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 seize upon the prime initiative.
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THE PRIME INITIATIVE!
“Only the free-wheeling artist-explorer, non-academic, scientist-philosopher, mechanic, economist-poet who has never waited for patron-starting and accrediting of his co-ordinate capabilities holds the prime initiative today.”-Richard Buckminster Fuller
People are strange. When it comes to trivial things, they find themselves in a sea of drama. Heated arguments with others that are meaningless or becoming angry from social media debates with strangers that they don’t even know.
Yet when it comes to matters of paramount importance, wasting time, the closing of opportunities, the following of one’s passions, they pay little attention. This is the folly of our world, giving credence to the meaningless while ignoring the things that could truly change us for the better.
And this must stop.
For too many, this behavior has been normalized. For too many, this is a way of life. Relying on the validation of strangers, yearning for that sweet hit of dopamine from likes and shares, acting selfishly toward meaningless muttering, many are already lost.
But not you.
You are more than this, so much more. You are more than mere data. You are more than a username. You are more than a cog in a machine. You are more than a career. You are more than your credit card payments. You are more than your social media handles.
More than a slave.
More than an automaton.
You are YOUNIQUE.
You have never existed before, and you will never exist again.
And you have a purpose. The prime initiative involves acting on that purpose!
“Man does not suffer so much from poverty today as he suffers from the fact that he has become a cog in a large machine, an automaton, that his life has become empty and lost its meaning.”-Erich Fromm, Escape from Freedom
The time has come to realize this purpose and transform an inner desire into an outer undertaking.
The time has come to put away childish concepts and childish behavior.
The time has come to seize the prime initiative.
Yes, the prime initiative! The force that will unleash your potentialities and transform you into something more, something greater, and something that you cannot even begin to fathom.
We have this power.
You have this power.
And you must seize this prime initiative while you still have the energy and opportunity to do so.
Because energy is limited and opportunities are dwindling. The technological land grabs of the past are no longer valid. The world has become so interconnected and crowded, that by the time you have heard of some new platform to profit from, some new service to take advantage of, some perfect moment to finally act, it will be too late.
That is how fast the door of opportunity closes. That is why it is foolish to remain in a debate with yourself of whether or not you are ready.
You are ready!
Ready to take on that goal.
Ready to dive in and press forward.
Ready to unleash what is within you!
And this is imperative.
Because what you have within you is real. It truly matters. I have written this before and I have yelled it on every interview and podcast I have done (as a newsletter subscriber, you know it is a lot). If you silence that inner yearning and if you fail to act, you are killing the best part of you. You are allowing others to murder a portion of you that could be just what the world needs. You are destroying yourself before you have a chance to become great, before you have a chance to act on this inner calling. The wise among us understood this thousands of years ago.
“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”-Gospel of Thomas
This important lesson seems to have been lost to time. It certainly isn’t taught in our school systems nor it is preached by the gurus of social media. This is a tragedy as we all possess some power within us, something that makes us YOUNIQUE, something that can change ourselves and even the world.
And to bring forth this power requires very little. That is why the Fuller quote at the start of this issue is so relative. To begin at this very moment does not require permission, or a patron, or an investor, or a partner, or the multitude of other things that you may think are essential.
All that is required is you.
“The world is all gates, all opportunities, strings of tension waiting to be struck.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson
KNOWLEDGE OVERCOMES ADVERSITY
“Express gratitude even for adversity, obstacles, and bad people. Working through such difficulties is a necessary part of training.”-Morihei Ueshiba
If the prime initiative is so paramount, why aren’t there more people actively seeking it out and acting upon it?
Because it is difficult. In fact, it is one of the most difficult things to attempt. It requires not only mental fortitude, but a vast amount of knowledge in multiple fields. An individual of many talents with a mind for strategy who knows history, has knowledge of social media, is an active artist, an aspiring entrepreneur, and a dreamer at heart.
“He who is only an athlete is too crude, too vulgar, too much a savage. He who is a scholar only is too soft, to effeminate. The ideal citizen is the scholar athlete, the man of thought and the man of action.”-Plato
This is not easy to find, especially in an age where a deep understanding of a topic has been reduced to a simple meme.
We live in an age of meme minds, where the path to knowledge has been amended. Rather than reading the great books and taking time to absorb and reflect on the knowledge, society has instead turned to memes. Complex concepts and ideas are reduced to easily shared one liners for amusement.
The ability to actually use this knowledge to the benefit of not only yourself, but society. This cannot come from a meme, but from the absorption and reflection of what you have experienced.
Few too many individuals of action and a prime initiative reduced to lethargy. Instead of actionable and effective knowledge that one can use in a clever manner, the average individual remains lost, uninterested, and asleep.
Where energy and will are sapped, feeding the beast that follows us all.
Do not be one of them.
One must always be reading.
Always thinking critically.
Always moving forward.
Ready to face and surpass the countless difficulties that await.
Because it will not be an easy task.
But it is necessary for growth, achievement, and mental wellbeing.
