15 Jan

"That is not because the world is complicated, it's because you are making the world complicated..."

Kishimi, I., & Koga, F. (2017). The courage to be disliked: The Japanese phenomenon that shows you how to change your life and achieve real happiness. Allen & Unwin .

 THE MEAT (The Main Idea)

This quote comes from a book titled, The Courage To Be Disliked. It is a novel of the philosophical teachings of Alfred Adler. Out of Adler's concepts emerges a possibly liberating idea that we hold the power to shape our lives. In essence, the foundational core of the quote is that the world is neutral. It's a canvas in which we paint meaning through our own perspectives, personal beliefs, and experiences. 

The philosophy suggests our interpretations of reality, the lenses through which we view the world, are entirely of our own making. Put simply, the world is a blank slate, and we, as interpreters and meaning-makers, are the artists who give depth and texture to the painting. We choose the complexity or simplicity of what happens around us and the meaning we assign

THE CHEESE (Added Depth) 

Now, let's apply this concept to leadership. In organizations, information often starts at the top and trickles down, but as it does, the message manages to change. Leaders, being at the top of organizations, have the power to interpret and apply meaning to the message. It's called message management, revealing the significant influence leaders have. Leaders are not just conveyers of the message but become storytellers crafting narratives that can either emphasize urgency or downplay challenges. 

This is a reminder to those imparted with the responsibility to deliver the message- you're entrusted with the task of painting the organizational story. Communication and leadership courses teach you to be clear, concise, and compelling, but I urge you, above all else to be honest. Recognize that the complexity of the message is in your hands. As the messenger, understand the weight of your role. The meaning you make, and the story you tell has the potential to influence how your team perceives and responds.

THE OLIVES (A Surprising Element) 

Now, let's take a twist from the philosophical into the scientific. Andrew Huberman, a distinguished neuroscientist and tenured professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, sat down with Tim Ferris to discuss his work on the intricate dynamics of vision. As we reflect, a connection emerges between our quote and Huberman's research on vision- the realization that none of us truly inhabits an objective world. Everything is shaped by our unique perceptions of the subjective landscape.  

Huberman unravels the complexity of our visual system and explains how the role of our eyes goes beyond the pure act of seeing. Our eyes are not passive observers of the world but act as a dynamic communicator with our brain. Light comes into our eyes and communicates whether it's light out - day, or dark out- night; orchestrating our circadian rhythms and influencing our internal state. The eyes play a pivotal role in the intricate dance with our brain, adjusting our aperture (the space through which light passes) and in return modulating our stress levels. When our eyes are in a focused panoramic view, this signals relaxation because dilated vision heightens alertness. This connection to the philosophical and scientific world illustrates how we see the world and shape the messages sent to our brains about our surroundings. 

Let's provide a familiar phenomenon to this interplay between science and philosophy. Do you recall the infamous gold/white-black/blue dress that split the internet? 

Personally, I can only see gold and white, yet others vehemently argue the dress is black and blue. The shared experience of looking at the same picture and seeing two different realities still has me scratching my head. In the context of Alder, Kishimi, Koga, and Huberman's insights, the question arises- is it a matter of simplicity or perhaps complexity? The gold/blue dress debate unfolds as a vivid exhibit of the intricate complexities ingrained in our perception. It becomes a reminder that the world we see is as diverse as the many neural pathways that interpret it, each offering a unique reality. 

So as you step into your next conversation, with your subjective world viewed through your unique lenses, I invite you to enter with a tad bit more understanding and an extra sprinkle of curiosity. Acknowledge that the meaning others make of this world is as valid and intricate as your own. 

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