Why The Witty Lizard?
There is a condition in all of us referred to as the lizard brain that is responsible rampant disharmony in our existence. Here is a humorous and informative YouTube video based on the concepts presented by Seth Godin in his book Linchpin.
What is the Lizard Brain?
The lizard brain is the thing that tells us to do all the things that kept us alive for a millennium, the 5 F’s if you like: feed, fear, fuck, and feel good. The basic primeval responses to, well, everything. But mostly fear. When we were cavemen, we had to exercise caution. Chasing that 5000 lbs mammoth is probably not a great idea, he is big strong and mean, we might die. Although, if we don’t eat, we WILL die. Herein lies the contradiction.
We really want, even need to partake in 4 of the 5 F’s and we want to do it right the fuck now! Unfortunately, fear invariably fouls things up. We are afraid of pain. We are afraid of what other people think about us. We are afraid to eat something because we might not like it. Here lies an interesting phenomenon about the lizard, memory. Remember the lizard is only concerned with keeping us alive and happy. Everything that we experience is recorded somewhere deep inside the lizard brain, both good and bad. We want to repeat the good and eliminate the bad. Any animal can be conditioned to avoid the bad and find the good. Pavlov and his dog, mice in a maze, cattle at feeding time, these are all examples of the lizard brain at work. Thus fear is the number one motivating factor in any animals life, including humans.
Fear keeps us from giving in to all of those base desires. Taken by itself, that is a great thing, otherwise we may not have ever made it this far. But part of human nature is aggression and impulsiveness, you know those other F’s. The emotional response to any and all situations. These are actions that tend to fall outside of societal norms. The aggressor is thought of as the bad guy in most circles. Society has deemed impulsiveness to be a treatable medical condition. Humans want to fit in so the lizard brain throws fear at us, and in the modern world, acceptance is most people’s biggest fear.
Should we be careful or should we be aggressive? Should we be impulsive or rational? Is the best path to give into fear and tread lightly or should we throw caution to the wind and embrace our primeval side? That is truly a question each individual has to answer for themselves.
I have been referred to my whole life as a loud, obnoxious, boorish, overbearing ass. Basically all of the traits that society deems unacceptable but probably would have placed me at the top of the food chain 10,000 years ago. It bears mentioning that it is in fact 2012 not the stone age. Therefor, there must be some temperance applied to this battle.
For me, this is a battle between what society wants from us and what makes us great. Those things are at odds these days in ever-increasing fashion. Not to say however, that I want to live outside of society, removed from the world for the sake of my principles. Quite the contrary. I want to excel in society by not being afraid.
I want to seek adventure and truth without fear. I don’t want to work and have meetings because society says we should. I don’t want to fear my boss coming down on me for running up the score because it looks bad. I want to run it up because I am creative and bold and not afraid to attack. I’m tired of living in a box created by society. I want to explore new ideas, be aggressive, be impulsive, be spontaneous and not worry about what other people think.
Fear has been crippling the human race for eons. Occasionally, great men come along and jump out of the box. So that is my plan. I may not change the world but I damn sure am going to change my little piece of it.
Fuck fear. Embrace the base desires inherent in the human psyche. Think outside of the box and change your destiny.
I decided to call this blog the Witty Lizard to remind me to throw fear aside and fight the lizard. It is also to remind me to laugh at myself and not take life to seriously, we are just here for a short time, let’s have some fun while we can.