We live in a Russian roulette reality. There’s no shortage of crises that can end humanity, yet, we keep dodging the bullet. Clearly, the biggest crisis right now is the war in Ukraine. We don’t know what Russia is going to do next and what consequences Russia’s actions are going to have for the world. One thing is clear: The new-normal world is as unpredictable as ever. Buying bunkers and listening to survivalists doesn’t raise eyebrows anymore.

While soldiers are bravely battling the enemy on the frontlines, it doesn’t mean the rest of us are safe away from the frontlines. The rest of us are in a cognitive war, whether we like it or not. Our minds are targeted by Russia on many levels. The Russian objective is to make Westerners so fed up with the war that they are going to demand their governments negotiate with Russia. The European energy crisis is the latest example of Russian blackmail, of course. Sadly, hitting the energy sector always works.

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Winning the mind war is only possible when your mind breaks the propaganda spell and sees through Russian lies. Critical thinking skills in the West are in short supply these days. You’ll find useful idiots (opportunists, or both) on YouTube and other platforms, praising Russia and justifying its genocidal actions.

Then, there are the armchair generals. Have you noticed how millions of people on social media have turned into armchair generals? People with no combat experience criticize professional armies. Worse yet, armchair generals keep coming up with their sure-fire ways to defeat Russia! I wonder what General George Patton would have thought of all these wannabe warriors. I mention General Patton because he understood Russia. He is rumored to have said: ‘’The Russian has no regard for human life and is an all-out son-of-a-bitch, barbarian, and chronic drunk.” Harsh words or are they? You be the judge.

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Everyone has an opinion these days, on any topic. Everyone wants to sell you their belief system. Influencers give us unsolicited advice, commercials and memes make us laugh. Celebrities are at the center of our lives. There’s nothing wrong with celebrities, as long as they have a skill worth celebrating. In the civilized world, there’s debate, freedom of speech. This is what we’re fighting for today. The kind of freedom billions of people around the world can’t even imagine because their language doesn’t have a word for freedom.

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We complain about celebrities, yet, we can’t live without them. It’s as if we’re trying to justify our obsessions by denying they exist. Love it or hate it, the celebrity culture is here to stay. It impacts your life even when you don’t own a smartphone. You can’t completely ignore popular culture – it’s everywhere. Don’t fight it – be Machiavellian. In other words, if you can’t beat them join them. Use popular culture to your advantage.

There are two levels of fame in our pop-culture-driven world. Level one is being famous for fifteen minutes. That’s where you’ll find most influencers. They’ll be forgotten, swept away by another tide of wannabe celebrities willing to do even more stupidly daring things.

Level two is an elite club of household names. Volodymyr Zelensky is a household name. Look at the confluence of factors that came together to make it happen. Turning into a household name is only possible if you can capture global attention for a prolonged period of time. Volodymyr Zelensky does that brilliantly. Hate him or love him, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who’s indifferent toward him. Everyone knows his name. Mission accomplished.

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What are you doing to make your voice heard? How do you contribute to the war of ideas? I recommend investing your time and effort in writing articles.

Let’s use the SWOT analysis to see how you can benefit from writing articles. S stands for strength. What’s your area of expertise? Share your expertise with the world, turn into a household name. No need for perfectionism in writing, just let the words flow. W stands for weaknesses. Okay, that’s obvious. You haven’t written your first article yet. You need to gain experience. O stands for opportunities. Exposure is a great opportunity. You’ll be reaching people from all walks of life. T stands for threats. I can only think of a regime targeting you but it’s highly unlikely.

Writing articles is a great way to grow as a person and a much better use of your time than arguing with your cantankerous cousin at the dinner table. Don’t engage in pointless debates. Save your verbal ammunition. Exchange ideas with people who matter.

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Envy, the green-eyed monster, may make people laugh at your writing attempts, even calling it a waste of time. If your social circle is like that, keep your writing plans to yourself. Reach out to people who are on the same mission as you: fighting for freedom.

Cut contact with small-minded, envious people who aren’t going to write a single article in their life. They can’t stand your writing success. You’re a soldier who uses words instead of bullets. Bullets kill the enemy, your task is to influence the enemy’s mind. Bullets and words are vital in the war. They complement each other. Heed my clarion call and join the writers’ army, soldier. Let’s show Russia we’re just as capable of waging mind wars.

Not to mention that writing is going to have a positive impact on your mental health.

Be realistic, humble (not too humble!) and patient. Don’t expect to be called by Volodymyr Zelensky after having your article published in the Kyiv Post. Then again, you never know who reads your articles. The majority of people who read your articles will never contact you but it doesn’t mean your ideas have no impact. Quite the opposite!

To get inspired, play around with absurd ideas. For example, imagine yourself as the first female POTUS in some other dimension. Or a knight in shining armor in one of the popular TV series. The more absurd the idea, the better. The brain loves mental contortionism. Imagine all your neurons firing up, feasting on your imagination, flooding your mind with article ideas.

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Speaking of mental contortionism, it doesn’t get more absurd than the Russian conviction that they are the good guys. Just like Islamic extremists who wholeheartedly believe they are going to paradise after death, the Russians think they are going to heaven for killing the so-called Ukronazis. Oh, how wrong they are. I’m sure the thousands of z-fighters have already found out the demons in hell aren’t easy to denazify.

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