Welcome to the YouTopian Journey. Each week I will be sharing unique wisdom as well as a more in-depth overview of the artwork that is featured on the Instagram @youtopianjourney. This week we discuss why you must make your move!
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THE GAME IS UNDERWAY
“Life is a kind of Chess, in which we have often points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with.” – Benjamin Franklin
Welcome to the great game. No power source is needed, batteries aren’t required, and you don’t even need another person to play.
Existence itself is the game.
You may not wish to hear this. After all, you are a living, breathing, human being capable of advanced thought. You have strong emotions, dreams and aspirations. Surely you are not a lowly piece on an imaginary board, right?
The game has been played for as long as we have been a species. At first it was against the forces of nature, a Russian roulette against hunger, disease, the elements, and wild animals. As mankind evolved, so did the game. The moves along the board were now against one another. Some rose to power, others didn’t. Some found fame and fortune while the majority had no such luck. The game continues today, even more insidious and paramount than before.
No matter where you live.
No matter what you do.
No matter who you are.
The situation is the same.
We are pieces in a game that few still realize is being played.
Lost within the world of distractions, focused on immediate goals, and diverted from realizing their inner potentialities, most never reach this conclusion.
But the dreamer does. They yearn for more than simply existing as a mere piece on the board. They have dreams, aspirations, and goals that they intend to transform from an internal desire into an external reality. They will not allow the game to be played out with invisible hands moving them into a position against their will.
The players in this game? The two opposite threats to a true dreamer. Conformity on one side, submission on the other.
How could it come to this?
We have become a society of turning basic requirements into Herculean triumphs. We give too much power to others that isn’t deserved. We spend too much time seeking out experiences to please strangers or living through the experiences of others. The result? Depression, anxiety, and being cut off from our own powers. We are captives in a game that cannot be won. We are prisoners in a system that is rigged. And we eagerly play this game, every day.
This is foolish!
We cannot give into the circumstances that surround us. We cannot lay the blame on fate and fortune. We cannot roll the dice and hope the universe complies with our wishes and desires.
The universe is neutral. It is far too busy to be worried about your circumstances to take a side.
"The life of man is of no greater importance to the universe than that of an oyster."-David Hume
We cannot remain pieces on a board, maneuvered by enemy hands. We need to focus on ourselves. We must have the courage to marvel at ourselves, laugh at ourselves, and support ourselves. More importantly, we must take charge of our existence!
And we must do this immediately.
Whether you are rolling the hard six, tapping the mana, bluffing your opponent with your hand, or attempting to force a checkmate, the game is being played each and every day of your life. It is up to you to decide how you want to not only play, but win. Will you sit back and let events force your hand? Or will you stand up and decide the course of your future? Do you even have the courage to play? Do you have the ability to take a risk in the hope of victory? If you have a desire for something, how will you obtain it? How will you reach your goals? How will you play the game?
I cannot answer these questions for you. I can only show you the options available. I can only stress the finite amount of time that is available to you. I can only emphasize that this time is limited. Resources such as money and energy can ebb and flow, but time? Time remains the great equalizer to each and every one of us. By lacking the courage to focus on yourself and the fortitude to take charge, you are essentially robbing yourself of your future.
You will be positioned against your will.
This must stop. I repeat. This must stop!
Don’t avoid the great game, understand your role in it. Realize that you cannot win unless you commit to playing.
Make that commitment today!
“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”-Albert Einstein
CONFORMITY AND SUBMISSION ARE THE PLAYERS
“The only defense against the world is a thorough knowledge of it.”-John Locke
The players in this great game are not your fellow pieces. Far too often, people trip themselves up by comparing themselves to others. They never see through the façades, the falsehoods of the social media worlds. They only experience the victories but none of the defeats. The shareable pleasures but not the hidden pains. And because people are too busy worrying about the thoughts of others, they never realize the true enemy at the gates.
The force of society that demands you to obey. The force of society that seeks to counter any original thoughts and aspirations. The force of society that is so disillusioned and broken, they cannot stand when someone breaks their chains and makes their own moves.
The force of society that demands you to fit in. The force of society that seeks to make you a target for standing out. The force of society that is so fearful of existing outside their idea of cultural norms and acceptance, that they cannot stand the individual who walks their own path.
Opposite sides of the same board. Opposite sides of existence in the modern world.
The pressures to submit and conform are enough to turn coal into diamond, let alone crush the will of the individual who decides to pursue their own path. This is the reality of the situation, but it should not deter you.
A strong will always defeats a strong won’t. History is littered with examples of people who overcame the impossibilities of their societies and peers. If they can accomplish their own personal feats, so can you.
But many do not believe this. They fear the unknown. They hesitate at the moment of action. Instead of attempting to make a move toward their goals, they remain still. They don’t even play for time, let alone desire to play in the great game.
