“Time makes ancient good uncouth.” –James Russell Lowell
Evolution begins at home. If you overcome yourself again and again, you might earn the right to overcome the rest of us. You might even earn the right to become a catalyst of the first order, a particular “flavor” of human being that has the wherewithal to hone their ability to inject the infinite into the finite. You might become Christ-like or Buddha-esc, or even Gandhi self-similar or MLK-comparable. You might even be able to put the thorough into Thoreau. Indeed, the single best way to change the world for the better, to really send out ripples of progressive, healthy evolution into a distilled sea of unsustainable entropy, is to, after standing on the shoulders of giants, live by exemplary example.
Here are four ways to whip yourself into shape, so that you can do precisely that:
1.) Kick Your Own Ass
“The people I trust the most are those who are always tenderly wrestling and negotiating with their own shadows, making preemptive strikes on their personal share of the world’s evil, fighting the good fight to keep from spewing their darkness on those around them. I aspire to be like that, which is why I regularly kick my own ass.” –Rob Brezsny
Forget about revolution. You call this evolution? No, it needs to hurt first. It needs to be uncomfortable first. It needs to make you cry, laugh, hate, and love, all in one breath. Now is the time for action. And I don’t mean “going green.” I mean getting uncomfortable. I mean getting in touch with your wildness. I mean not just knowing but understanding, deep down, that your lifestyle is overindulgent; that your lifestyle is obese, ugly, and unhealthy. And then doing something about it. Go crazy. Get wild. You probably need to lose your mind before you come to your senses anyway. Like Isaac Asimov said, “Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what’s right.”
Challenge yourself. Dig down deep and question yourself. Insult yourself if you have to. Stir unrest. Kick all of your preconditioning out of its culturally contained box. Like Tony Robbins says, “Passion is the genesis of genius.” Free your inner genius by passionately pressurizing your inner demons. Demons are to coal as genius is to diamonds. With enough pressure, with enough passionate alchemy, you can transform demons into diamonds.