Many people seem to be stuck in this cycle of misery: that their life hasn’t gone “as it should have been,” that they’ve made too many mistakes, that they just want a chance to start over, that everything is impossible now, that all the windows of opportunity are gone forever now.
But I have realized that what you call “mistakes” is actually a particle of individuality.
I’ll give you an example. Sometimes during the day, I feel really stupid for doing simple math wrong; other times, some brilliant idea pops up and never gets written down; and sometimes, the intelligence just comes out and I do a couple of hundred lines of well written code in an hour or two. The stupid and the smart moments, and how we tolerate them – that’s individuality.
One too many times have I seen people who don’t care about individuality. You have to be the ideal person: the “best” person. You wanna be the guy who does a 200 day streak on GitHub, because without it you’re nobody. If you’re not part of the hive mind, you’re an outlier. These days, the clusters of people are crystallizing; it’s harder to be an outlier. You’re either in the regular, ordinary people cluster, or you’re in the “I-started-coding-when-I-was-two” hyperintelligent cluster. Suddenly, the outliers grouped and it became a cluster on its own.
And what if you’re in the middle? Are you an outlier? Are you a nobody? Or are you a ripe individual?
How about this: let nobody judge you. Exalt yourself when you must; humble yourself when you can. Do not let people view your dark side, just as people on Earth never see the other side of the moon.
Don’t think about the scatterplot. Think about you, the point. It sounds selfish, but it’s not, because if you think about the scatterplot then you will feel like a grain of sand. You will be overwhelmed, because there is someone better than you but no best in sight. Do not be overwhelmed. You are not a grain of sand, because if you were, you could only be picked up by the wind and carried away, stomped on and be destroyed. But you can move. And because you can move, you are self-conscious and therefore a powerful entity of the universe.
If you want to win, stop trying so hard, be an individual, and that in itself will be a victory. The victor isn’t the one who gets the trophy, the victor is the one who made the most out of the contest, the one who helped, the one who put up a fair fight against his adversary, not the one who spent six hours practicing the day before. Such dedication is not what the human body was designed for. It was designed for survival. Is this what you call survival? Clearly it is not survival, because it is at the cost of yourself.
To survive is to be the individual. If it means breaking from the trend, do it. If it means fighting the stream sometimes, do it. (But please, you should follow the streams most of the time.) If it means looking like a madman trying to get a point across, do it. If it means getting 900 downvotes trying to bring a message across, do it. Persecution is not a barrier. There are no barriers, because the individual is only bound by the desire to be free.
So do it. Be the individual. Forget about fighting against the big stream of time. There is an expanse of time ahead of you.