“If a man does not strike first, he will be the first struck.”-Athenogoras of Syracuse
Why is this? Simple.
It is far easier to climb the corporate ladder or be a rat in the race. It is much simpler to follow the illusion of a safe road without obstacles, believing it will lead to wealth, prestige, happiness, and an impressive title. This is why so many cling to jobs they despise and careers that never fit them to begin with.
“Identification with one’s office or title is very attractive indeed, which is precisely why so many men are nothing more than the decorum accorded to them by society. In vain would one look for a personality behind the husk. Underneath one would find a very pitiable creature. That is why the office is so attractive: it offers easy compensation for personal deficiencies.”-Carl Jung, The Basic Writings of C.G. Jung
If you want to make moves that have a real difference on your life, then you must forgo what others deem important. This could mean a job with a prominent company. This could mean turning down an offer from a prestigious university. This could mean facing the ridicule of your peers.
This is precisely why so few people make the moves that are necessary. Not necessary for career advancement, but necessary for a fulfilling life!
Focus on what you desire. Meaningful moves are worth far more than expedient stillness. There is a risk to this, but there is a risk to everything in life. It is far better to go down the path created by your own moves rather than the path created by a conformist and submissive society.
“Whatever it be, whether art or nature, that has inscribed in us this condition of living by reference to others, it does us much more harm than good. We defraud ourselves out of what is actually useful to us in order to make appearances conform to common opinion. We care less about the real truth of our inner selves than about how we are known to the public.”-Montaigne, On Vanity
THINK LIKE THE PLAYER, NOT THE PIECE
“Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.”-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
When it comes to making your move, you must possess the mindset of a player. This is more difficult than it sounds. True players of the game possess qualities that distinguish them from the pieces that they maneuver.
Pieces can only see what is in front of them, but players can survey the entire board.
Pieces can only move in certain ways while players are the people controlling them.
Pieces have no control over their fate, instead they rely on others to determine their future.
You must aim to think like a true player of the game. This means having a longtime vision. This means being patient. You must be able to be three moves ahead of not only your opponents, but circumstances.
You must not grieve for lost pieces or bad moves. Poor investments and people who only hold you back. You must remain focused on your end goal. This is a type of grand strategy that few possess.
We live in an on-demand culture. Everything we desire is a swipe or click away. Want to watch something? Stream it. Need a ride? Summon it. Hungry or horny? Swipe it. Need a place to stay? Borrow it. Never before has life been so easy or so convenient. But when it comes to our goals, when it comes to our success, when it comes to making personal and meaningful moves, there is nothing that can provide a seamless and instant solution. This leaves the individual, who is used to having everything at their beck and call, at a loss. Paradoxically, the things that matter most are often the things that we are least able to obtain. It takes time for a seed to grow. It takes time for friendship and love to bloom. It takes time for relationships to become strong. It takes time for bonds to form. It takes time for hard work to bear fruit. It takes time for mental desires to be turned into actual realities.
And it takes time to see results from your moves.
These results may not be evident in a day, or a week, or even a year. But understand that by thinking like a player and having a long-term focus, your mindset begins to change.
New traits begin to emerge.
You become patient. You become resilient. You become mentally stronger.
Things change for the better. Obstacles that once stopped you become simple challenges to be overcome. Walls that would prevent others from moving become your steppingstone to a future that you intend to make a reality.
Focused on your grand goal, you begin to exist above the drama, above the opinions of others, and above the sheer pettiness of it all. What would force others to get bogged down in the quagmire of uncertainty no longer affects you. Life appears different because you have become different!
“There are heights of the soul from which even tragedy ceases to look tragic; and rolling together all the woe of the world -- who could dare to decide whether its sight would necessarily seduce us and compel us to feel pity and thus double this woe?”-Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
However, the opposite is also true if you wish to remain a piece. You will remain rash and weak, always blaming others and looking for excuses for your shortcomings. You will be caught up in the drama of others, wasting precious time in arguments that you won’t even remember.
You will lash out at others and be your own worst enemy, shutting down your potentialities rather than embracing them. This is a rough road to walk, but so many are already on it, blindly following it into oblivion.
Do not make this mistake.
You are capable of much more.
You are better than this.
Endeavor to think like a player and I promise you that you will become one!
“You can’t pick daisies and plow for Destiny at the same time. And every man whom Fate rewards once walks in a furrow.”-Edward Earle Purinton, The Triumph Of The Man Who Acts.
IN OTHER NEWS
I had the pleasure of speaking to Sutton Capital’s VC Cohort where we spent over an hour discussing my history of entrepreneurship as well as the power of walking your own path in spite of the difficulties. You can watch it on Youtube.
Any questions regarding Sutton Capital’s VC Cohort or regarding entrepreneurship, feel free to reach out.
ONE LAST THING
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I’m Shaun Gold and if you are reading this, you are already on your journey. Catch you next week.