5 Ways to Make Something


Extraordinary Happen



By Gary Z. McGee



“I was waiting for something extraordinary to happen but as the years wasted on nothing ever did unless I caused it.” ~Charles Bukowski


Don’t let the years waste on. Life is short. Grab the bull of the present by the horns and force it into a force to be reckoned with in the future. Here are five ways to do that…


1.) Get out of your own way:


“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” ~Leonardo da Vinci


Don’t rest on your laurels. Go out and happen to things. But before you can happen to things, you must happen to yourself. You must be able to get out of your own way.


Getting out of your own way means outmaneuvering your cultural conditioning. It means burning off the dross by humiliating your religious self, your political self, and even your notion of the Self.


The only way to do this is by realizing that your conditioning is an outdated skin that must be shed. Then you must shed it. Which will likely hurt like hell. It will be akin to ripping off a comforting band aide from an unhealable wound. But nothing is more important than revealing your own vulnerability despite the faux invulnerability of your cultural conditioning.


When the mollycoddling, placating, pseudo-invulnerable cultural conditioning is ripped away, all your left with is raw vulnerability, death anxiety, and existential pain. Relish it. It is your truest aspect.


2.) Seek pain, not comfort:


“Humor is the instinct for taking pain playfully.” ~Max Eastman


Pain should not be avoided at the expense of adventure. Adventure should be embraced at the risk of pain.


Take that existential pain and raw vulnerability and transform it into humorous curiosity. Use it like a sponge. Soak up the knowledge you’ll need to challenge an indifferent universe. Use it to discover the hidden passageways out of your comfort zone. Use it to transform boundaries into horizons.


As Hobbes said, “Hell is truth seen too late.” Don’t allow Hell to descend upon you. Get ahead of the curve. Challenge yourself. Take the pain of your knowledge and blitzkrieg the bliss of your ignorance. No fear. Crash like thunder, strike like lightning. Don’t let up until your comfort zone becomes a thing you can take with you into the wild, into solitude, into adventure.


Nothing extraordinary can happen if you’re curled up in a ball in the corner of your comfort zone. Tear down the ramparts. Upend the fences. Flatten all the boxes you’ve been forced to believe in. Seek the healing pain of solitude before the deadly comfort of complacent domesticity lays you low.


As Atticus said, “Loneliness is a fire I hold close to my skin, to see how much pain I can stand before running to the water.”


3.) Seek questions, not answers:


“Proceed on the hypothesis that everything you are is a lie and everything you know is wrong and try to disprove it.” ~Jed McKenna


Don’t take anything for granted. The so-called answers you’ve been spoon-fed all your life are not really answers. They are kneejerk reactions to the fear of the unknown. They are biased opinions based on the nothingness we’ve vainly tried to force into somethingness. They are faux lyrics set to a makeshift song and dance set to distract us from the fact that none of us has a damn clue what it’s all about.


As Richard Feynman said, “We are never definitely right; we can only be sure we are wrong.”


Thinking you are right is smoke and mirrors at best and delusional belief at worst. Best to outflank “rightness” and get down to brass tacks. Assume you are wrong about a great many things. Question what you think you know by remaining curious about what you do not. Always leave yourself outs. Keep curiosity ahead of certainty.


As Anthony Bourdain said, “Life is complicated. It’s filled with nuance. If I believe in anything, it is doubt. The root cause of all life’s problems is looking for a simple fucking answer.”


Don’t look for simple answers. Seek out difficult questions. Use the question mark like a sword. Cut through delusion. Cut through “truth.” Cut through “rightness.” Cut through answers. Use it as the tip of the spear that will spearhead your own Truth Quest.


4.) Force yourself to take the Hero’s Journey:


“Turn your life into a line of poetry written with a splash of blood.” ~Yukio Mishima


The Hero’s Journey is a whetstone. It’s a way of sharpening your character. It’s a way of testing your mettle against the crucible of a life well-lived. It’s a way of strengthening the muscle of your soul.


As Joseph Campbell wisely surmised, “The modern hero must not wait for his community to cast off its slough of pride, fear, rationalized avarice, and sanctified misunderstanding. ‘Live,’ Nietzsche says, ‘as though the day were here.’”


You must not wait to overcome your own threshold guardians, shadows, and dragons. You should live as though the day were here. You should pluck the strings of destiny, discover the magic elixir of competence, and then bring it back to the “tribe.”


Life is too short to remain a victim. And there are too many victims in need of a hero who can lead by example. The hero’s journey is that example. It’s a mighty beacon in the dark. It’s a beacon of darkness in the blinding light. It’s a psychosocial symbol for next-level transformation, individuation, self-actualization, and enlightenment. It’s soul craft in its purest form.


5.) Live dangerously, not obsequiously:


“People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest.” ~Hermann Hesse


Don’t be afraid to seem sinister to others. Have the courage to be Fire. Burn all the moths if you must. Those who are also fire will see how your fire is a boon to all. And although those who are moths may get burned, they may also discover the Phoenix within them.


Rebirth is necessary for those who are living half-dead lives. Don’t be afraid to be the one who awakens them from pretending to be asleep. Live on purpose, with purpose. If your purpose should upset the masses, then so be it. Let them quibble. Let them fall all over themselves in whiney, woe-is-me, status-quo-junky despair. Let them melt all over the place in tear-filled snowflake misery. You have work to do.


You have courage to set afire like a beacon of hope in a hopeless world. You have your unconquerable character to set up as a psychosocial symbol of audacity and honor. You have extraordinary moments to fish out of the maw of the ordinary. You have gods to dethrone.


As Hermann Hesse also said, “Those who are too lazy and comfortable to think for themselves and be their own judges obey the laws. Others sense their own laws within them.”


Sense your own law within you. Elevate yourself above the battlefield. Discover your own conscience as pure law. Become the personification of checks and balances. Dare yourself to become more courageous than the mollycoddled culture you grew up in. Become a more valuable human.


As Niels Bohr said, “Every valuable human being must be a radical and a rebel, for what he must aim at is to make things better than they are.”


Image source:By Viajeros Cósmicos



About the Author:


Gary Z McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide-awake view of the modern world.


This article (5 Ways to Make Something Extraordinary Happen) was originally created and published by Self-inflicted Philosophy and is printed here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Gary Z McGee and self-inflictedphilosophy.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this statement of copyright.