Editor’s note: The original post from which this post draws, was written as encouragement for Copiosis participants and others pursuing Big Hairy Ass Goals like Copiosis. It still holds true today, especially given the progress we’ve made.
If you’re trying to change the world, whether it’s through advocating for the RBE or your own idea, it’s easy to slip into hopelessness. Often, “hopeless” is actually overwhelm: a state where there are so many things you’re aware of that have to be done, you don’t know where to start. You’re stuck. Or it seems so.
In the stuck-ness, doubts creep in, you question why you’re even trying to do what you’re doing.
Action, any action whatsoever and however small, can break the feeling of overwhelm before it becomes hopelessness. It doesn’t matter what action you take, so long as it moves something forward. Continue that action and you’ll find yourself back in the saddle, emotionally, and in practical every day reality.
Everyone comes with all they need to accomplish what they’re after.
Another helpful thing: Don’t focus too much on the overall objective. If you want to change the entire world, don’t focus on that so much. The big goal, such as eliminating money, or capitalism makes you aware of the size and complexity of what you’re doing.
Most people can’t focus there and avoid overwhelm. You’ll question whether you can pull it off.
A little more analysis
The critical mind (the one saying “be realistic”) wants all the answers, answers we don’t need in the moment. Friends, acquaintances and strangers often offer realism by telling you to give up, that your idea is stupid, crazy, a pipe dream or a Utopian fantasy. They ask questions about “how” and “when” and “with what resources” etc.
These people as well as your own critical mind can be helpful, but they don’t have the answers to these questions either. More important, until the problem presents itself, neither will you.
So faced with such questions without the need for the answers, feeling discouraged, overwhelmed and embarrassed comes easily. Next thing you know you’ve lost hope, the sense that we actually can make this thing happen. After all, it was the thought that you could that got you started in the first place, right?
We don’t need answers to questions critics throw out. Those answers will come. You just have to trust they will come when they’re needed.
We must not let petty details demoralize us. And all the details are petty.
We must allow enormity of the task to inspire us. So, if you can’t handle police brutality, street demonstrations and violence and inept government performance don’t pay attention to them. If you can’t listen to diverse political perspectives, can’t stand the Koch Brothers or Monsanto, if you’re worried about vaccine conspiracies, stop looking into those things. If you don’t know where the next funding is coming from, stop asking that question.
It all starts with someone…just like you
How do you think this system, the banks, the governments, the markets, the ideologies came about?
Did they just fall into society fully-baked, ready to implement? No. All these things someone made from scratch. All these things came through people. People no different than you or me. They were no more inherently – inherently – remarkable than you or I. So you must ask yourself a couple questions:
- Who ARE you to think you can’t do what you’re setting out to do?
- Why are you allowing someone else’s opinion sway you from doing it?
There’s a reason you’re doing this work. The key to inspiration is to know what that reason is. I mean really know it, like you know you’re alive and conscious.
Despondency is part of the path. Doubt is just old thoughts coming up as if to say “are you sure?”, “You really want this?”
If the answer is yes, then get real and keep doing what you believe can be.