Saturday, March 15, 2014

To Succeed

What is the one thing that unifies all successful people?

We hear this sort of question all the time. But it seems to me that there is but one real answer: those who are willing to really double down on who they are are the ones who are most successful. If you want to get hired by someone else to do a job, then by all means fit in and conform and suppress your true self. You may win yourself a comfortable, stable, uninteresting job and life. You won't win big, but you won't lose big, either. Many people want that. And I can hardly blame them.

But the wildly successful have all always insisted upon being themselves in the truest, deepest sense of the term. They do not seek to conform to the world; they seek to conform the world to them. Their ideas are more at home 50 years in the future? Then they seek to create the future! Why wait 50 years? Bring the world to you! Those who think like this are the ones who best succeed.

Of course, doing this is scary. What if you fail? Well, failure is a part of life. You cannot succeed spectacularly unless you are prepared to fail spectacularly. And if you fail? So what? You get up and go back at it. To create the future, you have to expect failure, you have to expect resistance, you have to expect people to condemn and hate you. You have to go through that to get to the other side, where you succeed and  all you did seemed inevitable and the world loves you for all you've done for them.

Thus, if I am to succeed, I must myself double down on who I am. And who am I?

I am a bottom-up, pattern thinker. A high-functioning autistic. I am a complexity thinker -- spontaneous orders and evolutionary psychology and Gravesean psychology and J.T. Fraser's philosophy of time and beauty. I am a poet and a playwright, and the plays I write are in verse and often rhyme. I have radical ideas on education, particularly on teaching writing. I believe the foundation of all things is information. I am a classical liberal in the Scottish Enlightenment-Austrian Economics tradition. I believe paradox drives complexity and results in the emergence of greater complexity over time. I believe in evolutionary epistemology, evolutionary metaphysics, evolutionary morality, evolutionary aesthetics; I believe in emergent complexity in epistemology, metaphysics, morality, aesthetics.

And it is time to double down on those beliefs.
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