“Understanding others is knowledge; Understanding oneself is enlightenment.” 

The quote above is from the Tao de Ching, a favorite book of mine supposedly written by Lao Tzu. The skepticism is because Lao Tzu translates to “Old Master,” which is quite a convenient name for the author of a book of wisdom, don’t you agree? Some scholars of the Tao instead think it is more likely a book of ancient teachings — like this quote — collected from the oral tradition. Which, oddly, brings us back around to me.

I’m not an Old Master… nor will I try to play one on the internet. Sadly, I’m not a young one either! I’m just a guy who has self-experimented on his own mind, life and soul for a long time. Long enough, in fact, that it’s led to a framework of evolving self-discovery which I call Evolve Faster. If interested, you can learn more about why I chose this metaphor, which is also discussed in the first episode of the podcast.

Evolve Faster is my laboratory to write and think about ideas in an attempt to learn to be a better human…which can be surprisingly difficult! But with a series of minor mindset shifts, it doesn’t have to be so hard. I’ve been experimenting with these ideas on a daily basis for over a decade and did a TEDx talk about one narrow aspect of it in 2015. I’m sharing the platform in the hope that learning from my many mistakes might make someone else’s evolution go a little faster.

Since completing engineering/business graduate school at Northwestern in 1999, I’ve been in nonstop evolution as a writer, creative, startup, traveler and thinker. Creating this framework to Evolve Faster is a work-in-progress and I won’t always get it right. My focus is the revolutions, thinkers and startups whose big ideas have changed (or could change) everything. And my goal is to take creative risks to make art that sits at the somewhat unorthodox intersections of fiction and nonfiction, science and spirituality, philosophy and psychology.

Only better ideas and deeper questions can upgrade our collective human nature. But this movement is really about a philosophy of personal (r)evolution. The Evolve Faster platform hopes to inspire you to rethink the way you use your mind, live your life and explore your soul (for lack of a better word). Because by knowing yourself better, you can have a shot at some of that enlightenment the Old Master was talking about.

Scott Ely
Creator of the Evolve Faster platform
Kyoto, Japan, December 2017