“It is too late to just start to dig a well when you feel thirsty.“
This old Chinese proverb sums up what becoming overhuman is all about.
You could look at it from a financial perspective, and you wouldn’t be wrong: you need to start providing for yourself before you start starving, because then it’s already too late.
But there is more to it. Every area in our lives is subject to this one principle: preparedness.
When you get cancer from smoking, is it not already too late to think about stopping?
When you get diabetes, is it not already too late to consider changing your diet?
When you get robbed and stabbed on the street while returning home, is it not already too late to start training sprinting?
When you get attacked by a group of hooligans, is it not already too late to learn a martial art?
When your country goes to war, or there is a strong economic crisis, and the system fails miserably, is it not already too late to create your own self-sustainable system?
These are just some of the things that can happen, some of the potential risks we face. How often do you think about them? How often do you look at the greater picture? Do you just live your life day-to-day, oblivious of the realities to come?
Be present, yes, but be mindful of the future, for the future will be your present at some point.
Naturally, one could argue that for some things, you need not prepare yourself because the probability for a certain event is small and thus you should invest your energies into things of higher probability. For example, if you live in a peaceful area with next to zero crime rate, but there is a lot of wildlife danger, you might not learn Wing Tzun but how to shoot a rifle. Such reasoning is true but you need to take into account two things:
1. Never make a negative conclusion based on the probability of an event you calculated with assumed statistics.
If you only assume certain statistics, but don’t know for sure, it is okay to make a positive conclusion – “I SHOULD train martial arts”, “I SHOULD quit smoking”, “I SHOULD stop eating trans-fats” – but not a negative one – “I SHOULD NOT try to create another source of income”, “I SHOULD NOT learn how to handle a firearm”, etc.
The reason for this is simple: it is okay to make an error on the safe side, but it is immensely stupid to make errors on the unsafe side. When you don’t know, don’t make dumb risks. You need to be able to objectively appraise your situation.
2. Take into account your entire lifespan.
Yes, maybe you won’t be seeing war anytime soon. But what do the statistics tell you? How are things looking from an international geopolitical perspective? If the statistics say that, for example, every 30 years there is war, and you expect to live more than 30, is it not reasonable to be prepared for the event of war, even though it may never come?
For some reason, we do not prepare. We go about our business, oblivious to the dangers we may face, and only after facing them we ask ourselves “why hadn’t we thought about this sooner?”
Like a deer staring into the lights of an incoming truck that is about to splatter it all across the road.
Why do we make these mistakes? Why don’t we intervene in our own destinies?
I don’t know the reason because I am equally guilty as anybody else for this type of behavior.
But I’m working on it.
So should you.