Aliens landed here

10 March 2021

Imagine having a system that is so strong that there is nothing that stands a change competing it. When a system is disruptive and aims in changing the establishment, in some way, it has to be.

This happens in many fields. Technology, health care, philosophy, to name a few. When an innovation is introduced in any of the above fields, usually the first reaction is skepticism. It might take years to be fully adopted since the fruits and the practical benefits of such innovation are not evident at first. And when they are finally adopted is not with some ridicule preceding it.

This separates people into two sides. The ones that are opposed to this “new thing” and the ones that are visionary enough to get over the constant criticism. The first group pretty much forgets or neglects the existence of the second group, not missing an opportunity to belittle their efforts. The second group usually goes in a seemingly silent mode but works in full beast mode under the hood, trying one thing after the other, constantly iterating and improving their innovation.

This budding innovation usually doesn’t tear down what it set out to replace, but it makes itself so good and reliable that the old system has no better option than to silently surrender and follow. It’s more of a slow replacement than a violent break. Of course, this might take years but once the wave reveals itself, it’s no longer a creek but a full-blown tsunami. The players that ignored the innovators simply can’t catch up.

This has happened many times in the past and it’s probably the way it will continue to go. Imagine the first reaction of Apple’s competitors when the first iPhone was introduced to the world. They were so way back behind that they could literally do nothing about it, other than to cry in a fetal position.

Aliens landed here.

Similarly in our own personal development, when trying to fix our flaws or improve ourselves with the adoption of healthy habits, we come across a similar pattern. The power of habit is a powerful thing.

We don’t rip off something we don’t like in ourselves, but we make the new habit strong enough so it can take over till the old one is no longer needed. Many people have talked about the power of habit, that any new take on it sounds repetitive, especially from me.

Similar to the groundbreaking and paralyzing effect — for its competitors — the iPhone had, the same happens when you encounter a person with steel solid habits. This yells at your face even more, if you share the same profession or hobby, where the gains of a habit are towards the same personal goal or objective.

For example, if you play the guitar and you see a great guitar player just killing it, you can almost see the millions of practice hours, the discipline, the proper practice routine, and myriad other details, show in their playing. You both have the same personal goal. You both want to be good at guitar.

Aliens landed here.

Another reason for this resistance is that the innovation doesn’t look sexy or glamorous at first, whereas the current situation, although with its problems, still, somehow cripplingly, works. Better safe than sorry right? Tinkering with a weird idea might seem a waste of time but if it succeeds you are miles ahead. If you are trying different studying approaches and trying to master the basics in music, your guitar playing might sound like dirt and seem like you are wasting your time. But in time you will have a tremendous depth in your field — not guitar specific — while improving your craft in music tenfold.

This applies to business as well when some crazy idea is introduced. This applies in general whenever there is skill and skin in the game involved. It applies to you when you just fall in your old ways, just because they work.

This feeling of ‘aliens landed here’ is either a wake-up call, inspiring you to experiment and innovate or it leads you to self-depreciation and resentment which leads you to do nothing.

Your call.