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What the Fyre festival says about how most people live their lives

After watching both of the Fyre Festival documentaries, I couldn't help but realize just how much the whole saga reinforced my philosophy of Substance Over Style.


The very first post I wrote that gave form to my Substance Over Style blog was a plea to my generation to stop trying to find fulfillment by focusing on things that don't matter - style - and start focusing on shit that does - substance.

I became so disgusted and fed up with the behavior of many of my contemporaries, that it drove me to write an article about it.

Now I have a whole blog.

As I watched the documentaries, I could've aimed that post at nearly every single person that had anything to do with the festival.

If we put aside the pathological liar, and all the criminal and immoral acts (of which there were many), the whole festival was built on the back of people's misguided attention on style in search of happiness.

The marketing? All style, no substance (after all, there was no product, just fluff, buzz, and hype).

The supermodels in bikinis? Style, not substance.

The idea of a music festival on a remote island? Style, not substance.

But before I move on, let me make one thing clear.

I'm not saying that any of those things lack substance or are wrong in any way. My point is that people go about life thinking they'll be happy by doing or getting those things, and therefore unhappy if they don't have them.

There is nothing wrong with a paradise music festival on a remote tropical island with supermodels. That sounds amazing to me. I'm not confused as to why people went so crazy for it. (Though seeing how much some people paid, I am slightly confused over that).

But the very fact that they bought into it speaks to exactly my point, which goes deeper than the surface.

So many people are unhappy with reality, looking for an escape, or something to completely shock them out of reality, so that they can fully experience life.

That's what those people were looking for, and that's why they bought in. The marketing was geared toward these style-seekers who wanted to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience. They wanted their minds to be blown, and they thought they had to pay thousands of dollars to fly to a remote island to have that happen.

That's why when we say something blows our mind, we literally mean that it removes all that mental chatter, quieting the voice that never shuts up, so it's just us and the thing we're experiencing. When you're completely in awe of the thing in front of you - say a breathtaking sunset or a supermodel in the Bahamas - the voice quiets down for a second, and it's just you and what's in front of you.

That feeling is what everybody is looking for. But almost everybody goes about it in the wrong way.

In the case of Fyre, people wanted to escape their minds and feel ecstasy, and the ignorant, sleaze-ball, criminal organizers of the festival knew that too.

The problem I have is, why limit yourself to having to pay thousands of dollars and go to a remote island, when you could feel it all the time?

I never said it was easy, but what I'm saying is really important if you read between the lines. It's not just a festival with supermodels and famous music artists that we go to for happiness. It's everything external - our job, our relationship, our mood, our friends, the weather, our living situations.

All of these things that we experience belong to the outside world, and all we really want is to feel good on the inside. So the choice becomes, do we fight with reality to try to make all these external things just right in order to feel good? Or do we only focus on one thing - our internal state - so we can feel good no matter what?

Most people aren't even aware of this truth. They simply cannot imagine being happy if things on the outside aren't right.

I get it. All I'm saying is, that's a recipe for a mostly unhappy life. That's all.

Don't you at least want to try to improve yourself on the inside? No it's not easy, but neither is struggling with reality and trying to force certain things to happen and other things not to for the rest of your life.

Things will happen whether you're here or not. Things will happen whether you want them to or not. Things will happen, and 99.99999999% of those things are completely out of your control, and mine.

So why make your happiness depend on those things, when you can learn to be happy with anything that happens?

That's my message. That's my truth. That's Substance Over Style.

If you're still with me, thanks for reading. You're one of the few who values substance over style.

Live with substance!

Gabe Orlowitz

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