What can you achieve with manic action?
Unchaining the beast within
‘A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.’
— George S. Patton
People who undergo near-death experiences say they are changed forever. A glimpse of their mortality is enough to remind them that the universe doesn’t care about our plans. Life, they realise, is a moving canvas: you can either scribble plans on it or paint it with action.
What is this curse of being human that we lurch towards action only after a period of crisis? How can we bring that same verve into our regular lives? How can we be more like Patton with his exhortation to violent action?
We humans are a unique species in that we know things that are bad for us, but we still keep doing them because they are comfortable. We prefer to die a little every day if we can be spared the trouble of taking action with uncertain outcomes.
To break out of this spell we will need to become deliberately rash. What would happen if we deliberately prioritized speed and force over careful planning? In fact, why shouldn’t we? Nobody succeeded because they had a better plan. It’s the wild, bold spirit of the doer that makes things happen.
So how do we use destruction as a tool? First, outline what you’re used to doing and vow to do the reverse. If you have not got the results you seek, it’s because your actions are not aligned to those results. So take a sledgehammer to your cherished notions around ‘what works’.
Second, maybe start doing things with such suddenness that your conscious brain doesn’t have time to react and pull you back. The conscious is slow, but strong. If you give it time to catch up, it will stop you.
What about failure? Failure looms large in our psyche but the only kind of failure that matters is ruin. Failure is nothing more than a bruise to the ego if we have the downside protected. Know this and you can find a firm base from which to launch your attack.
You have to witness your manic unreasonableness to know what you’re truly capable of. It will give you confidence to grab opportunities when they do come your way. Be acquainted with your wild avatar and your life will turn inside out.
‘A harmless man is not a good man. A good man is a very dangerous man who has that under voluntary control.’
— Jordan Peterson