Being unconquerable lies within yourself.
The guys @ThinkTank_ asked me for some blogging tips a few days ago and I posted some unconventional blogging advice at BM that I’m sure will rattle some cages. One of the actions steps at that I recommend at the end of the post is to ‘declare war on yourself’, or more commonly known as challenge your assumptions.
Assumptions are the shortcuts, rules of thumb, conventional wisdom, common sense, stuff we take for granted, ordinary thinking that as humans we use to get through daily life, which work for awhile, but they soon become stale truths, like weights holding us back from new ways of seeing, thinking and behaving.
Assumptions get us stuck in a never ending loop of repetition, and you know that leads to more of the same.
There are many ways to battle our conforming mind which are discussed on thousands of creativity books and all follow the same recipe that goes like this: Write a list of the things you believe to be true like ‘all restaurants have menus’ and reverse it and imagine how that would work.
Turn off autopilot
That’s easy once you develop the habit of questioning but I also propose you learn exactly what human biases we have (irrational behavior), become aware of them and then act outside of them. In essence make them irrelevant to you. This isn’t easy for sure, it requires a high degree of self awareness and courage because it can get you into trouble but in the long run you’ll look at everything with new eyes. It’s hard work but you develop a free thinking, childlike, fluid mind and in times of change where everything is unpredictable a fixed mind won’t transcend.
Break mechanical thinking
Become aware of the weaknesses that take hold of your mind and identify one or two of the biases that have held you back in some situation and attack them by doing the opposite of what you’ve done before. I repeat, it will be uncomfortable at first but as you keep doing it your thinking will become much more fluid.
The key is to become aware of them when you’re going to make a decision in a certain situation.
I believe that there are no rules, they’re in our heads and make us believe the world should work in certain way and we take it as gospel. Unless it’s a law of physics like needing oxygen to breathe the rules are up to us to create and we can engineer better ways of thinking and of behaving.
Bottom line is if we really want to have new thoughts, new ideas, new angles, new perspectives for better products, services, economies, institutions and organizations we have to start with us and declare war on our own minds because that’s our biggest enemy, it controls our thoughts and behaviors.