Our culture teaches us a set of rules, some follow them and some don’t. Some people seem to get lucky and discover their internal narrative (including rules) early in life and learn to lean on it and trust it. A great developmental habit.
On the other hand some of us find it challenging to pave our own path, especially when the system has lived up to its promises thus far.
Jobs are valuable. Education can get us a better job. Saving for the future is a noble idea.
In the end, what is it all for?
At some point we may have learned to believe that our work is meaningful, but unfortunately the evidence may be flawed. “Just trust us” they say, and so we do because we’ve learned not to question and to never ask why?
If you’re offered the managers job, you take it. If you’re qualified for the next credential, you take the test. If you can make more money, you do.
Until you have an alternative to choose from, your not free, not even close. When you finally decide to give yourself more than one choice, to follow the rules or to make up your own, this is true freedom and the essence of life.