John Mayer No Such Thing (Lyric Interpretation)

Welcome to "Lyrical Interpretations with Joshua Daniel."
In this episode, I'm going to explore my personal interpretation of John Mayer's hit song, "No Such Thing."
So let's dive right in!
Click here to watch the corresponding video:

    "They love to tell you
    Stay inside the lines
    That something's better
    On the other side"

john mayer no such thing

Throughout our schooling, we have it continually pounded into our little heads that the grass is greener on the other side.
That our future holds success and happiness.
And as long as we be on time, get good grades, and do what we're told - life will be just peachy.
We're conditioned to live our life working for the future - a future that by definition, is a fantasy.
They insinuate the idea that the day will come when an employer will hire us on the basis of test scores and grades.
In other words,"you need to do well in school to succeed."
I see 5 major problems with this idea:

1. As a kid, that's just really not that much of a motivator.

2. The fact is, most employers are indifferent to grades. They use common sense and hire the old-fashioned way - based on performance, character, and private judgement.

3. Public schooling is a grossly ineffective institution for teaching you how to make money.
This is made obvious when the poverty rate is over 15% in some of the most "educated" countries in the world.

4. Why would financial success be something for us to strive for in the first place?

Now don't get me wrong - I believe financial security is important. But there's a huge difference.
This "you need to do well in school to succeed" idea divides and classifies people. By publicly labeling the "losers" with bad grades, they become identified as "lower-class" material, which forces students to mindlessly compete with one another to be a "winner."
And the worst part is, the only true end result for the "winners" is that they get to buy. More. STUFF.
Stuff they don't need, stuff they think will impress the people around them that they judge and dislike in the first place. Stuff that is, like all possessions... Temporary.
And let's not ignore the evidence that drug addiction, alcoholism, teenage suicide, divorce, and other despairs are statistically more often the results of the rich, not the poor.
We're conditioned to be consumers, with the hope to fill the voids inside us by buying stuff. It DOESN'T work, because nothing outside of us will ever get us what we truly want.
Lastly, the final major flaw of the "you need to do well in school to succeed" mindset is that the future doesn't exist yet, and there's no guarantee that it ever will.
The only moment that you're guaranteed is right NOW. And now it's gone. And here it is again. Now it's gone.
Moving on!

    "I just found out there's no such thing as the real world
    Just a lie you've got to rise above"

So what is the "real world?"
We've been fed the idea that the "real world" is this big, scary place that we have to spend at least 12 years of our short lives preparing for.
The "real world" does exist. But there's "no such thing" as the "real world" that they lead you to believe in.
(See what I just did there?)
So what is it, really?
The "real world" is the society we live in, with an endless amount of debt and a never-ending need for "human servants."
The "real world" is something they need you to believe in so that you are willing to give up your own dreams in order to play your role in ensuring our modern society remains functional.
Someone's gotta flip burgers. And someone's gotta bag your groceries, right?
But I won't get into that now.
But just to give you some perspective,
The U.S. Department of Labor statistics report that the most common job in America is that of a Wal-Mart clerk. Second is a McDonald's burger flipper. Third is (you guessed it!) Burger King burger flipper.
In fact, the number of people employed by Wal-Mart and their families is greater than the population of 29 states individually.
But who can honestly say that they wanted to be a burger flipper when they grew up?

    "And all of our parents
    They're getting older
    I wonder if they've wished for anything better"

Did your mom and dad follow the path of the "real world"?
Or did they get to live their dream, instead?
Are they currently experiencing the "greener grass" their teachers always talked about?
If you don't know - ask them.
Chances are, they've lived a life they're okay with - but it certainly isn't the life they had envisioned for themselves.
There are always exceptions to this - but I imagine that if they're being honest, the overwhelming majority of them would confess that their life didn't turn out the way they planned.
So WHY ON EARTH would our parents encourage the same behavior and habits for us?
Moving on!

    "And when I stand on these tables before you
    You will know what all this time was for"

Although some may say it's arrogant, I can't help but feel like John Mayer makes a really good point with that final line.
When I imagine all of his peers, teachers, and parents seeing him now... It just makes me wanna *fist pump* and say, "fuck yeah!" another victory for the human race!
Although I don't know his history, I know mine...
I dropped out of high school the moment I turned 16 and got my driver's license. Before that, I was consistently truant from school and by and large got horrible grades.
Fast-forward to today.
I make money doing what I love, and have all of the time and freedom I could ever need to travel the world, and make stupid YouTube videos.
(As a side note, my annual income is significantly more than the combined total income of all of my remaining high school friends).
Far more importantly, I have a deep, connected, and fulfilling relationship with my spouse (who I've been with for 8 and a half years), and I have a rich and rewarding family and social life.
This is NOT, by any stretch, the "real world" that I was so often led to believe in.
I should be living in a ditch with a diaper on my head pounding some booze according to what I was told!
But that's not how it went down. I went out into the "real world" to live my dream.
That's what "all of this time" is for. It's meant for creating awesomeness, and discovering and living your full potential. That's what I feel John Mayer was talking about.
So, in summary, rise above this "real world" they talk about, and live big. There's nothing in your future that is any better than what you're capable of creating right NOW.
So get to it - and I'll see you next Friday!
If you haven't already, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel here:
Me and a few of my friends and family make videos on here 6 days a week!
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I look forward to creating more Lyrical Interpretation videos in the future, so if you have a song you'd like me to interpret, be sure to let me know down in the comments below!
Also, if you'd like to find out how you could win $700,000 by finding 7 random objects hidden throughout the world, watch this video:

no such thing john mayer


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