The Greatest Time in History (Yet Most Squander It)

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  • We now enjoy the most health, freedom, and opportunities in human history - standing on shoulders of inventors and pioneers who sacrificed to expand potential. But too many people waste this unprecedented access to tools for fulfillment by chasing distraction and pleasure while avoiding reality and responsibility. It's ironic how much progress surrounds us externally, yet how stagnant most individuals are in taking initiative to actually seize it. Entitlement has bred widespread complacency.

  • We must shake off victim mindsets full of excuses. Progress depends on personal accountability. Inheriting progress means accepting responsibility to compound it. Seize the generosity of past generations as fuel for your own creation. Transform excuses into action. Lift all rising tides through your differentiated efforts right now.

  • The heaviest weight is unfulfilled potential despite an unprecedented opportunity explosion. Fortify resolve beyond comfortable circumstances handed to you. Don't take generational privilege for granted - use it as foundation for your own progress.

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The Greatest Time in History (Yet Most Squander It)

“We are living at the peak of human civilization.”

I know that sounds hyperbolic. But consider this objectively.

You stand now at the highest vantage point in the history of mankind when it comes to opportunity, technology, wisdom, and quality of life.

In 75 years, we went from prop planes to commercial space flight. From news communicated by post to video calls on handheld devices transmitted by satellites in space.

You can access virtually all cumulative knowledge known to humans in seconds from something in your pocket. Translate between languages instantly via AI. Map travel to remote villages Google hasn’t even photographed yet.

But here’s the shocking part most haven’t realized...

Despite all this exponential progress around us, most individuals fail to hold themselves to the standards such advancements make possible when it comes to actualizing our potential.

We lifespanned through a renaissance period that unlocked orders of magnitude more opportunity, tools, and information to enhance performance, wellbeing, and success...

Yet most trade this inheritance for distraction and limitation.

Why Do We Squander Our Potential Despite Having Every Advantage?

Make no mistake, you stand at the mountain top when it comes to opportunity.

But most come nowhere near achieving what is newly possible in their lifetime when it comes to fulfillment, human performance, and leaving a legacy.

There is an alarming chasm between the acceleration of external potential...

And lack of internal initiation to seize it.

We’re living through discoveries and technological leaps our ancestors couldn’t even conceptualize. Yet most use these for distraction and entertainment versus deliberate enhancement.

For example, learning mastery was always a privilege of the well-connected or exceptionally motivated self-starter. To be a “student of the game” for most pursuits required intense commitment bordering on obsession.

Now you can access Ivy League-level curriculum from home on nutrition, fitness, finances, starting a business, languages, and more for free or extremely affordably.

Yet how many leverage this privileged panopticon of education handed to them?

The mere abundance of opportunity actually has the inverse affect. It creates anxiety. The paradox of choice kicks in.

They feel overwhelmed by open doors and unsure which path aligns to innate talents or burns with authentic passion and zeal.

We know exponentially more about performance, psychology, wellbeing, and success than prior generations too.

But we rarely apply this diligently to transcend the excuses that are holding us back. The pioneer heart still lies dormant within despite overwhelmingly favorable conditions for bold new frontiers.

The perfect analogy: you’re standing in a forest, amongst massive Redwoods. You can’t help but me memorized by their grandeur, but you can’t bring yourself to plant a seed yourself.

So Why This Tragic Gap Between Peak Potential and Performance?

In one word?


Entitlement manifests when we inherit reward without risk. Have privileges dropped in our lap without paying dues. Act entitled to outcomes without earned merit.

The hallmark of entitled mindsets is desiring results now without requisite work beforehand.

A gross sense of entitlement stems from the unusual situation we find ourselves in...

We’re thrust into an environment drastically different than what our recent ancestors faced. Like time travelers we skipped hundreds of incremental steps.

We opened our eyes into a life wildly transformed technology and innovation created before we were even born. Handed gadgets, tools and abundances like magic.

Yet without direct experience progressively earning through each rung ourselves from the bottom up. We didn’t slowly acclimate across generations to appreciate or have reference for how good we have it.

We just stepped into this future now and accepted it as normal. Numbing ourselves to the heights we stand atop.

When you don’t earn through your own blood, sweat and tears — forced to find opportunity where little exists — you don’t fully respect the competitive advantage and possibilities at your fingertips today.

Like trust fund kids aimlessly drifting through privilege not grounded by reality.

Without scarcity as sharp contrast, we lose sight of how overwhelmingly abundant life is now for those taking initiative. We gaze into the infinite realm of potential yet focus only on what remains out of reach still versus claiming all within grasp already.

Innovation Alone Doesn’t Elevate Individually

Make no mistake, access alone means little without action.

