The YouTopian Journey Best of 2021
A Look Back at Our Top Five Topics
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 share our top five topics from 2021, all of which can still be fully accessed for free. It is my hope that they can provide you not only with some motivation and guidance during this holiday week, but some inspiration to take on 2022 with newfound strength.
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Now onto the good stuff.
FOR FIGHTING ON DESPITE THE ODDS
“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.
“The industrial economy laid claim to our bodies. The knowledge economy laid claim to our minds. Now the creative economy is laying claim to our souls. Like the farmer with the proverbial pig, we use everything except the squeal. The squeal is when we realize what’s happening to us.”-William Deresiewicz, The Death of the Artist: How Creators Are Struggling to Survive in the Age of Billionaires and Big Tech
The act of creation is the most powerful act of an individual. Empires have been launched from this act. Companies founded. Barriers and limits broken. And the best part? We all possess this power. It is within us, an inner yearning to create. A call to answer. Some talent to share with the world. Some skill that is uniquely our own, where we can transform a thought into an action that not only benefits ourselves, but society at large.
Surely, we can do something with this urge. Certainly, there must be a way to transform thought to action and profit from this. We must be able to be rewarded from our mind, talents, and unique vision.
Yes, but not in the way that you think.
One of the major mistakes that I see in the creative world is the need to create something solely for the purpose of monetization. Not some long-term monetization that comes from hard work, setbacks, luck and growth, but instant monetization. The various platforms available allow us to instantly share our creations to the world.
There is no need to incubate great ideas anymore.
There is no need to practice a craft.
There is no reason to face rejection and setbacks.
There is no desire to seek out the wise and learn from them.
There is only the desire for fast money and even faster notoriety.
Thus, countless people have started newsletters, launched channels, written scripts, and started companies for the sole purpose of making a quick buck.
And why not?
This is the age of the creator economy! We can start anything from the comfort of our own home and quickly make a living from our work.
Living a laptop lifestyle from some exotic location.
Being your own boss.
Making more money than you can imagine from doing what you love.
Having an army of fans support your work for a price that you set.
If you simply build it, they will come, and you will be immediately rich and successful.
Yet research shows that this isn’t the case. The odds are not in the favor of the creators. In fact, the odds are against them.
FOR OVERCOMING DIFFICULTIES
“Man needs difficulties; they are necessary for health.”-Carl Jung
It is all around us.
People no longer willing to work.
Individuals lulling themselves to sleep with distraction.
The masses talking of grand dreams and desires but lacking the interest and ability to take action and make those dreams and desires a reality.
The avoidance of minor discomforts and growing pains that pave the way for greater pleasures.
The silencing of the inner call.
The fleeing from the true work.
Because everything is difficult. In fact, it seems more difficult now than ever before.
FOR FINDING MEANING
“What I really lack is to be clear in my mind what I am to do, not what I must know…What matters is to find a purpose…to find a truth that is true for me, to find the idea for which I am willing to live and die…This is what my soul thirsts for as the African desert thirsts for water.”- Søren Kierkegaard
We live in an age of anxiety amidst a mental health crisis. Companies are rushing to fill the void. There is a pill for whatever ails you, an APP to help you relax, a service to connect you with a professional that can soothe your soul.
But there is nothing that can provide you with the personal meaning that you can truly call your own.
Of all the necessities required for success in today’s world, none is more difficult to locate nor harder to act on than meaning. Without meaning, nothing will ever be enough. Forging your own path is not enough. Nurturing greatness is not enough. Acting is not enough. These are all mandatory prerequisites, but not the end goal. We must use our inner forces to execute on a life task, some powerful mission that is possible and is within our reach.
FOR OVERCOMING FAILURE
“We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes—one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximum freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way.”-Stephen Jay Gould
Man is a fearful creature.
We possess many fears, and these are legitimate.
Fears of poverty.
Fears of loss.
Fears of wounds and injuries.
But the greatest fear? The one that many refuse to admit to? The one that exists in the corner of our mind’s eye?
The fear of failure.
This is a crippling fear that defeats countless people before they even begin. It breaks down inner barriers, corrupts the ability to take outer action, and infects an individual with a poison that there is no cure for.
This poison pulls the mind in a variety of different directions, none of them good.
What if they laugh at me?
What if they ridicule me?
What if they never let this go?
What will they think of me?
What will they say about me?
But the reality of the situation? The fact of the matter? The truth?
Fear of failure is the silliest fear of them all.
"All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware."-Martin Buber
I want to take this opportunity to personally thank you for being a subscriber of YouTopian Journey. Whether this is your first issue or you have been here since day one, having read, liked, shared, commented, or tweeted these issues it has been truly amazing.
When you start out on your own journey, you have some goal that is far off on the horizon. You have no idea what will happen as you strike out toward your objectives. This is both frightening and exciting.
Since starting this Substack, not only have countless people been inspired, motivated, helped, and entertained, but new doors have been opened and new relationships forged. What began as a pandemic project has become something much more impactful and meaningful than I could have ever imagined.
And it is all thanks to you.
YouTopian Journey wouldn’t have made it this far if it wasn’t for you. We have a lot of big things planned for the upcoming year; I can’t wait for you to see the direction we take. In an age of reboots, sequels, and prequels, you have a front row seat to original content that will not only entertain, but motivate and inspire you to unlock the greatness within.
Happy holidays and happy new year from YouTopian Journey!
BEFORE YOU GO!
If you enjoyed this issue, please share it. If you know someone who could benefit from this issue, please share it. We need forward thinking and courageous individuals who can put their creativity to use and benefit not only their peers, but society at large.
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I’m Shaun Gold and if you are reading this, you are already on your journey. Catch you in 2022!