaotic, overwhelming, stressful and disconnected High Definition Life that we created to solve our disconnection problem in the first place.
The Whole Story?
The High Definition Life is neither good nor bad in itself. However, believing through ignorance or denial that it controls our lives and it is the only way to live is blindly subscribing to an Idyllic Illusion. This ideal projection is perfectly tailored to pacify you, keeping you from living your life as creatively and fully as you want.
It's not the whole story either. The High Definition Life (the Chaotic Ideal) coexists alongside the other primary influencers within our lives, the Cultural Ideal and the Custom Ideal. Each of these as they feature most prominently in your life is what I call a Prevailing Ideal Component.
All combine to form your Projected Ideal. This is your view of how the world and your life should be. However, where this Projected Ideal doesn't align with your reality and most authentic truth surrounding what you want to do and be in the world inner and outer conflict can arise. This conflict, if ignored or not dealt with fully, can lead to a stream of seemingly never ending Negative Ideal Outcomes.
You can read more about the High Definition Life, the Prevailing Ideals, your Projected Ideal, the Idyllic Illusion and how to navigate, steer, co-evolve and co-create a better life for all with the help of simple transformational concepts and practical guidance in book three of my Work Life Wide Open series ‘Master The Seven Works - Repurpose Your Life’.
Finally, I’ll close on a somewhat lighter note. Twenty years ago I created a short film called Futopia 2096 which I see now as my first glimpse into the future and the High Definition Life. You can read about it in more detail and watch it here.