#167: Build Your Spot Under the Sun
the new world is too decentralized for an imperialist mindset
At the beginning of the 20th century, Germany embarked on a relentless quest for power. The Kaiser demanded Germany’s place in the sun- a pursuit that initiated two wars and defined the landscape of the modern world. We, the citizens of the 21st century, have inherited that zero-sum game attitude. It’s ingrained in us that we must conquer our place in the sun by crushing our enemies. Talk to an average person about a wealthy individual and they will say: “He is a bad person because he took that wealth away from other people.”
Yet the new world is too large, decentralized, and brimming with opportunities for that imperialist mindset. The tools for the creation, and sharing of information and thus value have been democratized. The sun is now shining more equally on everyone. There is no longer one uniform best spot. New spots are opening up, as well as the means for creating them. That means I can build wealth by creating abundance rather than re-distributing the old resources.
In this new world, I can no longer become THE ONE creator, but I can establish myself as an icon for my audience. I cannot arrest universal attention, but I can capture it meaningfully from the people who need me. I don’t have to steal or subjugate, for I can simply build. So I tell myself:
You cannot conquer your place under the sun, for only you can build yours.