Delusion Subscription

Day 358 Week 52 Q4  Saturday, December 24, 2022

As a creative outlier, I assume some of my ideas do not make sense. I also know from experience, that unless sufficient effort is invested, those insights do not manifest into fruition. Change takes a significant investment of energy. This means you have to subscribe to your thoughts and sometimes re-up to the subscription before the manifestation has occurred. This renewal of commitment can seem delusional to those unaccustomed to the manifestation process. After all, most of the subscribers to a consensus delusion they feel to be lower risk because of shared numbers of subscribers. I mean so many people can not be wrong can they?

History shows us that the majority lags behind the minority for a considerable time. In fact, there is a common phrase in the technology community where I spend much of my life. This phrase describes the people who end up validating our new everything. They are called early adopters. The population of risk-averse, frightened of change, people are clearly not early adopters. The crazies at the edge of things, dare to think that a new idea like a cell phone or an electric car might turn out to be valid.  

Late adopters tease early adopters about being delusional, and of course, they are right. But which delusion do you want to subscribe to? The one that says everything is fine and that no change is needed, or the one that says tomorrow is on the way, today? Neither is accurate. Early adopters suffer a great deal of disappointment because the new products, processes and procedures they adopt generally have issues. They do not work as well as you were told. The complete set of features has not yet been debugged or integrated. 

But if you are to be a creative outlier, then you probably do have one or more delusion subscriptions that come up for renewal periodically. And there are always the questions, am I throwing good money after bad, or good energy after wasted energy, and is it time to quit this delusion subscription?  

Have you ever invented anything? Have you ever started a company? Have you ever built a team? Have you ever done something everyone said was never going to work? These are commonplace activities for creative outliers on their way to becoming innovators. And yes, we who create tomorrow do subscribe to delusions. And we have to, for if we do not, then the imagined tomorrow never comes. If you do not defend the integrity of your ideas and champion your insights, then they will never see the light of day.

Are you delusional? Sure, until you are brilliant. You say the same thing for five years and get decreasing amounts of acceptance until the moment you deliver the goods, and people say “why didn’t you tell me what you were up to?” But it is not until the item is manifest that it is possible to be proven to have been correct.

Indeed, the world is not changed by reasonable individuals. If you are reasonable you accept the reality in front of you and say that is the way things are. And you are right. That is the way things are SO FAR!

But that is not how things have to be, or should be, or can be, or even have to be. So yes if you ever want to be an innovator, you are going to have some delusion subscriptions, but you can comfort yourself that the late adopters are equally delusional for the world has already changed, and they did not notice until some time later.

Who is subscribing to delusion? We all are. But once you have trusted yourself and brought about change it is hard to let go of the intoxicating knowledge that you have caused a change. 

This does not mean you should mindlessly renew your delusion subscriptions. You still have to validate your insights with evidence. And that evidence can not all be internal. You can not validate ideas that are never exposed to the outside world. That is truly delusional. 

But remember, it takes time to get anywhere, and you will undoubtedly have to renew delusion subscriptions from time to time as your work transforms your insight into a reality.

But what is the choice? To be a denier of progress, change, insight and invention? Well, it depends on whether you have been gathering any evidence that you are not nuts. Sometimes we are wrong, and sometimes we are right, but until you put forth the effort to try to bring something new along to the point where it can be tested, you can not know which.

Well, the end of the year is fit approaching at the end of December, and I find that some delusion subscriptions require renewal or adjustment before renewal, which is why I have to remind myself not to disqualify works in progress before they are able to be tested. You have to ask questions that can be answered in the affirmative. If there is no prototype or demo or sample or example, how can you tell if you are subscribing to a delusion or not? 

Guess I need to renew my subscription once again to find out who is more deluded, the yesterday people over the tomorrow people? But if history is any predictor of behavior, I know as an involuntary innovator which delusion I would like to subscribe to. Because there are possible upsides and downsides to everything we do, and I find it impossible to tell in advance of manifesting which outweighs the others but I prefer to cling to the delusion that I can make a positive difference and if that makes me naive, than so be it.

I would rather run toward exciting new possibilities and possibly fail than wring my hands and keep looking over my shoulder at everything that is wrong.

Renew that positive delusion subscription, and go get some evidence to guide you forward as you iterate toward creating tomorrow.