What Are You Running From?
Either Run From Something or Toward Something. Choose.
Welcome to the 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 you must choose between running from something or running toward something.
If you aren’t subscribed, you can click the following button and join for free.
Recent software updates on both iPhone and Android have changed the way emails are sorted and logged. In order to make sure that YouTopian Journey is delivered to your inbox each and every Sunday, you can do the following:
Please double-check your “promotions” folder. Right click this message, select “move to tab,” then direct it to your primary inbox.
For Apple Users:
Check your “spam” folder. Then kindly mark this content as “not spam.” If you use Apple Mail, add us to your V.I.P. list. And if you use Outlook, add us to your favorites.
For Other E-mail Clients:
Add YouTopian Journey to your address book: email@example.com
If you use another e-mail client, please use a combination of the above steps.
Now onto the good stuff.
RUNNING FROM SOMETHING
“It is an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when they have lost their way.”- Rollo May
The chase is on.
Countless people, running at full speed. There is no time to stop and chat and certainly no time to slow down. There is not a moment’s peace for reflection and critical thought. The future awaits. The destination is so close, but only if they hurry.
But what exactly is their destination? Why are they running so fast from one monotonous task to another? Why are they fleeing from one job they hate to a side hustle they dislike? Why are they running through all the best that life has to offer?
It’s simple. The vast majority aren’t running to something but from something.
Some are running from boredom, hoping to bypass it at all costs. They need to be plugged into the next App, the next show, the next cultural phenomena.
Others are running from people, those that they can’t stand or deal with. The middle managers, the bosses, the judging relatives and envious peers.
Many are running from their past, hoping that it doesn’t catch up to them.
Others flee from the truth because they can’t stand to have their illusions shattered.
So many are running from pain and discomfort, hoping that it never sticks its icy tendrils into them.
The majority run from the blandness of their everyday life. They choose to travel far and wide, hoping that new and exotic locations will be life altering and changing. They flood social media with the same poses at the same locations, hoping that is enough to replace the tedium.
“They change their skies, but not their souls, who run across the sea.”-Horace
These travels are fleeting while the true nature of their fleeing is ingrained upon themselves forever.
This is the fact of the matter and the truth.
The vast majority are running from the one thing that could truly change their lives.
Responsibility to others, to community, to society, and more importantly, to themselves. A responsibility to answer the inner call and make it a reality. This responsibility is far too much to bear.
“It is certainly true that many of us evade our constitutionally suggested vocations (call, destiny, task in life, mission). So often we run away from the responsibilities dictated (or rather suggested) by nature, by fate.”-Abraham Maslow, Farther Reaches of Human Nature
This is a heavy price. It will take a toll on you. Not now, but in the future. Once you realize that your time has been wasted, that your greatest amount of personal energy was voided in the busyness of distraction, and that you cannot gain it back, no matter how hard you try.
This must stop.
Not in the future.
The call must be answered. You must accept this responsibility and stop fleeing from life.
“Recognize the call as a prime fact of human existence; (b) align life with it; (c) find the common sense to realize that accidents, including the heartache and the natural shocks the flesh is heir to, belong to the pattern of the image, are necessary to it, and help fulfill it. A calling may be postponed, avoided, intermittently missed. It may also possess you completely. Whatever; eventually it will out. It makes its claim. The daimon does not go away.”-James Hillman
When you accept this responsibility, life changes. It is slow and gradual at first, which is difficult for many to accept. In our on-demand age of instantaneous results and gratification, many cannot stomach slow and gradual growth. They must have something at this very moment. Realtime data and analytics that show viewers and engagement. If this is your mentality, I can promise you that you will be disappointed.
Because true change takes countless hours of effort. Time is required for knowledge to compound, skills to be learned, and the mental and physical muscles of the body to be built. You cannot run from this fact but you can run to it. You can run toward something, plunging straight into mistakes, errors, and the unknown. It isn’t for everyone, but it is for you.
And make no mistake, life becomes entirely different when you make this change.
“We must make mistakes. We must live out our own vision of life. . .If you avoid error you do not live; in a sense even it may be said that every life is a mistake, for no one has found the truth.” -Carl Jung, C. G. Jung Speaking
RUNNING TOWARD SOMETHING
“When the whole world is running towards a cliff, he who is running in the opposite direction appears to have lost his mind.”-C.S. Lewis
When you have made the conscious decision to run toward something, rather than flee, everything changes. You are no longer bogged down by the many distractions that plague your peers and associates. What once seemed daunting and stressful is now enjoyable and challenging to you. Additionally, things that once seemed important at one time now appear trivial. This is difficult for the multitude to understand.
