Seeds of revolution: motivating yourself

The world can feel like a hostile place these days. What when it feels like everybody is voting for the wrong party, or seems to care about nothing but how to defend their own livelihood even when that means preaching hate and racism or sexism at the same time? What to do when you feel despair?

The first step is learning to cultivate hope, and learning to understand the difference between the positive force of hope and the negative forces of wishful thinking and denial of reality through self-delusion.

I suggest to take a moment, before reading on, to think about something that you tend to despair about. It might be as general as the state of the planet, or as personal as whether you will be able to continue paying your bills. It does not matter. If it is a black cloud that hangs over your life, and you feel mostly powerless about it, that is the kind of thing that I mean. Now, try to imagine a scenario in which that worry would no longer be there. How much would need to change about the world in order for that to become a realistic scenario? This list should include both things that you can do yourself as well as things you feel lay outside your ability to influence.

Sometimes this may be a thin line. Like, at work there might be a lot of things you could accomplish on the condition that the general ethos of the company would become more receptive to it, or if your personal relationship with your direct superior were better. These things are currently not within your power. So do not waste your time on what-ifs. You should not feel bad about the fact that the world puts up walls that are currently too difficult for you to scale. Do however, take a moment to think about whether these walls are real or just projections of your mind.

The part of your list that is a source of hope is not the things you can accomplish by yourself. These are tasks. What we are dealing with now are hopes and dreams.

When you have made your list, that will give you an idea of what you are up against. Of what is realistic and what may be beyond the scope of a single person to realize. That is ok. We will worry about the bigger picture later.

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The first thing that matters now is that you have named the issue, and you have had an honest look at your place within it. Now see about your hopes and dreams. Which walls do you think could potentially be toppled if only you would manage to find other people to support you? And can you identify domino effects? Small steps that, when taken, would bring about a different situation where different kinds of dreams suddenly become achievable given the right people to work with you and given a realistic shift in public consensus around the thing?

Spend some time dreaming. Forget about your fears and see about what the best and strongest version of you could achieve in a world where you would not be alone, but would have found a group of other like-minded people to work together on that dream. That vision is your hope and your motivation. That gives you an idea of what you might hope to achieve in ideal circumstances. That is what revolution means for you at this time.

And remember that this is different for anyone. Do not feel guilty if you feel powerless right now, because circumstances make it impossible for you to think beyond issues that directly affect your personal wellbeing. Becoming a strong, healthy person is a revolution all its own. Because it changes the future as well, by creating a future you that will be able to take up their space in the web of life. It is very important to start building with blocks that are able to carry the weight put upon them, otherwise your construction will fall apart as soon as any stress is applied to it.

Now, start dreaming. What would be your personal revolution?

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