The free thinker does not stop at crushing conventions with the hammer of inquisitive thought. He ventures beyond the destructive force of creation. In artistic free doing. The product of free thinking, a contrarian conviction that challenges conventional beliefs, becomes valuable only as the input to the work of free doing.
The free thinker is satisfied with the mere discovery of secrets, the fundamental building blocks of truth; merely satisfied with carrying them home, and putting them on his shelf as trophies. The free doer feels a hunger to construct something new out of them, and follows through on that desire.
“Others have seen what is and asked why. I’ve seen what could be and asked why not.”
– Pablo Picasso
Instead of waiting for it all to magically fall into place, the free doer takes destiny into his own hands. It won’t suffice to be talented or undeterred by externalities. If you merely wait for lightning to strike, you won’t give birth to anything substantial. The free doer understands that luck is a factor that – to a certain extent – can be controlled. Luck is a function of seizing opportunities, and one’s proactive creation of these opportunities. To be struck by the lightning of luck, the free doer and thinker hence leaves the comfort and idleness of his comfort zone, walks right into the storm, climbs on top of the highest mountain, and holds up a lightning rod.
“Shallow men believe in luck, believe in circumstances: It was somebody’s name, or he happened to be there at the time, or, it was so then, and another day it would have been otherwise. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Conduct of Life
The difficult thing about chasing storms is that by the time you reach its original location, it will have moved on. And this is not only true for storms but for any kind of fad. Never chase the current state of fashion: anticipate what the next trend will be. Anticipate and create it yourself.
To anticipate the next storm, you need to zoom out, see the big picture, understand causal connections on a fundamental level, and extrapolate into and predict the future. And if you fall in love with a particular future you’ve come across, zoom in, envision its details, and make it a reality.
“A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”
– Wayne Gretzky
Inspired by The Fertile Philosopher: A book for free thinkers and doers by Maurice Mauser – Featured image by @braedin