Books on the shelf don’t transform until read and applied diligently. Courses mean nothing if never finished. Accountability partners lose their leverage when you stop showing up.

As Morpheus reminded...

“There is a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path.”

Don’t pat yourself on the back simply for discovering life-changing wisdom not utilized. It remains inert potential energy at best.

Only through courageous initiation do we embody new standards what expanded possibility now allows for. Step fully through the doorway from old limitations into frontiers before off-limits.

Otherwise we cash our inheritance early for distraction instead of investing and compounding gains. We celebrate progress but don’t individually push progress.

Squandering our unprecedented opportunity ultimately just increases disempowerment and entitlement. Until we regress despite external progress lifting most boats.

As Viktor Frankl said...

“Ultimately man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather realize it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.”

The path is paved and tools available to actualize your best life. But it demands responsibility. Owning our personal progression versus making excuses.

Amor Fati — loving your fate — regardless of where you start. Seizing opportunity despite disadvantage. Forging your capability despite circumstance.

Excuses or Action. Constraint or Creation. You choose daily.

Mindset Determines Outcomes Over Environment

Here’s an uncomfortable truth most deny...

Your external conditions don’t determine outcomes nearly as much as initiative, mindset, psychology, and choices.

Environment influences but doesn’t override individual responsibility. Regardless of noise that’s not within control, own what is, with extreme prejudice.

This is called displacement theory — where we overfactor context and underappreciate personal accountability.

Consider two examples that illustrate the immense leverage of mindset over environment:

  1. Immigrants frequently outperform their native peers in academics, income, and home ownership. Despite less access to resources, networks, or cultural familiarity when they start over, many immigrants radically thrive through bottom-up hustle.

  2. Conversely, lottery winners ending up worse financially years later is a documented phenomenon. Through entitlement without maturity, they squander windfalls despite luck removing obstacles for them.

Or another example...

Children of wealthy parents earning trust funds underperform self-made peers substantially, despite infinite safety nets allowing risk and failure. They substitute privilege for individual will and work ethic. Yet those climbing from nothing showcase immense ambition regardless of environmental factors trying to limit belief in potential outcomes.

The Championship Mindset In An Era Of Participation Awards

Maybe these realities make you uncomfortable.

Good. They are.

We want to believe factors out of our control determine destinies. It absolves responsibility to take inventory of decisions and habits within influence that drive outcomes.

Blaming society, injustice, or circumstance is easier than reflecting on the dicey notion “If I transformed my psychology and made better choices, I could radically change my results.”

But let’s pause here. The goal isn’t condemnation over what “should” have been done or guilt for past approaches.

The purpose is illumination so we pivot forward empowered by truth. Awareness spurs change, not judgment.

Transform excuses into energy towards your next phase of actualized potential. Forge opportunity by expanding possibility of what you believe can be done despite constraints trying to convince otherwise.

Musashi called this having a “championship mindset.”

Winners in any domain — sports, art, business, spirituality, relationships — build identity narratives that cut through obstacles in their head first before ever seeing them manifest physically.

Mental fortitude precedes external manifestation. jelly insides show up as weak results regardless of your potential.

Champions hold an almost delusional-level conviction in what they can accomplish if they strategically apply themselves over enough time.

They embody the identity of excellence, domination and impact so completely it etches their physcology. Confidence is their baseline, not aspirational boost needing external validation.

This unstoppable mindset fuels consistent action towards audacious goals despite hurdles or timelines seeming unreasonable to rest.

Great ones know external wins start within long before visible to the outside world. Cultivating sheer efficacy and willpower to turn dreams into plans then plans into progress.

They hold themselves to higher standards constantly. Making incremental improvement daily until plateau of potential reached elevates baseline. Knowing marginal gains compound over time.

This mentality separates those who squander natural talents that the rest wish they had...from those with championship vision who maximize every drop of human potential possessed.

Who will you become? Identity drives reality.

Claim Your Modern Birthright

Manifesting potential starts by taking complete ownership of precious opportunity within your grasp right now.

Birthright means an inheritance you’re entitled to by birth. Financial security, status and assets family members pass down.

I challenge you to view the situation you were born into more expansively.

Your ancestor just two generations ago likely:

  • Performed backbreaking labor sunrise to sundown

  • Had health issues we resolve easily today

  • Had way less economic opportunity without global mobility and internet

  • Access maybe a few books their whole life in rural areas

  • Die by 60 years old from now preventable causes

Just since 1990...

  • Automation replaced 50% of tedious and dangerous jobs

  • Healthcare innovation increased life expectancy over a decade

  • Internet created millions of economic opportunities

  • Education went from privilege of few to accessible for all

  • Extreme global poverty dropped by 50%

The point is you won the cosmic lottery simply by being born in this time and place in history.

