Creation, Evolution, and the Progress One Makes in Life

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Creation. A divine, all-powerful Being set a plan into motion through which the whole universe came into existence.

Evolution. Bang. Out of nothing came something and through billions of years of randomness and chance, here we are.

I have always believed I was a created being. My existence on this earth is for a purpose. Regarding evolution, I believe we have adapted over the years, but the greatest adaptation occurs in one’s lifetime. I have evolved from the child I once was. I evolved again from an irresponsible young adult to the mostly responsible older adult I am today.

Being an “evolved” individual was something I considered a remarkable achievement. But if evolution is an improvement through chance, then maybe my progress is not as wonderful as I hoped. It may have been the slowest way to get from my starting point to my desired destination. This was a thought that never occurred to me until I read the following passage from Peter Thiel’s Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future:

Actually, most everybody in the modern world has already heard an answer to this question: progress without planning is what we call “evolution.” Darwin himself wrote that life tends to “progress” without anybody intending it. Every living thing is just a random iteration on some other organism, and the best iterations win.

What’s this book about? Peter Thiel explains, “Zero to One is about how to build companies that create new things.” Most new companies are not doing this. Instead, they are only copying other companies, which can be limiting factor in how successful they will be. As I read this book considering my own business, I cannot help but wonder how it also applies to my own life. And if I treat my life as a business, do I want to leave its growth and development solely to chance? To evolve is to move from point A to an unknown point B. Even though B may be better than A, is it the B I truly want?

Photo by Marissa Grootes on Unsplash

What is the better solution? Creation. Creation is a plan. It is visualizing the point B and then designing a path that gets me there. Nothing is left to chance. Of course, fortune does play a role offering a good turn here or an obstacle there.  Yet, the planned destination remains the same. I improve as I get closer, but this is not evolution. It is a part of the plan. It is a part of the life I am creating.

Our lives are too short  and too precious to leave it to chance. To get to the place we desire, we must plan it and then relentlessly execute it. And maybe along the way the plan gets revised. That’s okay. Create the next iteration. Adapt, adjust, and continue to execute.