Don't Wait To Act On Your Inclinations
You cannot approach the universe with a mindset that it is indifferent. You have to approach it with the mindset that it is actively keeping you down. It's not "the man" or "the system" I'm talking about here. It's. Well. It's your feelings. Your hesitations. Your need to hide. Which can only come from what the universe gives you. You've got to go at it like the three hundred Spartan warriors at Thermopylae against the ten million-strong army of Emperor Xerxes. Or the fierce Afghani resistance fighters against five hundred years of colonial invasions
The world is hell-bent on preventing you from developing your own mind about challenging situations.
It's part of its nature. It's a lazy red herring to blame this on social media--the problem is not solved by raging or attaching blame. Social media can have a positive effect if only it were used to encourage diversity of thought rather than tribal signposting. Social media did not create bullies; it did not create dogmatic, homogenizing ideologies; it did not create family trauma; it did not create floods or earthquakes or fires. American Democracy hasn't even been fully formed to the point where one can say that any entity, including social media, is responsible for destroying it. Voting policy over the last two hundred years makes that abundantly. Turn off the news and stop reading the statistics. You have plenty of knowledge and imagination to sit with yourself and organize the thoughts that will allow you to uncover what is actually important to you.
The Universe Is Actively Hostile
Yes, I know Carl Sagan and Stanley Kubrick and Don Draper all said that it is indifferent.
Don Draper of Mad Men says,
"There is no system. There is no big lie. The universe is indifferent."
The Universe is indifferent. Except for when it comes to attacking your mindset.
In terms of mindset, the universe does everything it can to make sure you and I stay docile. Why? For one, the universe does not care if we submit to abuse, or are colonized or wrongfully maimed, or lose ourselves to our addictions, or fuel each other's most abhorrent characteristics, or become victims of natural or humanitarian disasters. It does not care. It loses nothing out of this situation. It is indeed indifferent in this case.
But when we discover the mindset that allows us to stand up to the tyrant; to take charge of our health, to learn self-restraint, to dismiss the libels and manipulations we inflict on ourselves and each other we begin to demand something of ourselves.
And when we demand something of ourselves, we demand something of everyone else, and that means we demand something of the universe; we challenge it. And everyone fears challenge. The universe is no exception. It will attempt to squash your self-determination by any means necessary.
Call it overstatement but I'll say it anyway: Your day to day struggle against settling for mediocrity is nothing short of war.
It is the deadliest war that there is and ever was and ever will be. Because it is the only war where you can live a terribly long life and still completely waste it.
It is a war for your soul.
The world is so pernicious in its efforts to keep us mediocre that there is even a new wave of lifestyle philosophy that calls the desire for a calm and easy and undemanding life the ideal.
I have nothing against people who actually want that.
But I do know that my mind works incredibly hard to rationalize justifications for my own mediocrity by trying to convince me that I want that life too.
I don't want to be mediocre. I venture you don't either; it's why you've read this far.
You and I are afraid of putting ourselves out there. It's not even about "hard work." It's about acting on your inclinations as they occur to you. Understanding what those inclinations are in the first place. having a drink is not an inclination---it is a desire; nothing wrong with desire, but it often overclouds inclination. An inclination is something you want to do that will get you closer to who you want to be. You won't find that in a book or an article. It's about turning off the need to be smart. And remembering the need to discover.
What are you putting off? It's not me who can tell you.