Attitude towards change, of slaves and artists

There is a conflict between two competing advisors of the mind.

For one the right here, right now is paramount, the rest is just nice to have things. Getting a regular pay-check, have your insurance up to date —including funeral one— and create minimum conflict at work and in the community is the ideal scenario. Risk is the centre of its universe, and its nudging focus on how to set you up to avoid downsides, and for the truly wise ones, to profit from upsides. His advice is about coping with being a slave of the conditions as they are. Adapt, no need to question, just mold yourself to what the situation asks from you. If it goes wrong and you don’t feel you can be yourself, you chose the wrong situation to be in. Is not that something could be wrong and may be unethical, unfair, or just simply inefficient. Not of you to question, move on, hit the next button, where your chances will be better to blend and keep a low profile. In the end all it matters is to preserve the security of your business, your job, your image.

For the other one, right here right now is useless and misguide what you can change out of current conditions. Extraordinary things are triggered by the most ordinary of people in belief they can make change happen. Every minute is an opportunity, and the more you get to take risks and change things for the better the more life is worth living. Just complying to rules like a good citizen, neighbour, employee —without looking critically at them— is missing an opportunity to improve them. Perpetuating current issues, by not doing anything about them is a very dull life disguised in a comfortable costume. His advice is about seeing risks as an opportunity to transcend and leave something of value behind. If you can have a worldwide impact, or even at community one, that people would talk and write about for years to come after you are gone, then your time was used the best way. Hiding from risks and keeping a low profile, is unacceptable. Life needs to be tackled head on and eternity is only reserved to the artists, the crazy ones, the rebels deemed not to be understood by most in their lifetime.

In the mind, there is no balance between these two. The not liking risk guy is always more prevalent, and the other one is only advisor of a few.

There is a strong natural component on how our minds treat situations of uncertainty and change. In one hand the species need to follow a determined path, followed by many before. Anything straining from that path is a possible threat to collective survival, so is treated with contempt, and many times even punishment. However, when only keeping things in check as they are, the race loses its capability for adaptation. The solution? A few individuals are randomly chosen by nature to be the guinea pigs. They see uncertainty in a radically different way —almost opposite— to the rest of the race. Their minds are balanced towards embracing risks and promoting change, they don’t see the blind alleys and cliffs where they will surely fall. And, many do, most of them actually. As guinea pigs they pay the ultimate price for experimenting on how to better adapt our kind to change. But, a few succeed, and they are the ones that open the doors wide open to many more that follow them. The race is improved, and the sacrifice of the one left behind with no glory and no mention in history, is worthwhile. The collective only remembers the ones succeeding, puts them in a pedestal, and continues with its business of keeping everybody in check to the new reality. Until, somebody else breaks it again.

So, when questioning your attitude to change, remember that the mind might have already a chosen preference. It will bring forward the rosiest aspect of an endeavour, and only the positive possible outcomes — purposely not remembering anything negative. So, you are convinced to take the risks, and wonder why nobody else had seen what you are seeing. And on the opposite, will bring so much fear and doubt, and all kinds of facts and memories to make you stop and reconsider taking any hazard. Or just to take you back to the path everybody else is taking.

For the ones that understand this dynamic —in their own mind— the only way to go about it, is by bringing someone else point of view and try to balance your natural inclinations. A friend, family, mentor, or just a sounding board is really useful if you know that their thinking processed the same facts, uncertainty, and change in a different angle compared to you. Only through social experience the mind balance reality and checks whether it truly has provided the best advice. In the end is all a personal decision. Your inclinations, fears and attitudes will play the biggest part.

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