Lessons in epic awesomeness from the Futurist movement: how bold, flamboyant, zealous over-confidence can win you the crowd you need to be successful

Lessons in epic awesomeness from the Futurist movement: how bold, flamboyant, zealous over-confidence can win you the crowd you need to be successful

The Futurist movement, which began in Italy in the early 20th century, was more than just an artistic endeavor; it was an audacious statement of intent. Its proponents sought not only to disrupt the art world but to challenge society’s very understanding of progress, speed, and modern life. There’s something profoundly instructive in their audacity – their sheer, unbridled enthusiasm and belief in their vision.

One can’t speak about Futurism without referencing the Futurist Manifesto, penned by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti in 1909. The manifesto didn’t just call for a revolution in art, but it encouraged a full-on embrace of modernity and a rejection of the past.

1. The Power of Provocation:

“We intend to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and fearlessness. Courage, audacity, and revolt will be essential elements of our poetry.”

  • Futurist Manifesto

Provocation gets attention. Futurists weren’t shy about their intentions. They wanted to stir things up, disrupt the status quo, and they were open about it. In today’s saturated market, being provocative (while authentic) can differentiate you from the crowd.

2. Embrace Modernity and Look Forward:

“Up to now literature has exalted a pensive immobility, ecstasy, and sleep. We intend to exalt aggressive action, a feverish insomnia, the racer’s stride, the mortal leap, the punch and the slap.”

  • Futurist Manifesto

Futurists believed in progress and innovation. In our rapidly changing world, those who adapt, innovate, and look forward instead of getting stuck in nostalgia, often find success.

3. Believe in Your Own Vision:

“We will destroy the museums, libraries, academies of every kind, will fight moralism, feminism, every opportunistic or utilitarian cowardice.”

  • Futurist Manifesto

Though some of these declarations are controversial, what’s clear is the Futurists’ unwavering belief in their vision. True success often requires you to believe in your path even when faced with detractors.

4. Energy is Contagious:

“We affirm that the world’s magnificence has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed. A racing car whose hood is adorned with great pipes… is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace.”

  • Futurist Manifesto

Zeal and passion can win you followers. The Futurists’ obsession with energy, dynamism, and speed was infectious, drawing many to their cause. Your enthusiasm can similarly inspire others to believe in your vision.

5. Challenge Conventions:

“We want to hymn the man at the wheel, who hurls the lance of his spirit across the Earth, along the circle of its orbit.”

  • Futurist Manifesto

The Futurists loved to challenge conventions, whether in art, culture, or society. Sometimes, thinking outside the box, questioning established norms, and being willing to go against the grain is what makes you stand out.

In Conclusion:

The Futurist movement, with its audacious declarations, controversial views, and zealous belief in the future, offers a lesson in the power of self-belief, vision, and the sheer force of will. While not everything they proclaimed may align with contemporary views, their unwavering confidence and boldness provide inspiration for anyone looking to carve out their unique space in the world.

Embrace your inner Futurist. Harness your passion, believe in your vision, and march forward with flamboyant, zealous over-confidence. In a world full of noise, it might just be the thing that sets you apart.

The Shadow Side of Futurism: A Cautionary Tale

While the Futurists’ fiery enthusiasm and unbridled confidence offer a masterclass in audacity and vision, there’s a darker side to the movement that should be acknowledged. The same fervor that inspired many to see the world in new ways also sowed seeds of fanaticism, violence, and a misplaced faith in the indiscriminate advance of technology.

1. Blind Faith in Technology and Progress:

“We stand on the last promontory of the centuries!… Why should we look back, when what we want is to break down the mysterious doors of the Impossible? Time and Space died yesterday. We already live in the absolute, because we have created eternal, omnipresent speed.”

  • Futurist Manifesto

Such declarations epitomize the Futurists’ unwavering belief in progress, particularly technological. However, such blind faith can lead to unforeseen consequences. The horrors of World War II, in many ways, were facilitated by rapid technological advances without the accompanying ethical considerations. When one champions speed and progress without reflection, the result can be catastrophic.

2. Fanaticism and Violence:

The Futurist movement’s intense energy occasionally spilled over into a glorification of violence and war. Marinetti himself once said, “We will glorify war—the world’s only hygiene—militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for woman.” Such beliefs laid down a dangerous path, aligning with some of the more extremist ideologies that eventually culminated in global conflict.

3. An Overwhelming Wave of Nihilism and Absurdism:

The post-war world saw the devastating consequences of unbridled technological progress and the violent ideologies that sometimes accompanied it. This resulted in an intellectual backlash. The Absurdist movement, for instance, with figures like Albert Camus and Samuel Beckett, emerged as a response to the devastation, questioning the very meaning and purpose of life in a world capable of such destruction.

4. Neglect of the Past:

In their rush to embrace the future, the Futurists often dismissed the past. While innovation requires forward thinking, a complete neglect of history can lead to repeating its mistakes. The wisdom of bygone eras can offer guidance and prevent us from heading down paths once trodden and known to be perilous.

A Balanced Perspective:

While the Futurist movement’s audacity, zeal, and vision provide valuable lessons in self-belief and pushing boundaries, it’s essential to approach their teachings with a balanced perspective. Blind optimism, unchecked by reflection or a sense of history, can lead down treacherous roads.

Success, both in art and in life, requires not only forward momentum but also introspection, a respect for the past, and an ethical compass to guide our way into the future. The Futurists teach us the power of vision and confidence, but their story also serves as a reminder of the need for balance, reflection, and responsibility.