We wear the same brands as our friends. We watch the same sports, soaps, and films as others. We basically follow the most popular behavior prevalent in society.
This is why we see blockbusters become bigger year after year. Whether we follow The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) or not, and whether we like The Avengers or not, most of us went to watch Avengers Endgame because we want to belong to the club (in this case a large part of society). This is also how Game of Thrones became a phenomenon.
There are lessons for the creators there, not only about the high quality and high stake creations but also about how to create hype in a way that people want in, no matter what.
There are also big lessons for us about how media and society shape our thinking and lead us to make certain choices which we won’t, without this outside influence. Because of this influence, we end up living an inauthentic life.
But it is not impossible to live life the way we want, our way. People like Chow Yun-fat show us how. Chow despite his stardom and immense wealth lives on $100 a month in one of the world’s most expensive cities, and plans to give it all (currently around $700 million+) to charity.
We don’t need to give to charity to live an authentic life but it is Chow’s version of authentic life. Our authentic life can be different from him because we are all unique.
One of the best things we can do for ourselves is to find what makes each one of us unique. Find out our real self and our true motivations and then turn it into a life and career that makes us happy.
This way we’ll be able to excel at what we do and get the maximum value out of life while giving our best to the world, with worrying about what is popular or acceptable by society.