The World Is Against You. Fight On!
Don’t Let Them Stop You
Welcome to the YouTopian Journey. 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 that even though it may feel that the world is against you, you must fight on and never let anyone stop you from accomplishing your goals.
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Now onto the good stuff.
SURROUNDED BY “EXPERTS”
“Ours is not an age that wants heroes. Ours is an age of envy, in which laziness and self-involvement are the rule. Anyone who tries to shine, who dares to stand above the crowd, is dragged down by his lackluster and self-appointed “peers.”- Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette, King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine
We are living in the most technological advanced period in history. Never before has the individual had access to instantaneous and endless knowledge. Everything is at our fingertips and achievable.
Until the first announcement is made.
Until your peers evaluate your course of action.
Until your declaration is picked apart by your closest friends and allies.
Life then becomes bleak.
Because in our age of endless and instantaneous knowledge, everyone has become an expert and a critic. It doesn’t matter if they don’t have the experience or the knowledge on the subject. What matters is that their voice must be heard. What matters is that you are wrong and they are right.
You will be criticized and your lack of experience will be made evident for the world to see.
Because people don’t want to admit that they lack the courage that you possess. They don’t want to discuss the gaping void that cannot be filled. Thus, when they see someone attempt to break the mold and walk their own path, they must chime in.
"Man would rather have the void for his purpose than to be void of purpose" - Friedrich Nietzsche
This is inevitable. I know this because I have heard it my entire life. I know what it feels like to have your closest friends become your biggest critics. I know the pain of having no supporters and still having to push forward, regardless of the circumstances.
And you must push forward also.
Because you have something special to share. You have some task to accomplish. You have some journey to undertake. There is something inside that needs to be brought to the surface, something that the world needs.
This is the essence of the YouTopian Journey!
To let a wonder lead you to wander, stumbling onto something so meaningful that it takes over your life. A chemical reaction that ignites every part of your being. This is so important yet so difficult in our age of conformity and mediocrity.
“Nothing makes me sadder than the peer pressure that enforces conformity and erases wonder...countless others had the light of intellectual wonder extinguished because a thoughtless and swaggering fellow student called them nerds on the playground.”-Stephen Jay Gould
It is a rough road. I have created a checklist of just a few of the common phrases you will see and hear as you move forward, paving your way, striving forward. Understand that when you encounter these questions and statements, you are on the CORRECT path!
Let me repeat that.
You are on the CORRECT path!
Why don’t you get a real job?
Why are you doing this?
Where did this come from?
This isn’t you.
You don’t have any experience.
You shouldn’t waste your time.
All of these questions and comments are daunting to even the most prepared.
And you must be prepared!
Because these so-called experts will always be with you, always evaluating and judging your progress. They will be ready to pick you apart from a distance, especially as you become successful.
Those who aren’t prepared will be put back into their place due to the sheer pressures placed upon them.
But not you.
You have a goal.
Something that only you can provide to the world.
And it is up to you to go forward, despite what they may say or make you feel.
“How are you fulfilling your life’s task ([your] “mission”), your raison d’être, the meaning and purpose of your existence? This is the question of individuation, the most fateful of all questions. . .” - Carl Jung, Civilization in Transition
IGNORE THE CONFORMIST CHATTER
“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
I have said it before and I will say it again. One of the greatest dangers that we face is the pressure from our peers and our society to conform. This conformity is more hazardous now than ever before.
On social media and in real time, we can see what is popular and trending. Many conform their comments and behavior to mirror this and fit in. Never mind that our true power is based on our individuality and our own unique powers. We trade the best parts of ourselves for clicks, likes, and shares. Ultimately, we sacrifice everything in order to be accepted.
This is never a fair exchange.
The cost is far too high.
You must stay above the fray and make a commitment to yourself, not conformity.
Because this need to conform has always been and will always be a danger, especially to the one who dares to dream. You must have an inner citadel to protect yourself, one whose walls cannot be breached.
“Most people are not even aware of their need to conform. They live under the illusion that they follow their own ideas and inclinations, that they are individualists, that they have arrived at their opinions as the result of their own thinking-and that it just happens that their ideas are the same as those of the majority.”-Erich Fromm
Understand that the nonconformist is the one who changes the world. More importantly, they change themselves in the process. They become so much more than they ever thought possible.