“Although this may be a most difficult thing, if one will do it, it can be done. There is nothing that one should suppose cannot be done.”-Tsunetomo Yamamoto, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai
POSSESING REALISM IN AN UNREALISTIC SOCIETY
“The new hero will not be recognized because of his muscles or aggressive power, but because of his character, his wisdom, and his mental proportions.”-Dr. Joost A. M Meerloo, The Rape of the Mind
The prime initiative also requires one to have a sense of realism that few possess. This realism allows them to see things as they are, not as they attempt to appear. Many shun this realism.
Because reality is a burden, but fantasy is a pleasure.
It is the reason why so many use filters and edit their social media pictures, preferring a false appearance.
It is the reason why so many turn their minor obstacles into Herculean labors.
It is the reason why so many inflate their minor positions at the office into grandiose titles.
It is the reason why so many often fall prey to ruses and cons, hoping to achieve riches and success without paying the cost.
It is the reason why so many believe that true change can be as instantaneous as using an APP on their phone rather than the result of slow and gradual effort put forth over many years.
“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”-Vince Lombardi
This line of thinking comes from our authority figures. These authority figures in our society do not promote the realistic world of tomorrow or a future that is malleable by our own hands. Instead, they hold us fast to a path of history, a road that has been slowly eroding for many years. With the pandemic, this road has become nothing more than a memory. In spite of this, the messaging remains the same from these figures of authority. They tell you to dream big but if you dare to do so, you are told that what you desire is an impossibility. The teachers of our youth, the managers and bosses at our work, the politicians in our legislatures, all toe the line. They all chain us to the unrealistic road where our dreams die and our energies wither away. We become mere husks, incapable of anything greater than our immediate needs.
Do not fall prey to this.
The one who holds the prime initiative is the one who has the courage to go against the crowd, to make their own road, to seek other routes through the vast and unexplored darkness that awaits them. They prefer the realism of the darkness to the fantasy of the light.
“At first we cannot see beyond the path that leads downward to dark and hateful things—but no light or beauty will ever come from the man who cannot bear this sight. Light is always born of darkness, and the sun never yet stood still in heaven to satisfy man's longing or to still his fears.”― C.G. Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul
This sense of realism also awakens deep reserves of dormant powers. Animated by some future goal, some hope for a better reality, some malleable vision of the future, impossibilities are transformed.
You are transformed.
This transformation has an additional benefit, it makes one seem heroic. Not in the old-fashioned sense of possessing superpowers, but heroic in a manner that is inspiring to others.
If that person lacking in resources, lacking in financial backing, lacking the support of a single person, can seize the prime initiative, then why can’t you?
“It is more honorable to be raised to a throne than to be born to one. Fortune bestows the one, merit obtains the other.”-Petrarch
A DANGEROUS BUT NEEDED PATH
“Danger alone acquaints us with our own resources: our virtues, our armor and weapons, our spirit, and forces us to be strong. First principle: one must need to be strong – otherwise one will never become strong.”-Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols
Safety is not the concern of the one who seizes the prime initiative. Safety is for the conforming masses. Safety is for the status quo.
And safety is a slow burn, a salami slicing of the soul. It does not offer the thrill of victory, the sense of genuine achievement, the possibility of one’s dreams. This only comes from the dangerous but needed path.
For the dangerous path is the one of opportunity and risk, the one that truly transforms and transcends but only IF one has the desire to walk it.
When you choose the safe path, you become weak.
When you choose security over growth, you become lost.
When you choose an absolute and easy certainty over the challenges of the unknown, you remain mired in a swamp of your own creation.
Do not make this mistake.
“Never was anything great achieved without danger.”-Niccolo Machiavelli
It is only by going against the grain, rejecting the path of normality, and refusing to conform to the status quo, can you truly arrive at a destination of your choosing.
This is dangerous but this is needed!
This is where heroes are born!
Not from masses of people who remained still but from those who went forward in spite of the odds.
"We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started."-Henry Ward Beecher
This will take time. This will not be an instantaneous and sudden transformation. You cannot command success nor transport yourself to the end. It is only by acting, by walking, by facing the danger, that the boon of the prime initiative will be realized.
It is only through you, from you, and by you.
It is only through challenging the safety of the status quo and by walking your own path, that great achievements will be accomplished.
Where you can end up among the stars.
We are counting on you.
I am counting on you.
Do not let us down.
“Anyone can achieve their fullest potential, who we are might be predetermined, but the path we follow is always of our own choosing. We should never allow our fears or the expectations of others to set the frontiers of our destiny. Your destiny can't be changed but, it can be challenged. Every man is born as many men and dies as a single one.”-Martin Heidegger
CRAMP YOUR CRANIUM
I truly believe that the best advantage one can have in this world is to be armed with knowledge. I recently came across Mostly Useful, a newsletter that asks how do you increase your capacity for empathy? For those wanting to live more empathetically, Mostly Useful provides both encouragement and inspiration. You can subscribe here.
CAN I ASK A FAVOR?
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I’m Shaun Gold and if you are reading this, you are already on your journey. Catch you next week.