I wrote an article that made someone quit their job and start a gazillion dollar business.
He wanted to write me a check to say thank you.
I jumped with joy. Then I declined.
Even though I was 16.
And it was more money than I had ever seen.
A month or two ago, I was reading Principles by the billionaire hedge fund manager, Ray Dalio.
And one thing really stuck out.
“I believe that evolution, which is the natural movement toward better adaptation, is the greatest single force in the universe, and that it is good. I believe that the desire to evolve (i.e. to get better), is probably humanity’s most pervasive driving force. The things we are striving for are just the bait to get us to chase after them in order to make us evolve, and it is the evolution and not the reward itself that matters to us and those around us. I believe that pursuing self-interest in harmony with the laws of the universe and contributing to evolution is universally rewarded.”
This got me thinking because so many of us chase a goal, reach it, and grow miserable because it doesn’t fuel us with the “feeling” we expected. Then we go on to pursue something else. In search of the next mountain to climb. Only to go through the same cycle. Over and over again.
Whereas, others sit on our behinds all day long, wishing and hoping and longing, but never evolving.
In the long run, both attitudes are harmful to your peace of mind. There’s a better road you can take:
Evolve for the sake of evolving.
Chasing big goals and dreams not because you want the reward so badly, but because you love the journey of evolution and you seek to transform into the best version of yourself.
If you prioritize your evolution above all else, then:
- You would stop settling
- You would stop being realistic
- You would realize happiness is within you
- You would set BIG challenges and pursue them with a brave heart because the bigger the challenge, the more you would grow and evolve.
- You wouldn’t let your age tell you what you can and can’t do
- You would spit out all the toxins society pumped into your bloodstream (because you would quickly realize the ‘cookie-cutter’ life wouldn’t help you evolve at all)
- You would keep evolving until it was time to say goodbye
- You would stop caring about looking like a success in society’s eyes
Fear and anxiety would disappear
- You wouldn’t mind failure
- You would compete only with yourself
You would work for the sake of getting better, not because you want X, Y or Z
- Your journey would become the ultimate drug
- Every year of your life would be better than the last (you would reach old age with grace)
Unfortunately, most of us are scared to evolve into the strongest version of ourselves.
I used to be scared too. It’s painful.
I remember one chat I had with an American friend years ago. We were discussing locations because he wanted to climb the corporate ladder and secure a promotion.
By the end of the discussion, I realized he would rather stay in a small market and be viewed as the best, rather than move to a big city where he would have to compete with other sharks.
I understood his line of thinking (it makes sense and it’s smart in a way).
But deep down inside, I didn’t agree with it.
Because I think you should put your evolution above all else.
Money. Success. Prestige. Fame.
They don’t matter as much as evolution does (if you’re evolving, all those things will come in droves).
For I agree with Ray in the sense that evolution is the most important part.
If you secure a reward at the expense of your evolution, you lose. It doesn’t matter what the reward is.
There is no point in playing small.
I want to be surrounded by the very best, people that make me run home with tears in my eyes, because I’m the stupidest person in the room.
This, after all, is what will help me evolve the most.
Same goes for the goals I pursue.
Since I was a little boy, I’ve always pursued pie-in-the-sky dreams.
If you flip through my notebooks and take a look at my goals and ambitions, you would think I’m crazy.
And you’d be right.
Because they are larger than life.
And for good reason:
These goals force me to evolve A LOT faster and quicker than if I was pursuing “regular goals.”
My goals force me to view the world as my stage, to impact more people. Spread more joy. And create products or services that have universal appeal.
As a result, I speed up my rate of evolution because in order to hit my goals, I have to be learning, experimenting, and picking up new skills every single day.
By doing so:
The dollars and prestige and success has started to come my way.
For they are the by-product of evolution.
But the real gift isn’t money or success.
I’ve started to realize that the real gift, the one that gives you the most joy is…
Looking back and seeing how much distance you put in between where you started and where you ended up.
That’s what it’s all about.
So why did I not accept the check years ago?
Because if I had…
I would have got my hands on $$$’s, but would have sacrificed the one thing that mattered the most:
And if that happened, I wouldn’t have grown to be the person I am today.
Nor would I become the person I desire to be tomorrow.
“Don’t accept no hand outs. You build it yourself and it’s more lucrative. Out of everything I’ve said, that’s the truest shit.” – Nipsey Hussle