June 20, 2010
Seth Godin wrote an excellent blog post a couple of months ago, entitled “Expose yourself…”. The post discusses how you affect your future by exposing yourself to different phenomena. “Expose yourself to anger and you might get angry too. Expose yourself to people making smart decisions and you’ll probably learn how to do it as well.”
The point is that culture, behaviour, beliefs, language and knowledge are reinforced by exposure to itself. These are self-fulfilling phenomena that can be made to happen by making sure they happen around you … often. A culture doesn’t just become, it becomes a culture after happening repeatedly. Beliefs are made stronger by continous exposure to positive reinforcement. Knowledge comes from experiencing the matter and it becomes deeper by repeated experience. Behaviours will happen when you make them habits, the more you do something today the more likely it is that you’ll be doing the same thing tomorrow as well.
So if you want something to happen you can always better your odds by exposing yourself to it.
- If you’re a manager who wants to cultivate a culture of success, expose your team to repeated success.
- If you’re a parent who wants your children to have a rich language, expose your kids to all aspects of your language.
- If you want a deeper knowledge in a certain subject, expose yourself to the subject.
BUT … don’t forget to expose yourself to the rest of the world as well.
- Expose yourself to what scares you and you might learn enough about it to not be frightened anymore.
- Expose yourself to others beliefs and you will understand what makes them tick and that in turn might change your own beliefs.
- Expose yourself to other cultures, they might reinforce your belief in your own culture, or they might open your eyes up to something entirely new.
In short, expose yourself to the world but make sure that you expose yourself more to the things you WANT. If you believe that you are born with a free will, then this is your chance to make your free will heard even louder over the noise of things that you can’t do anything about. Make sure that you get your daily dose of decent exposure.