So before complaining about limitations, perhaps compassionately reflect on how much circumstance-defying potential surrounds you here and now...

Then courageously claim it.

Sacrifice excuses for initiative. Accept abundance over entitlement. Double down on excellence and accountability.

Living through these rare times is a modern birthright.

But Destiny's true inheritance must be claimed with both hands despite endless distractions tempting complacency.

Compounding This Windfall

Part of maturity means realizing you don’t deserve anything simply because you exist. Universal energy rewards those taking responsibility.

Actualizing your full potential involves stewarding ALL inheritances — money, knowledge, tools, relationships, inspiration — handed down to responsibly create MORE value as you climb hierarchy of goals.

Think back to stories like the “Parable of the Talents” Jesus told. A master going on journey entrusts servants with bags of gold. On return two invested and compounded the money. But one simply preserved the original inheritance, digging a hole to hide it without attempting increase.

The message is clear:

To those faithfully stewarding opportunity: “Well done! You have been trustworthy with small things, I will now give you much more.”

But to the servant burying their potential: “You wicked and lazy servant! Take the gold from him and give it to the man enterprising increase.”

So think back…

  • Who worked diligently starting with little versus who squandered opportunity?

  • Who multiplied gains versus who generated entitlement?

  • Who owned identity of excellence versus excuses?

Compare where you started to possibilities before you now thanks to external progress. Have you compounded personal capability at equal rate? Or stagnated in complacent entitlement enjoyed as birthright?

Awaken The Modern Pioneer Spirit

Beyond holding yourself to higher standards, adopt the heart and spirit of past pioneers who settled frontiers.

The pioneer journeys not for glory itself, but so their grandchildren may have opportunities, they never dreamed of. Sacrifice in the short term to build foundations for betterment of future generations.

Plant trees under whose shade you may never sit. But know they allow the fruits of your labor to be enjoyed for decades beyond your short, fleeting lifespan.

This pioneer spirit is precisely what built the privileged conditions we enjoy but take for granted today. We forget the backs broken with labor and risk so we could have comfort and safety to unlock our creativity.

Standing on the shoulders of giants, how will we lift the next wave still higher?

The Modern Pioneer Rises

What frontiers — physical, spiritual, scientific, personal — will you charge courageously into despite unknowns and fears holding most peers paralyzed?

How can we hold ourselves to elevated expectations equal to the abundant privileges we inherited?

Where can you multiply opportunity before passing the baton to youth who will one day stand exactly where you stand now?

Progress depends on pioneers scraping trails where none exist yet. To blaze so others may follow. To settle where most only daydream of. To actualize imaginary places into inhabitable spaces.

You now have guides, tools and abundance allowing manifestation beyond wildest dreams of ancestors just decades ago. Much gifted to start farther than they ever imaged.

But the modern pioneer can’t rest on generational privilege alone. They must charge forward to meet the future. Create so their young may build upon foundations in place. Ignite sparks today so flames illuminate unforeseen horizons tomorrow.

The Bravest Act of Our Times

Perhaps this whole discussion seems irrelevant. But I assure you, truly embracing even fraction of the exponential change swirling around us requires courage and foresight seen only at pivotal transitions in human history.

Our complacency and distraction is simply conditioned comfort against risking the unknown frontier. Preference for slow deaths of boredom and limitation over daring greatly into undiscovered possibility.

But you can’t selectively inherit privilege of progress without also accepting responsibility to steward this momentum. Enjoying luxury without risking further elevation is not honorable.

Progress depends on pioneers every generation putting shoulder to wheel. To push exponential technology, innovation and thought even higher. Standing on shoulders while lifting still taller.

The bravest act in our times is acknowledging frankly the heights we now stand atop... legacy capital accumulated... gifts and knowledge solemnly passed down to us.

Then courageously planting flags farther. For not even the sky need be the limit anymore.

The Summit Still Beckons

Perhaps this brings more questions than concrete steps.

It would make sense to feel overwhelmed realizing the progress civilization has made.

Opportunities now exist beyond anything known for thousands of generations before.

You may also feel anxious realizing you haven’t taken full advantage of what currently surrounds you. Instead, you’ve taken for granted the progress and inventions created by past generations who made this moment possible.

That’s completely understandable. The first step is to gain perspective - to accurately see where we are thanks to those who came before us.

Consider feeling grateful for the progress made by ancestors you now benefit from.

Appreciation carries no judgment, only responsibility.

We honor past generations by continuing the march of progress. Their innovations enable us, now we must execute ourselves and pave the way for those to come.

If you enjoyed this article, I’d love to hear from you.

Email me at or tweet at me @ScottDClary and I’ll do my best to get back to everyone!

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