For example, previously you may have dropped everything you were doing at the prospect of a fun weekend getaway. Responsibilities and prior obligations be damned, the Bahamas await you and your friends. Yet when you are running toward something, a future goal, a fantasy that you want to make a reality, you are no longer interested in activities that diminish you. You start to realize the value of your time. It may even appear shocking to you that you once spent your most valuable resource on the most frivolous of things.
This newfound change will not be accepted by your friends. On the contrary, they will wonder why you changed. You won’t appear as the spontaneous and fun person who was ready at a moment’s notice to go on a weekend adventure. This is because you will be on another adventure, one that is intrinsically more meaningful and important.
Many people cannot stand this deviation. They will attempt to stunt your growth and try and course correct you. They will appoint themselves as experts and plead with you that you are wasting your time on a fool’s errand or that you have no prospect of achieving any real measure of success. You cannot listen to them nor pay them any attention.
“When setting out on a journey do not seek advice from those who have never left home.”-Rumi
You have something to work toward, something to take incremental steps toward, something that stirs deep within you. But because you are not an overnight success and have very little progress to show, many will not support you. They will not be able to understand, let alone watch, how your small steps will turn into giant leaps.
But you will know.
You will know that your efforts are bearing fruit because you will witness the victories, however minor.
You will know that your life is changing for the better, because you will feel different and feel greater because of it.
You will know that where you stand is not nearly as important as where you are moving, knowing that one day in the not-so-distant future, you will arrive.
All that matters is that you keeping run toward it, day after day.
Do not retreat or fallback, you are more than capable of achieving this and more.
"Be content to progress in slow steps until you have legs to run and wings with which to fly."-Padre Pio
STAY ON TARGET
“Most of all, discover where your genius lies-then follow this path till you reach greatness. Make this your first business, outside of earning your living.”-Edward E. Purinton, Efficient Living.
As people walk toward their goal, they often stumble. They become distracted by every barking dog on their path. Their phones vibrate with nonstop notifications. Events of every sort are taking place. Everyone and everything is beckoning you to come closer and become involved.
Do not fall prey to this.
You have a purpose, something to keep you focused All you need to do is stay focused and to stay on target.
This is more difficult than it sounds.
No longer can we unplug, especially when we truly need to. We must be in tune and in sync. There is a Whatsapp, a text, a comment, a like, a share, a snap, an email, a DM, or a missed call. There is always drama. There is always a new release, something in the App store, on the PlayStation Network, or a show that you absolutely positively must binge as soon as possible. We must give into these desires, right?
“Desires make slaves out of kings and patience makes kings out of slaves.”-Al-Ghazali
You will need to put this all aside, as difficult as it may be. Each time you become distracted and involved, it makes it more difficult to stay on target. You must have the patience to put off small pleasures in order to obtain greater goals. There is only a finite amount of time and every moment wasted is one that you cannot get back, no matter what someone says otherwise.
You can stay on target, not veering off course.
You must stay on target, not allowing others to pull you from the path of your own creation.
No one will do this for you. Only you can maintain your focus on your own goals and stay on target. There is no cruel taskmaster behind you, no boss or manager to bark orders at you. There is just you and you alone.
Don’t let yourself down.
We are counting on you.
“And so, onwards... along a path of wisdom, with a hearty tread, a hearty confidence.. however you may be, be your own source of experience. Throw off your discontent about your nature. Forgive yourself your own self. You have it in your power to merge everything you have lived through- false starts, errors, delusions, passions, your loves and your hopes- into your goal, with nothing left over.”-Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits
ONE LAST THING
None of this would be possible without help from subscribers like you. 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.
If you enjoyed this issue, please subscribe. Every subscription helps the community grow and gives me, as a creator, a chance to help you become mentally stronger and more confident through my work.
There is a lot of cool stuff on the horizon. If you want to be involved and help the community grow, drop me a comment. You can also comment on what you thought of the issue. It truly makes me happy to see how my work is motivating, inspiring, and helping you in your endeavors.
You can connect with YouTopian Journey further at:
I’m Shaun Gold and if you are reading this, you are already on your journey. Catch you next week.