#147 How to Become an Iconoclast

The Science of Breaking Icons

In his great book on the neuroscience of being an Iconoclast, Gregory Berns tells us that there are, essentially, three things that make the iconoclast special.

Here they are.

First, an iconoclast sees the world differently. If we want to create something new and awesome for the world, the first step is to see things differently than everyone else.

And guess what?

If we’re constantly responding to every single push notification and latest breaking news without any Deep Work time blocks—that’s pretty much impossible. (Are you creating this time or are you living in an echo chamber of the latest and greatest?)

Second: We need to get really good at taming our amygdala. Once you’ve stepped back and seen the world differently and then proposed an alternative reality, you’re going to get push back. Fear will, inevitably, arise. The iconoclast has trained his/her brain not to respond like normal people.

Iconoclasts have a big tool box to deal with fear. They do things like chant “Bring it on!!” and remind themselves that obstacles make them stronger. (How about you?)

Finally, as iconoclasts-in-training, we need to develop our social intelligence. Gregory tells us that effective iconoclasts develop a reputation for fairness and, essentially, being a trustworthy, good human. (Let’s do that.)

So, our big three:

1. See the world differently.
2. Tame the amygdala.
3. Be a good person.

Today’s +1. Quick inventory: Where are you strong? What needs work?

And, how will you break some icons? 😃

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