The One Thing That Makes You Absolutely Freaking Unstoppable

Suppose I told you that there existed a certain machine.

It has a few names, but I call it the Infinitely Capable Machine. It’s been in development for quite a while, but really it’s still in the early research stages. 

Hypothetically, this machine is capable of solving any problem, given due time. It is also always learning, and can even create new routines and components on its own. It can repair itself, and self-optimize for better performance.

The machine is tremendously complex and scientists don’t fully understand how it works yet. It only exists as a result of an unrivaled sequence of fortunate mistakes. We race to understand it further as even now it continues to develop and hone new capabilities.

And all evidence so far indicates that it is absolutely freaking unstoppable.

Of course the machine is you. You are the Infinitely Capable Machine.

Don’t take my word for it, ask your family.

Your Freaking Unstoppable Family

Your bloodline leads from the very first modern humans, uninterrupted for 200,000 years… straight down to you. For two hundred THOUSAND years, this planet has used everything it could come up with to stop the indomitable wheel of human progress that led us to you… and it hasn’t worked yet. 

Picture your 10,000X-Great Grandparents. Think of the prehistoric world they lived in. That world was not kind to them. It hit them with predators, harsh weather, and competition for food, all in an attempt to stop them from surviving. 

But it didn’t work.

They were unstoppable. They developed spears, and shelter, and better sources of food, and they survived. After that, their descendants propagated the whole of the Earth. Nature continued to challenge them, with an ever-deeper bag of tricks – epidemics, famine, and conflicts within the species.

And again, it failed. 

This world has tried, time and time again, to thwart your family’s progress, to stop you. And time and time again, your family has persisted. You have adapted, become stronger, and time and time again, you have progressed against all odds. You have proven yourselves unstoppable.

I stand here, without fear, because I remember. I remember that I am here not because of the path that lies before me… but because of the path that lies behind me! I remember that for 100 years we have fought these machines. I remember that for 100 years, they have sent their armies to destroy us. And after a century of war, I remember that which matters most… WE ARE STILL HERE!

– Morpheus, The Matrix: Reloaded

War… War Sometimes Changes

Your great-grandparents, or perhaps your grandparents or parents, grew up in a world that was the product of these many millennia of progress. A big world with big machines and bigger ideas. In this world the conflicts between people grew larger than ever before, and threatened to end us all, once again.

Did that finally stop your family? I have the answer to that one: Nope. Few were unscathed, but by and large, they made it through. And those generations learned. They went on to cover the face of this planet with airplanes, phones and computers. 

Suddenly, the big world got a lot smaller.

World leaders used to start fights with each other, then go home to their peoples and tell them that “those people hate you. They want to take everything from you. We must fight them.” And so they did.

But it’s not like that in this world. Not anymore. In this world, we can talk to each other. We can travel to each other’s homes.

At the beginning of 2020, the latest threat of global conflict spiked. All we could hear about was two nations barrelling toward the next great war. And yet the world I saw was one where millions of people on both sides stormed the internet to shout to one another, “This is not our fight. We don’t want this. We love you.”

The latest gift of our forebears is that today it’s war, not us, that faces extinction. The world has once again tried to stop us, and once again it has failed.

You are the latest chapter in a story that hasn’t been stopped in a quarter million years, and at this point I severely doubt that you’ll be the one to mess it up.

Let Come What May

Forget about the family stuff for a minute. I want to talk about you. In your lifetime, you have been hurt; you’ve been sick, you’ve been tired, you’ve been overwhelmed and you’ve been attacked. You’ve been kicked down in so many ways, so many times. And in the face of it all, you are still here. You still made it to this moment.

If you don’t want to talk about Darwin’s evolution, then look at your own. Each of the challenges, trials, and obstacles that life has thrown at you so far has led you to adapt, improve, and grow. The Infinitely Capable Machine never stops evolving. You are constantly selecting for the best parts of yourself and expanding them.

There is simply no way to look at this data and arrive at any other conclusion than that you have proven to be un-fucking-stoppable.

Tigers, World Wars, and winter haven’t stopped you yet. Think about that. The freaking PLANET has been spinning in circles, year after year, trying to throw you off balance, and all you do is throw on a jacket and get back to hustling. That is straight-up wild.

You’ve made it through it all so far. What’s going to stop you now? Office politics, an injury, low energy, or a question you don’t have the answer to yet? Give me a break.

Some things will get in your way and others will kick you down. You won’t always have the upper hand, won’t always have the answers, and sometimes it will hurt. But that. will. not. stop you. 

The “Only Human” Fallacy

We all fall short of internal or external expectations sometimes, and so we make excuses. We look for a version of the story that softens the blow. But you know what’s a really freakin’ weird excuse that I seem to hear all the time?

“I’m only human.” 

Why do we do that? Why do people invoke one of their greatest strengths as the reason they came up short? “Oh, sorry I couldn’t make that quota, Paul. After all I’m only an unstoppable apex omnivore that’s achieved mastery of nature bordering on the divine, and is as of yet unparalleled in the known universe.“ 

Like… huh?

Humanity is one of nature’s greatest and most resilient works, and you’re just gonna throw shade on us all like that?

I need your help. Help me to change this story. Stop saying, “well, she is human,” when someone falls short of where they want to be. Start saying it when someone travels to outer space,  creates a groundbreaking invention, or shows a simple act of kindness where one isn’t necessary. Say it when someone in any other way, great or small, creates triumph and progress through struggle.

Do your ancestors proud. Embody the Infinitely Capable Machine you were born to be. Continue the pattern of progress and adaptation which has brought us up to this very moment. Keep learning, keep adapting, stay in the game, and you will be absolutely freaking unstoppable.

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Hey, I’m Sam. I created Smarter and Harder to explore big ideas, both old and new, about building a better life. My mission is to evolve the conversation about personal growth and have fun doing it.

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