Are you a poet?
It is often said that poets are ahead of their time, that they can see the world through the eyes of the generations that follow them. Are you an ounce ahead of your contemporaries? Will we be able to say in 100 years that you were avant-garde or that you were simply a product of your time?
Why ask yourself such a question?
Well, it can help you know if you have a chance to go down in history because if you answer in the negative, you could be forgotten. That’s not a problem in itself, but it’s good to think about it, to see what distinguishes people who are forgotten from those who are remembered.
What characterizes a thought ahead of its time?
It stands out from the others, but above all, it is embodied in the actions of its author. Although Leonardo da Vinci is considered the Renaissance man par excellence, he was born at the very end of the Middle Ages and spent the first 40 years of his life there (the Middle Ages officially ended in 1492, although he was born in 1452). Leonardo was different because he was lucky enough to find himself in a context that was able to bring out his sensitivity. Florence was one of the cradles of the Renaissance. Leonardo spent his youth there perfecting his arts. The city was flourishing and Da Vinci soaked up all the knowledge he could, which is why he was able to be ahead of his time.
To be ahead of the game, you have to assimilate the thoughts of your predecessors
If you want to be ahead of your time, you must already understand and assimilate the legacy of the past. Picasso could only innovate in art because he excelled at reproducing classical works: to become a master, you have to be a good student
Mediocrity comes from the refusal to assimilate the work of the ancients
The ambient mediocrity is only the result of the will to innovate without doing the preliminary work of research, learning and assimilation. We all want to be Leonardo da Vinci without wanting to endure the first 30 years of his life of work and study.
The avant-garde does not seek glory
If you are looking for glory, you will be disappointed. It is not by seeking it that you will find it. Glory is a woman who does not give herself to the first person who comes along, she offers herself to the one who has not looked for her directly. If you want fame, ignore it and go in search of the truth instead, and maybe it will visit you even if it is by no means certain.
Entrepreneurial success is like building a house
A house needs a solid foundation to last over time. Your integrity and values are that foundation. If your morals leave something to be desired, you risk seeing your life’s work collapse like a house of cards. That’s why it’s best not to be tempted by shortcuts on the road to success, as they often lead you down a muddy, dead-end path.
To succeed, you should not aim for success but for excellence
Success is like those vegetables you harvest: it is the consequence of your work on the land and the environment of your plants that allowed them to bear fruit. You cannot act directly on the vegetables, they grow by themselves, you have no direct control over them. You can simply create the conditions for the plant to decide on its own to let the vegetables grow.
How can you keep trying when there is no progress in sight?
It’s hard to keep going when there are no signs to encourage you to do so. Sometimes it’s good to stop what you’re doing and think about where you’re going. If you’ve ever been lost in the woods, you’ll understand. If you’re moving forward and can’t find your way back, it’s wise to stop for a moment and look carefully at the map to see if you’ve taken the wrong road. Being stubborn can be a flaw if you don’t know how to distinguish it from perseverance. Perseverance involves intelligence and wisdom itself. Stubbornness is stupid and dangerous in some cases.
Setting out on an entrepreneurial adventure is like setting out into the unknown by boat
If you decide to embark on a long journey into the unknown, it is in your best interest to check your boat, the strength of your crew and the quantity of your provisions. Your boat is you and your project. Your crew is your team. Your cargo is your financial resources. To undertake a long journey, these three elements must be at their best.
The 3 human motivations: wisdom, honors and gain
There are three basic types of motivations and each varies in quality.
Greed, the desire to accumulate money, conquests and pleasures, is the search for gain, in one way or another. We live in a society of gain, at least modern societies being capitalist, they build the world on this idea. Everything that has to do with performance is in fact an avatar of the search for gain. Thus, sport, which seems innocent, is in fact a formidable tool for promoting this ideology of gain.
Feeling better than others, accomplishing great things is a higher level motivation in that the person has a less materialistic conception of life. Being willing to die for honor is an emblematic example of the idea that one is more than a body of flesh and blood. If you want to accumulate honors, you must learn to project your desires toward immaterial recognition.
The search for wisdom is a more serene occupation because it consists in becoming better internally, so everything is potentially within our sphere of control. To be able to accumulate wisdom, one must in fact discard one’s successive identities until one keeps only a thin, light layer that allows us not to become nihilistic. Wisdom is not for everyone. If one has not been initiated, one does not know where to start, yet if one opens this door, one can quickly acquire a taste for it and finally the efforts will seem infinitesimal compared to the benefits one will get.
Traditional societies are based on the notion of wisdom. Everything is done to preserve a certain idea of purity and moral beauty. The search for wisdom is done for oneself while the search for honor is done mainly in relation to others. One wants to shine for oneself while in the other case, one wants to shine in society.
We are not motivated by only one thing, we are a collection of desires. Over time, we should tend more towards a desire for wisdom