How to fight entropy and never stop progressing
In Orson Scott Card’s phenomenal fantasy series, Tales of Alvin Maker, the main antagonist is a supernatural force called the “Unmaker.”
A character in the series explains,
“It’s the enemy of everything that exists. All it wants is to break everything into pieces, and break those pieces into pieces, until there’s nothing left at all.”
Essentially, it is entropy as a conscious and unimaginably destructive force.
I believe in the Unmaker. But less as a supernatural, external force, and more as a fundamental component of human nature. It is inside us. And without constant vigilance, it will destroy us.
Entropy is hard-wired into the DNA of the human experience.
Unused muscles get flabby. Unrestrained diets lead to obesity and disease. Uncontrolled thoughts spiral into negativity and degeneracy. Careless words erode relationships.
You are either progressing or declining. There is no middle ground. Mediocrity is more than stagnation — it is decay.
So how can you conquer entropy and cultivate perpetual progress in your life? Three specific ways: At any given time you should have:
- A transformational book to read.
- A burning curiosity to satisfy.
- A significant creation to manifest.
A transformational book to read
I’m not talking about light summer reading purely for entertainment. I’m talking about books that expand your mind, enrich your soul, transform your perspective, and motivate you to strive for excellence.
Books that make you more conscious, more compassionate, more capable. Profound, multi-faceted, timeless books that can be read over and over again, with new lessons being gleaned each time.
Are you engrossed in such a book now? What’s next on your list? Do you spend more time reading than watching TV?
A burning curiosity to satisfy
The more books you read, the more curious you will become about an increasingly broad range of interests. For the progressing person, questions proliferate exponentially in proportion to answers received.
For example, one of my most recent curiosities was sparked by a years-long study of brain lateralization. For months I wondered if our subconscious mind was the same as the right hemisphere of our brain. My question was finally answered, the itch scratched, by reading The Right Brain and the Unconscious by Dr. R. Joseph.
Currently, I’m enthralled by the relationship between light and color.
What are you deeply curious about? What specific topic are you studying right now? What intellectual conundrum are you chewing on? What profound question are you trying to answer? What monumental puzzle are you trying to solve?
A significant creation to manifest
The Unmaker is embedded in your soul. But strangely, so is its archenemy: your creative power.
Your progress is measured by the depth, breadth, reach, and impact of your creative endeavors.
Creating anything of lasting value is a function of:
- Vision: Seeing clearly in your mind something that doesn’t currently exist.
- Action: Taking baby steps toward achieving grandiose visions.
- Commitment: The willingness to give up anything and everything — your life, if necessary — to make your vision a reality.
What are you creating? A family? A business? A book? A work of art? How clear is your vision of what you want to create? What action are you taking to manifest that creation? How committed are you to your creation?
What are you trying to make happen, and how will you measure success? Are you just dreaming about ideas and yapping about goals, or are you actually building something worthwhile?
The Unmaker scoffs at cheap talk. But he shrinks in fear from those who take conscious, consistent, dedicated action.
So tell me whether or not you have:
- A transformational book to read
- A burning curiosity to satisfy
- A significant creation to manifest
…and I will predict your future. For those are the enemies of entropy and the fuels of progress.