"Reptilian brain be damned, let’s eat those poisonous berries."
-Debbie Millman, host of Design Matters podcast
Anything worthwhile, any project worth doing has an outcome that can’t be predicted.
My brain doesn’t like that. And if you’re human, neither does yours. We humans are pre-wired to feel vulnerable around risk and change. When we move towards something new or unpredictable, a little voice in our head warns us off.
Be safe. Stay with what’s known.
And if our brains don’t stop us, there’s our minds to contend with, our psychology— a parent’s voice chiming in to fuel our resistance, be careful honey and don’t forget your sweater, or conversely, dropping us into the pool headfirst so we can learn to swim whether we like it or not. If your anything like me, blink your eyes and the voice morphs into a monster—why bother, others do it better anyway?
Our instinct to avoid risk served an evolutionary purpose. Where would we be if early hominids hadn’t been instinctually warned from wrestling lions or ingesting poison plants? Thanks to an almond shaped lump near the brain stem, we survived. Shout out to my amygdala, for making me fight and flee and freeze and feel. Without you, life would be devoid of joy and sorrow. But please, dear reptile brain, allow me to discern when danger is for real, or when it’s just in my head.
Constant exposure to danger, stress and trauma is not good for any human. How do we even begin to mend the psyches in Gaza or Ferguson?
"How can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down?"
I am one of the privileged few who can choose what risks to take. Can you? And if you can, which do you choose? Do you wait until you’re smart enough or tough enough or rich enough? Will you ever be prepared or ready enough to do the thing you have been waiting to do?
Take a risk. You’ll never feel ready.
If you’re reading this, I did. I launched this blog—in the grand scheme, the tiniest risk. But one I had to take. My comfort zone got perilous.
Welcome! I’m really glad we’re here.
We’ll explore a range of juicy topics related to personal and professional development, collaborative teamwork, leadership, and power. I get lit up about art, design, marketing, creativity and sex. And I’m passionate about relationship and connections: between visible and unseen worlds, between dreaming and doing, between art and business, between people and their environment, and especially between us. I hope you’ll add a perspective or give a holler.