How did they accomplish this?
By focusing on their goals.
By ignoring what everyone else had to say.
By following their interests and passions.
By focusing their efforts on what was important to them, not pleasing the masses.
Realize that the people that changed the world for the better had no idea that they would at the time!
They were simply trying to solve a problem, to fill a need, to answer the burning questions that the multitude didn’t even know were being asked.
Did Albert Einstein know he would become a worldwide celebrity whose name would become synonymous with genius? Did he spend his free time pondering physics with the intent of fame and fortune?
Those were the fruits of his victories, the results of hard work.
You can be the next Einstein. You can be the one who changes the world. You can be much more than what you currently are.
By ignoring the conformist chatter.
By focusing on the task at hand.
By daring to walk your own path.
By betting on yourself over and over again.
By having a grand goal that will uplift and inspire not only yourself, but those around you.
“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects.”-Albert Einstein
MOVE TOWARD THE TRUTH
“The path that leads to pleasures is the downward one: the upward climb is the one that takes us to rugged and difficult ground.”-Seneca
One of the greatest tragedies of our modern age is that we have replaced truth with fiction and honesty with fantasy.
Truth: The road to wealth takes years of hard work, dedication, a bit of luck, and a sound investment strategy.
Fantasy: With the click of a button, you can purchase a course that will deliver you untold wealth.
Truth: A startup is a risky endeavor that will most likely fail, costing the people involved time and resources.
Fantasy: A startup is a gateway to freedom where you can be your own boss and become a billionaire in a short amount of time.
Truth: Success is slow and gradual. It is the result of self-sacrifice, patience, perseverance, serendipity and hard work.
Fantasy: Success is instantaneous, sudden, and easy to obtain by reading certain books, following certain people, and purchasing certain items.
Truth: People are unhealthy, stressed, struggling, and full of anxiety.
Fantasy: Everyone is perfect, beautiful, rich, and happy.
The internet is made of fantasies because fantasies are a pleasure and the truth is a burden. Truth hurts because facts are not malleable but the world of fantasy can be molded in every shape and form. This is why the multitude cling to fantasies!
Realize that embracing the truth in itself is a risky endeavor as no one wants to accept that great things take time. Muscles are built over months of training, companies become profitable after years of losses, talent is discovered after countless failures and rejections.
This does not sit well with the masses. After all, we are an impatient people. In our on-demand culture, we have become accustomed to summoning everything and anything.
But we cannot summon truth. We can only live it and experience it, each and every day.
This fact can cause us to become frustrated. This can cause us to second guess our actions. This can cause us to listen to the doubters and naysayers.
Maybe they were right all along?
Maybe I am wasting my time?
Maybe this isn’t for me?
Blogs, memes, and social media only reinforce the notion of fast success and even faster rewards, putting aside the truth. The one screenplay that was written in days and launched a career. The startup that bootstrapped their way into record breaking revenue. The writer who got discovered and launched a series of best-selling novels.
But the truth? These examples are the outliers. Propaganda spewed from all corners of the advertising world.
The truth is simple. It takes years of work, rejection, self-doubt, being lost, and continuing to strive forward despite the obstacles. The truth is a hard pill to swallow.
Yet you must take your medicine!
The reason many avoid walking their own path is that they cannot handle this truth. They seek safety in numbers and the comfort offered in conformity.
"We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons."-Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance.
Do not make this mistake.
Walk your own path and keep moving forward no matter what. Keep researching and learning. Face rejection like a true YouTopian. Find allies and band together with them. Help others get to their destination. Pave the way forward and show the world just what you are made of.
The truth may not set you free, but it will let you keep moving forward to a destination of your own choosing and a life that you can call your own.
And it will be one-hundred percent worth it.
“For years I’ve wanted to live according to everyone else’s morals. I’ve forced myself to live like everyone else, to look like everyone else. I said what was necessary to join together, even when I felt separate. And after all of this, catastrophe came. I must rebuild a truth-after having lived all my life in a sort of lie.”-Albert Camus
WHAT DID YOU THINK?
Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts. It truly makes me happy to see how my work is motivating, inspiring, and helping you in your endeavors. There is a lot of cool stuff on the horizon. If you want to be involved and help the community grow, let me know in the comments.