“Fear is just a princess tied to a rock.” – A.I.-Generated Inspirational Quote
Instinct is vital to all animals.
We’re the world’s numero uno apex predator, but we don’t hide behind bushes stalking prey (R.I.P. Steve Irwin), we chase insights and ideas – new ways by which we can anatomise our respective fields.
If you’re in economics, engineering, design, law, door-to-door sales, or telemarketing, your job is the same: use your learned and given aptitudes to surpass your rivals.
This isn’t one of those facile ‘beat your competitors’ consultations, though, because those do not help. Does anyone really not know that they need to work hard or be ruthless to succeed? We’ve all seen Glengarry, Glen Ross (and if you haven’t, do – there are few better depictions of the living, breathing Capitalist dream).
This brand of predatory neoliberal individualism should have went out with fax machines and Huey Lewis and the News.
If people still want to work this way (I’m looking at YOU, middle-aged men trying desperately to relive teenage dreams of social, sexual, and financial dominion over others) then that’s fine. You can keep banging your head against that same wall, just don’t blame the wall.
In the 21st century, it’s about pulling together. It’s about knowing that you can’t succeed if everyone around you fails – and this is where instinct comes into play.
More importantly, realistic self-assessment.
In the simplest terms, the people who are blind of their faults don’t know what they need in a creative partner – they don’t know which weak spots to bolster. Your profession may not require specified working partnerships, but you’ll be in a team, or you’ll have someone you bounce ideas off. Even sprinters often run relays.
If you can sense who you are in relation to the people around you – how they see you, how they think you see yourself – nothing will ever be a surprise. People are predictable when you start to trust your instincts. This isn’t spiritual or emotional advice, this is neuroscience (by which, I mean the pseudoscience I’ve picked up from Buzzfeed and Cracked).
What you call ‘instinct’ or ‘nature’ is actually tens of thousands of minute, hairtrigger calculations which surmise for you, in an instant, notions which would take the literal levels of your conscience days to grasp.
All of your ancestors toiled through the world’s incessant bullshit to grant you these ‘natural’ insights, so don’t ignore them.
This doesn’t mean that you’re right to hate everyone you see, because it counts doubly for yourself. And if you go over yourself with a fine-toothed comb – as you do others – you’ll find yourself a little bit more understanding. Or you’ll hate yourself.
Both are fine.
Ditch your ‘shark’ mentality, and be a dolphin: they communicate, and are sexier.
Peas, DP x