The reasonable man adapts himself to the world, the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. (George Bernard Shaw)
Did you consciously notice the reactions of the people around you when you have started or about to start something new? In that very deep moment when you are so convinced, passionate about doing the “right thing”? That’s when most people around us get in high alert. Why do you want to learn another language? Why are you following that new health regime? How could you quit your old job? Why must your charity work be on game night?
The list is endless. Whenever we follow our calling or we try to break the norm somebody, and sadly very often the closest family members, try to convince us to stop. Their actions can be manifold. Mostly, they try to talk us out of it using rational, lots of rational. Too big, too far away, too expensive, not working, no market, not smart enough, too fat, too weak, no talent, too time consuming, too risky, unhealthy etc. Other times they get sick or they threaten us unconsciously with deprivation of love and friendship. They blame us for being “different”, not being the person who we were.
Where does this come from? How come we often not support others, or being jealous?
Ancient History is still shaping us today
The answers lie in our ancient history. For millions of years we were part of a tribe. Within the tribe was a strict hierarchical order. We knew were we had been in the order and what our task was. Breaking the tribe rules meant either punishment, repudiation or eviction from the tribe which meant mostly death. With modernity (starting with the ancient Greeks) things are different. We understand us as individuals, individuals with freedom, our own will. We started asking fundamental questions: Who am I? What am I doing here? Where do I go?
However, our wiring of tribal structures is so much more deeply manifested into our genes that we easily know how to be part of the tribe but very often struggle to be alone. Remember being alone, meant death.
Go and express your genius into the world
Hence, whenever we start something we are deeply convinced about, other “tribe members” try to hold us back as long as we don’t conform with their tribe rules. Further, doing something outside the tribe rules
threatens the position of the one’s above us in rank. In the modern world it means we do something they never had the guts to do as they are all too happy in their own comfort zone and they don’t want us to be happier and satisfied, smarter or simple having a six-pack. Our actions mirror to them their own disability, their unwillingness for change so with all the force they have, they try to sabotage our plans.
I would want to inspire you to be curious and courageous and listen to that inner voice or calling when you want to try something new. On the other side of our fears we will find our biggest chances for growth and fulfilment. Go and express your genius into the world!