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Chapter 8: The feeling’s economy

If you’re trapped by insecurity, stymied by doubt, and hamstrung by intolerance, you can have all the variety in the world. But you are not free.

Modern marketing is based on making people feel inadequate. It finds your pain points, makes you feel even worse, and then offers a solution. Every single day, thousands of advertising messages induce feelings of inadequacy.

Modern businesses give people what they want. All goods and services are aimed at avoiding pain. They make us weak, fragile, and obsessed with comfort and pleasure. We become unable to identify, tolerate, and seek out negative emotions. We constantly feel a need for external comfort and validation that may not ever come.

The abundance we have creates the paradox of choice. The more options we’re given, the more “freedom” we have, the less satisfied we are with whatever option we decide on. This is fake freedom—we just have more variety. Fake freedom is addictive. No matter how much you have, you always feel as though it’s not enough.

The only true form of freedom can be reached through self-limitation. This is the only thing you can choose by yourself.

Actions to take