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You Only Believe In What You Want To

We, humans, are wired to be lazy. There might be a lot of reasons for this - immediate gratification, inability to calculate the opportunity cost or even the ignorance of what to do next. This makes sense too because it reflects our survival instinct. Except for the food that is required for our survival, most things do not come across as important to our brain. We would choose a path with minimal efforts and least resistance to achieve a goal.

Well, why would you take the stairs when you can just take the elevator even though you don't exercise, right? But this is also the very reason why 99% of the population is not as successful as the elite 1%.

Change is difficult

One of the biggest implication that this laziness brings in, is our laziness to change. Change means a different approach, a contradiction to something that is already in an okay-ish (acceptable) state. So by our survival instinct and want for an instant gratification, change would not appear to be so necessary even though someone else's or your own life might actually depend on it.

The case of Doctor Semmelweis

The story is set in the 1840s. Dr Semmelweis, the pioneer of antiseptic procedures, came across the high mortality rate of women post their childbirth. After a lot of tries, he was finally able to pinpoint the reason for such high deaths to "doctors not washing their hands".

Semmelweis had solved a life-saving problem but little did he know that this wasn't enough. To the other doctors, this came out as too offensive because this would mean it was their fault all this while. Soon the other doctors gave up Semmelweis' practice of using chlorine for disinfection. Semmelweis eventually lost his job and died of the same disease he found the prevention for.

The fact discovered by one man was suppressed by the beliefs of others. The belief so strong and dangerous, that it took away the man's life. Such is the power of bias and beliefs.

Yet your Want is different than Belief

You believe losing weight is difficult yet you want to look slim. You believe mastering a skill is difficult yet you want to be best in the world for the skill. You believe starting a company is difficult yet you want to be an entrepreneur. You believe the world is a bitter place yet you want to live in a sweet one.

When you decouple your wants with the belief and think of them individually, just like a dream or aspiration, you happen to be mostly right. Most of us aspire to make the world a better place. So just choose the want and modify your beliefs accordingly, because more often than not, you are wanting the right thing and your beliefs might be holding you back.

Our survival instincts might have helped us survive a thousand years ago but not all of them make sense today. One can still die of loneliness and depression while being provided with the most delicious food. We should understand and think past the shortcomings of these instincts. Sometimes it makes perfect sense to take the risk instead.

In today's world, at all the pyramid levels of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, there are some risks associated and you are already taking some.
For food, you will need money from a job where you might get fired.
For feeling secure, you might need to make the members of your organisation feel secure by having their back when they can backstab you.
For love, you might love selflessly enough to not be aware that you might get cheated.
For success, you might want to risk whatever resources you might be left with.
So optimise your risks and follow Mark Zuckerberg's words -

In a world that's changing so quickly, the biggest risk you can take is taking no risk at all.

"Why take risks?", you ask. Risks taken correspond to your wisdom and experiences.

"Why experience experiences?", you ask. Your beliefs are a mere reflection of your experiences.
And your experiences will determine how strongly you will pursue your wants.

Summary

Laziness will get you to a state where it becomes more difficult to accept a change, a necessary change that could broaden your views and improve your life. You must understand that there is a scope for everything.

Let yourself out there and take risks to find out if your beliefs are worth believing. All your failures anyway count as stepping-stones to your success.

PS - you could read more about Dr Semmelweis' story here.

Umang Ganvir

Umang Ganvir

Techie. Javascript Evangelist. Passionate Learner. Talks about Motivation and Value Creation.

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