Can We Still Reinvent Ourselves?
Is It Still Possible?
Welcome to the free edition of YouTopian Journey, a Substack featured publication. Each week I will be sharing unique wisdom that can help you in the daily battles that we must all fight in the game of life. This week we discuss why it is never too late to reinvent ourselves.
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I had the pleasure of being interviewed on the Founding in Public Substack, which inspired this post.
Make sure to visit and subscribe. The interview is audio but has key insights that are broken down by bullet points. As I am involved in everything from content to startups and venture capital, I really think this interview will help many of you. Here are a few overall thoughts for beginning a new project:
Deciding whether to stop or keep going isn’t easy, but learning to accept the process is key.
Don’t be discouraged by failure. Take pride you did something that most have not even attempted.
Every journey has unseen destinations for the traveler. You never know where one path may lead you to.
For my fellow creators and writers, here are a few tidbits regarding YouTopian Journey which you may find helpful:
It took five months to get 1,000 subscribers. Now we have over 23,000.
Comments like “this made me quit my job” or “ this helped me start a company” have been the biggest milestones.
People of all ages are reading this, which was a surprise.
Write one word at a time - writing is the hardest part.
And of course, we discussed my nightlife ninja days, which despite everything I have accomplished, still continues to be the main source of interest and was the inspiration of today’s issue.
Is it possible to reinvent ourselves?
DON’T LISTEN TO SOCIETY
“Inventors and geniuses have almost always been looked on as no better than fools at the beginning of their career, and very frequently at the end of it also.”-Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot
Of the many things that influence who we are and what we do, none is more insidious than the society we find ourselves in. While society offers us the blanket of civilization, it also offers us the evils that are associated with it. Authority figures who attempt to control our destiny, the people who think they know what’s best for us, the influencers who attempt to persuade us to follow their path, and our peers who try to determine our future frontier. We don’t even have the freedom to dress as someone else on Halloween out of fear that it may be too upsetting, too triggering, and too offensive to someone else.
This doesn’t leave us with much personal freedom.
In fact, it doesn’t leave us with anything but a shell of who we truly should be.
Before we know it, we find ourselves in a career we never wanted, eking out an existence that is the antithesis of our original hopes and dreams.
This is more damaging than many realize.
Chained to a life they never wanted, lacking hope for a better tomorrow, the majority of people have lost the ability to imagine a greater role for themselves, especially beyond the roles fettered upon them by society.
And to those that do have this imagination, they are met with resistance.
If we want to make an attempt to change our circumstances, our mindset, and our lives, we are met with blank stares, doubts, and criticisms.
We are met with fearful questions.
Why rock the boat?
Why drop out?
Why not go to school?
Why not this major?
Why make a career change now?
And bold statements.
You don’t have any experience.
You are too junior.
You are too senior.
You don’t have the resources.
You don’t know the right people.
You don’t have the time.
I don’t think this is a good idea for you.
This is enough to drive even the bravest dreamer to question their path.
And should you push past the herd who question you and make an attempt at something, only to fail, it will only open up more painful statements.
I told you so.
You wasted all that time and effort.
You lost a lot of money and for what?
Should have played it safe.
But the true dreamer, the true YouTopian, the one who wants to change themselves and even society, cannot and must not listen. Instead, they must try and try again.
Reinventing themselves in the process, over and over again.
For example, perhaps next year you will make an attempt at content, only to discover that a specific topic truly interests you. You then leave the content world behind and start a company, only for it to fail as a business. Yet the result is that you have become a subject matter expert. The true success, wealth, and opportunities stems not from the content or the business, but by having you speak and consult on the matter.
To the average person, this may appear as nothing more than a random series of failures and wasted time. But to you, it is a complete reinvention of yourself where you learned, pivoted, and ultimately found success at something you truly enjoy doing.
The question remains:
But is this still possible?
Can we still reinvent ourselves? Even after failure? Even after wasting time? Even after facing a defeat?
The majority would say no.
But the answer is YES. It is never too late to change course. In fact, it may be essential that you do for not only an improved mental state, but an improved life.
“He who belies his talent, the born painter who sells stockings instead, the intelligent man who lives a stupid life, the man who sees the truth and keeps his mouth shut, the coward who gives up his manliness, all these people perceive in a deep way that they have done wrong to themselves and despise themselves for it. Out of this self-punishment may come only neurosis, but there may equally come renewed courage, righteous indignation, increased self-respect, because of thereafter doing the right thing; in a word, growth and improvement can come through pain and conflict.”-Abraham Maslow
REINVENT YOURSELF NOW
“In a word, man must create his own essence: it is in throwing himself into the world, suffering there, struggling there, that he gradually defines himself.”-Jean-Paul Sartre
In the 1920s, Harry Truman was a bankrupt businessman. By society’s definition, he was a failure. Yet just two decades later, he was the president of the United States and the most powerful man in the world.
He isn’t the only example of people who reinvented themselves, despite the hardships they faced and the obstacles in their path. History is full of people who left whatever comfort and security they had in order to pursue the future they wanted.
You can do this too.
You don’t need to cling to the title of the office as it doesn’t define you.
You don’t need to remain a prisoner of your social media persona.
You don’t need to remain on the shore of safety while the ocean of adventure beckons you.
You don’t need to constantly please others.
You don’t owe anyone anything.
But you do owe it to yourself to reinvent your life.
We have everything we need. The technology for instantaneous communication. The ability to learn new skills and obtain new knowledge from the comfort of our own home. The inner desire to transform your history into something that can be pleasurable and profitable.
Perhaps you had a long career in a certain sector. Or maybe you went to school for a specific degree. Or maybe you didn’t go to school at all. Either way, you encountered something. You felt it. The call of adventure. The dullness of your industry. The banality of your business. The desire for something more. Maybe Covid forced you to change. Or perhaps those thoughts you have been having can no longer be contained.
Regardless of who you are, you must make a choice for who you can become. You must stake your claim with an act of courageous reinvention. But unlike content, you are creating the new you.
This new you is what you need most. It is what society truly needs.
Begin today and you will change your life for the better.
“We are not what happened to us, we are what we wish to become.”-Carl Jung
CAN YOU HELP ME?
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Catch you next week.