Be a Pioneer

January 31, 2024 (1mo ago)

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2 minutes read

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There's a personality trait I like to see in people but rarely find it. I have been calling it "being a pioneer", for lack of a better term.

A person who is one of the first to do something.

I'm not referring to people who discover new things. Those are the great pioneers, the ones who advance humanity. Concretely, I'm talking about those who advance their immediate circles. Those who decide to try new things, challenging their pre-established assumptions, committing to expanding themselves into new perspectives. They might not be the first ones to do it, but they do choose to follow, even though, in the eyes of many others, they are irrational for trying.

I'd argue that this trait makes you a better person, though I recognize that being a pioneer is not without its risks and challenges. It's important to approach new adventures with a balance of enthusiasm and caution, understanding that failure and setbacks are part of the journey. Pioneering should also be inclusive, respecting traditions and the wisdom of others, and acknowledging that only some have the same access to resources or risk tolerance.

  • Trying new things can indeed be risky, but unless it's such a high-risk thing that it is irrational to do it (and even in that case, it is still sometimes ok to do it, since risk is relative), you are better off after because you can objectively choose which is preferable to you: Doing the new thing or not doing it. The ability to choose based on your own experience > choosing based on the experience of others.
  • After trying something new, some things get easier. Say you wanted to customize your blog to your liking. Well, learning how to program for the web makes that easier. Which, in turn, gets more manageable if you know how to program in general. However, it's important to remember that pioneering isn't just about relentless change; it's also about understanding when to embrace stability and the tried and true.
  • You can improve your surroundings. Once you've tried something new, you can tell/show/teach others how to do it. You've been the pioneer, so others don't have to.

One aspect that is tricky about all this is that you have to be willing to leave judgment aside, or else you'll try the new thing with a closed mind and immediately fall back to not doing it ever again. You have to be as objective as possible, while also being mindful of the impacts of your actions on yourself and others.

I'd be more than glad if this article pushed you at least a little bit to try new things. So yeah, be a pioneer.