DtR is about four things:
1. Thinking for yourself
That means thinking deeper, asking questions, being skeptical. Many of the articles you’ll read on this site aim to shake up your existing beliefs and get you thinking twice.
That said, I hope you won’t take what you read on these pages as absolute truth. By all means, look for inconsistencies, poke holes, criticize.
Let’s battle-test each other’s beliefs and see which are left standing.
2. Facing your fears
The way I see it, fear is a signpost. Rather than indicating what you should avoid, fear tells you what you need to work on, where you need to grow. It highlights the very thing you should run towards, not away from.
Of course, I’m talking about irrational fears here. Stuff like public speaking, asking someone out on a date, quitting a job you hate. Your life will not end if you face such fears — it will most likely improve — but that doesn’t mean such fears are easily overcome.
I help people slay those dragons.
3. Living your dreams
To paraphrase Thoreau, most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with their song still in them. I strive not to become one of those men, and I hope you will, too.
I’ve made multiple dreams a reality in my life already, so I have a good understanding of what it takes. If you find yourself living a life you’re not proud of, know that you can change it. Plenty of other people are out there living their dreams, and they don’t have anything you haven’t got or that you can’t learn.
If you’d rather not figure it all out on your own, I’ve got your back.
4. Pissing off some zombies
Nigel Marsh knows what I mean by “zombies”:
[People who] work long, hard hours at jobs they hate to enable them to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.
These are people who live their lives on automatic. They don’t ask hard questions. They believe fears are not to be faced and dreams are not to be lived.
As you try to break free and improve your own standing in life, squaring up to face your fears and live your dreams, you’ll begin to notice lots of resistance from these zombies. Many will be pissed off with you, seeing your decision not to settle as a condemnation of their own choices.
But that’s okay. Nothing you can’t handle with a little support from fellow rabble-rousers.
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Disrupting the what?
Rabblement. Disrupting the Rabblement.
Not one of those easy-to-remember names, I know.
The word rabblement is obsolete now. Rabble means the same thing, I just prefer the sound of the longer version. It comes from the title of an essay by James Joyce. In 1901 he wrote The Day of the Rabblement, in which he criticized the Irish Literary Theatre for abandoning the true and the good and surrendering to the popular will. The theatre started out claiming to be “the champion of progress, and proclaimed war against commercialism and vulgarity.” But gradually they abandoned high art and settled for lowbrow crowd-pleasers. That was the safe and secure route, one less likely to draw criticism. Joyce wished for a more progressive mindset.
The rabblement is alive and well today. Not just in Ireland, but the world over. The rabblement is the status quo, the so-called normal, the safe and secure, the default lifestyle, the settling for mediocrity.
I don’t like it one bit. I want to disrupt it.
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Signs of the Rabblement
It’s fairly easy to know if someone has become the property of the rabblement. There are many telltale signs. Examples:
- Watching TV regularly
- Eating lots of processed food
- Not reading actual books
- Working an unfulfilling job
- Buying lots of useless crap
- Not exercising regularly
- Obsessing about celebrities
- Lack of focus
- Not offending anybody
People of the rabblement get up every morning and rush through a highly-processed fake-food breakfast, commute to work, spend eight hours half-assing a job they’d rather not do, attend pointless meetings, get interrupted every 20 minutes (by colleagues/e-mail/Facebook/text message), go home, eat a microwave dinner or some takeaway as the news tells them what’s wrong with the world, watch some crappy TV shows that don’t require actual thought processing, then go to bed. They look forward to Friday so they can find temporary refuge in alcohol or consumerism, spending all that money they earn to justify working all week. The lucky ones have a partner to share their unfulfilling life with, so at least they get some occasional sex and don’t feel as lonely as the rest.
I’m not exaggerating with the above description. Many people live like that. Many more live some variation, going through thoughtless motions, forever unconscious.
And it’s easy to see why. We’re bombarded by advertising all the time. We’re told we won’t be happy unless we buy more stuff. We’re told that our passions won’t make us any money, that eventually we have to grow up and get a real job. We’re told that Guinness is good for you and that food should come wrapped in plastic. We’re told not to take risks, not to stand out, not to make a scene, not to be remarkable. Keep your head down and don’t piss off the boss. Failure is bad, don’t even try. We’re told to dress like this and think like that. Date that person your parents like, drive that car your friends covet, buy the biggest house you can afford.
As I said, I don’t like it one bit.
Disrupting the Rabblement is for all those people who have been doing what was expected of them and following all the rules, only to find that type of life extremely unfulfilling. It’s also for people who have already broken free and are aiming to make a positive difference in the world. It’s for anyone who wants to think for themselves, follow their dreams and help others do the same.
It’s not for everybody. Some people don’t want to wake up and take control of their lives, too much responsibility. No worries. There are plenty of other websites out there for them.
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About Niall Doherty
The first thing you should know is that I’m not an expert on anything. I don’t have all the answers. I’m often mistaken.
I was born and raised near Waterford City in Ireland. I was extremely shy all the way into adulthood, but I was able to overcome that by taking a leap. In 2007, after a lot of effort, I landed an American work visa and went to live in New Orleans for three years. I picked that city because my favorite basketball team played there. I wanted nothing more than to watch and write about them, and I was able to live that dream.
Then I moved on from sports and became interested in personal development. I experimented with a vegetarian diet and ended up vegan (then quit). I joined Toastmasters and won a contest. I started this website. I realized that good enough wasn’t good enough so I quit my 9-to-5 job, left New Orleans and moved back to Ireland in December of 2010.
On the last day of September, 2011, I embarked on a round the world trip without flying, heading East from Ireland. I expect it will be 4 years or so before I return via the West. I’m sharing my journey on this blog in the hope that I can help and inspire others to live their dreams.
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