General thinking of the masses

We assign meaning to things that are not there, assort everything into categories and let fear and emotions drive us to make irrational decisions.

But really, things are more random than we like to admit. We are in constant motion and sometimes things (people) crash into each other. For no other reason whatsoever, except, that we operate in a world with other people.

Categories help us make sense of the world by connecting this new experience to our history. And then, we file it with other similar occurrences. The rest of it, the part we can’t make sense of, the part that doesn’t resonate with our worldview is tossed out in the cold.

Much of our decision-making is traced back to fear. It is fear that drives us to misbehave and to make irrational decision. Fear is the root of why we are stuck. We pick projects that have a high chance of success because failure means that this didn’t work. If this project doesn’t work then we might be fired. Then what? Start over? How am I going to pay my mortgage? How are we going to survive? Nope, better to stick with proven methods to what is sure to work, be average, be predictable and worst of all be nobody.

There is an alternative…

You can be the one who stands on the edge of something of great and daring and decides to leap. You could light a path for others to follow. You could accept that there will always be more of the world that you don’t know, then what you do know. You can change your mind when something smashes your worldview. You should be someone who embraces tension and messiness that comes with working with people.

You can. You could. You should.

Changing the minds of the masses begins by flipping the lights on for one person at a time.


Your first one-star review

Certainly won’t be your last.

And it is probably going to show up before any five-star reviews.

Because no product, good or service is for everybody. It is, however, for somebody.

If you need something to hang your hat, it is this: You may not have had a success but you can now say you have had a failure.

So the trick is to do it again. Outlast the critic with one more blog post, one more project, one more start-up, until one day it works.

The printing press took years before the idea spread. Why? Because 90% of the population of Europe was illiterate and scribes were fighting to keep their jobs.

When Karl Benz launched the car in Europe, there were no roads, no gas stations and it was against the law to drive. No one got it.

If you are going to be in the arena expect opposition. The greater the change you seek to make, the greater the opposition gets.

What lens/filters we choose

Facebook is very good at polishing the rough edges. We never see the full picture, the whole story of what is actually happening.

We don’t post ten pictures of the line at the airport, the overworked flight attendant, how the service was average, how our bags won’t fit in the overhead storage or the lack of sleep.


Because no one wants to give a thumbs up to someone being malignant.

And so, we post about average stuff, what fits in and, over time, the work is dumb down to please the masses. And, worst of all, we stick to the innocuous, unobjectionable and unexceptionable for cheap affirmations. We talk about what is trending instead of what is important. Somehow we always find time to watch the season finale of Game of Thrones, to post about it, but not enough time to learn a new skill that will help us leap forward.

The thing is, we will never get the reassurance we need online to overcome the challenges we face in the real world.

Have you noticed that looking through the Facebook lens, everyone’s life looks better than yours? Why? Because these programs are designed to make us just unhappy enough, to keep going back.

What’s interesting now is the power of lock in that Facebook has created. If you use Facebook to login to other websites, you have just increased lock in. If you use Facebook to keep track of memories, you just increased lock in. And if you use Facebook to store photographs or for job interviews or the news or to keep tabs with your family, again, lock in.

To move years of memories over to a new platform increases in difficulty the longer we stay with any product.

What’s difficult to accept is that we are no longer customers, instead, we are their products.

Shun non-believers

Understand that there are those who are not ready to hear your message, that won’t appreciate your work or the emotional labor you bring to the table.

That’s fine.

It is not for them.

It is not for everyone.

It is for someone.

No need to dull down your work for the masses. If it’s not for them, it’s not for them.

Work even harder to find your true believers and shun the trolls.

Wanting someone to change is not the same as working with someone wanting to change.

(Another thought about angry customers, critics, trolls: It is perfectly acceptable to take responsibility for creating something that people don’t like. Just as they can take responsibility for not liking them. It’s a choice. Always has been.)