Revolution is a dense word. It carries a lot of association with it; typically involving an overthrow of a regime or a movement to fundamentally alter the way society operates. But that’s not the type of revolution I’m talking about here. Because to be honest, those revolutions are secondary and most of the time, they don’t last. One tyrant replaces another. One broken system is replaced with one that’s supposed to fix everything, but results in a different flavor of the same.
A change in systems isn’t what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for something to change beyond yourself, if you depend on the behavior of others, or a change in your environment before you act, you’re in for disappointment. Even if it does change, it won’t matter anyway, because you’re not getting at what really matters.
The fastest way to change the world is to change yourself.
If you really want to see change happen, the revolution must come from within. An internal uprising and radical abandonment of the old patterns must commence. The umbilical cord to the confined you must be swiftly cut. All unrealities must be laid out visibly in the light of day.
You must die to the real you that is waiting to be born. The one that is free, unrestrained, and lives from a place of deep inexhaustible joy.
The revolution doesn’t happen out there. It can’t.
Whatever change you want to see, whether it’s inside or out, it starts with you. Your shift must happen at the core.
Everything else is just hype.
Whatever transformation you want to bring about in yourself and in the world, it must be now. It simply can’t be any other time. Tomorrow never comes.
The revolution isn’t tomorrow. If you say it is tomorrow, it won’t come. The revolution is now.
The revolution may start within but shouldn’t stop there. People changing how they think and feel is important but it isn’t a revolution.
Revolution is social.
The revolution doesn’t just stay in here. It can’t. (This is because people have a social dimensions to their lives.)
Our actions have consequences (they have a future). And it can be a better one.
I agree with Evan. A revolution must not be a unique event in time. Every revolution involves change, innovation = something new and different. That must be backed up and supported by the right actions that justify such a change, that provide solutions and opportunities to fix problems. A revolution must not be supported just on ideas, that’s a mistake in my opinion. Ideas must be taken down to earth and studied in detail to evaluate its effects and consequences. In that way, individuals must shape their change on their mindset and way of thinking things according to the today’s world on every level.
BTW, great article. Thanks for sharing.
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Joel Zaslofsky says
I’m a little embarrassed and disappointed in myself that I’ve never left a comment for you and the rest of the Illuminated Mind community until now. The catalyst for my own personal internal revolution started about eight months ago when my wife became pregnant (it was planned thankfully). I had a new mission in life from that point forward. This was to better myself in as many ways possible so that I could provide resources and be a resource to my child, my family, my friends, the local community and the extended community on the Internet. Many, many shifts in behavior, thought process and action have occurred since then. Much of it is aided by reading your blog and some other of my favorite blogs out there. Posts like this fortify resolve and allow me to illustrate in words many of the things that have led to my personal renaissance. Thank you for this post and all the posts that preceded it. I intend to become a more vocal member of your community and others, providing value and resources to others who need them.
The reason those (social) revolutions don’t work is very similar to the reason many personal revolutions also fail: they are attempts to change external conditions rather than internal mindsets.
Phrases like “be proactive” and “take responsibility” etc. are all really getting at the same basic idea: real change is directed inwardly. It’s about changing the way you see yourself and the world rather than trying to get the world to satisfy you. Being dependant on external change in order to meet your needs is a kind of victimhood. It’s the old excuse that “I can’t be happy or successful because these conditions exist”. Therefore I’m a victim of these conditions. The thing that almost nobody seems to get is that when you really make a meaningful shift in mindset, conditions change virtually by themselves.
I’ve been following you for a while now and am inspired to reflect on so many things as a result of your blogging & videos. I agree the shift must occur within each of us before we can hope for any kind of meaningful social change in the community and world at large. The important thing (imho) is that we don’t expect a political party or person to do for us what we are capable of doing for ourselves. You make this clear.
I love posts that get me to think and yours always do. I recently wrote a post based on a 1970s song by Gil Scott Heron called, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”. I’m a baby boomer and that song started a movement more than 30 years ago, with young people questioning the political machine that was controlling America at the time. Your post is a reminder that there is still work to be done.
I look forward to hearing more and appreciate your contribution.
Long-lasting social revolution can only happen in individuals. World improvement needs to come from within.
I think there are a huge number of external things which need changing. The terms of trade between countries and children dying from unclean water to name just two (that are not unrelated).
If changed mindset doesn’t result in changed action (like buying fairtrade products) I am very sceptical of its revolutionary nature.
Hi Evan. Fair points. My experience is that changed mindset does result in changed action; and that the result is always far more powerful than action undertaken without the shift in mindset. Action without the internal shift is inauthentic. It becomes impotent and unsustainable. Sure there are a lot of problems in the world that you can point to. And sure action is often the means by which stuff “gets done”. But more often than not the real change that needs to take place is one of thinking. Half the problems in the world would go away over night if we learned to change our mental attitude toward them.
Setema Gali says
Thank you for the post. I am grateful for like-minded people who understand that today is not a bloody revolution. It is a BLOOD-LESS revolution that happens in the mind and heart of people.
The revolution is to move from taker, complainer, victim, blamer and poverty-habit person to contributor, agent, responsible and prosperity minded person.
Thanks for the great post.
“The revolution is nothing if not interior.”
good articles, u have already explained very well, so there is nothing to say much. keep it up.
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
Thanks for the post.
African king says
Hey jonathan i’m a young c.p and would like to hear your thoughts about hustling.
I like the urgency presented here! It’s extremely necessary for this internal transformation to occur now, not tomorrow. great post!