Why Your Browser Choice Can Reveal More About Your Future Than You Think
Another reason not to use Internet Exploder.
The next time you apply for a job, skip the fancy resume and canned interview answers — just tell the recruiter you don’t use Internet Explorer.
If they’re as confused as you are right now, cite this study by Cornerstone OnDemand. By examining thousands of data points, the recruiting company came to a surprising result: People who choose non-standard browsers like Firefox or Chrome are not only better at their job but also stay for longer, saving the employer a ton of money and stress. Plus, I’m sure anyone who voluntarily uses Internet Exploder has third-degree masochistic tendencies.
Source: Cornerstone OnDemand (via The Atlantic)
So could you have skipped endless hours of boring lectures and student debts by opting for another browser? Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.
The choice is a symptom of a more fundamental attitude — the willingness to question the status quo.
Why You Should(n’t) Swim Against the Tide
Life isn’t one-size-fits-all.
Some people enjoy hammering away at keyboards while others like stacking bricks and mortar. Some want a house so big they can sleep in a different bedroom every night while others opt for traveling the world in a tiny van. Some want a monogamous relationship with no sex before marriage, others tour swinger-clubs and get volume discounts on butt plugs.
Yet, society tries to mold everyone into the same form. Standardized education systems. Copy-and-paste cubicle jobs. Work hard by 25, marry by 27, and have the first kid before 30. Advertisements call you unique and special — but only if you wear this perfume, drive that car, or wear these clothes like millions of others.
Choosing a different browser in a sea of Internet Explorers and Safaris isn’t an accident. It’s a telltale sign of an attitude with life-long consequences. Explore the thickets of the jungle instead of walking the well-trodden path.
Following others’ footsteps is the safe option — but don’t be surprised if their trail leads somewhere you didn’t want to go.
As a passionate non-conformist, I know swimming against the tide has its drawbacks. Quitting a prestigious master’s program and 9–5 career has caused many heated talks with my family. Trading alcohol for psychedelic drugs means fewer people I can party and connect with. Selling everything and traveling the world got me jealous looks and violent shakes of people’s heads alike. More than once, I fell flat on my face, had to get up, and try again. But I get to live life on my terms.
Imagine having a job you enjoy waking up to instead of one that makes you dread your mornings. Imagine not wearing a mask and instead being your authentic self. Imagine going after your dreams instead of fulfilling others’ expectations.
The best thing? It’s your choice to do all that.
How To Choose a Life on Your Terms
“Why do my eyes hurt?” — “You’ve never used them before.” — The Matrix Movie
Leaving the well-trodden path is like trying to exit a busy 8-lane highway while you’re on the wrong side.
People will honk their horns to keep you where you are. Your co-driver will question your sanity and rub their roadmap in your face. The close calls will be scary and when you bump into others, you’ll bend both your fenders. But once you got off, you’ll experience peace and quiet — an endless open road in front of you to explore.
If you’re serious about living life on your terms, here are three important lessons I learned on my journey that will help you cut your path.
Question the status quo
Two young fish were swimming through the ocean when an old turtle asked them in passing: “Good morning boys, how’s the water?” One fish turned to the other and asked: “What the hell is water?”
The adage exposes a problematic phenomenon. Often, you’re so used to the status quo you take it for granted. Because most people around you work a 9–5, marry before 30, and spend their evenings downing wine and beers in front of a new Netflix special, you forget there are other ways to live. But what everyone’s doing isn’t always the best for you.
I’m not saying you have to disassemble your whole reality but question the status quo from time to time. Ask yourself if what you and everyone else are doing really is the way to go.
- Does climbing the career ladder make you happy or is it just another step on the Hedonic Treadmill?
- Do you have to get married by 30 or is that just another societal convention people reinforce to feel better about their past choices?
- Do you need to buy the latest fashion, perfume, and car to be worthy as a human being or is that just a story told by companies to increase revenue?
I can’t answer these for you, just like I can’t explain water to a fish. You’d read my words, but you wouldn’t understand them. If you want the truth, you have to question the status quo and find the answers yourself.
An active choice beats a passive existence
Newton’s first law explains why life so often bites you in the ass.
The famous apple-on-the-head physicist stated any object in motion will stay in motion unless a force acts on it. This explains both why breaks on your bike increase your life expectancy and why so many people never get off the hamster wheel. Instead of stepping out, they just keep going, waiting for a miracle to happen.
Changing the trajectory of your life takes energy — but it can be a worthwhile investment.
If you don’t make an active choice, you passively exist on the sidelines. Unless your Tesla’s autopilot runs amok, your car won’t change lanes by itself. You have to take the steering wheel.
Meaningful pursuits or empty distractions? Approval of others or being true to yourself? Staying in lane or walking your own path?
Every day, you choose — choose wisely.
How you do anything is how you do everything
Life is big, but it consists of many small moments.
What makes Firefox and Chrome users better at their jobs isn’t the simple click on a button labeled Download. Instead, it’s the underlying attitude that influences everything — from how they treat customers over the way they tackle problems to which browser they choose.
Niklas Göke once said that the only way to write a book is to start with one sentence, just like the only way to make a million is to start with one dollar. He’s right. The small things matter because they predict big changes.
The ones who can change lanes on the highway are the ones who’ve checked their rear-view mirror, set an indicator, and spotted a gap in oncoming traffic.
Will you put in an extra hour for your side-hustle today? Will you ask others for help even if it makes you uncomfortable? Will you stand up for your boundaries, values, and lifestyle at the family dinner?
Don’t neglect the small moments — string them together into a life you want to live.
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