Since we first read this in New York Magazine last November, we’ve been coming back to it again and again as a source of humor and inspiration. The whole article is great, but it’s the last paragraph about Jimmy’s personal turning point on SNL that really brings it home:
“I was in a bear suit, trying to do comedy. I was thinking, This is lame, this is a waste, they can’t even see my face. Then I looked over at Will Ferrell and he had metal clamps on his nipples and he was getting water thrown on him. And he was just doing it, no complaints. For me, that was a clicking moment. That this could all be a lot easier if you just go with it.” He jacks his eyebrows slightly and smiles. “It’s not: I’ve got to wear a bear suit. It’s: I get to wear a bear suit.”
The thing is, we’re all wearing bear suits. Accept yours and notice what happens.
From an interview we read on CNN:
“Born and raised in Libya, the man in his 40s says this is the first protest he’s ever seen in his native land. With no freedom of speech, no one ever dared to utter an ill word about the government or its powerful leader, Moammar Gadhafi, lest they risk jail time, he said. But with Friday’s protests, violent clashes and dozens of deaths, something changed. “We can speak now,” he marveled from a noisy street near the protest’s epicenter. “The fear wall broke. Even after the killing, nobody is getting scared. Their numbers are increasing.”
He thanks other recent revolutions for the opportunity to see that change. “I think the driving force is what happened in Tunisia and Egypt. Because of that fear, that wall, we felt that we couldn’t do anything. After we saw Tunisia and Egypt, we thought that we can do it too. Tunisia and Egypt give us hope.”"
Let’s keep breaking these fear walls.
Give this a try at your next party. Put a blindfold on someone, take them outside, and ask them to walk in a straight line. If they’re like every other human on the planet, they won’t be able to do it (especially if they’ve already hit up the punch bowl). But why?
There doesn’t seem to be a good answer. Jan Souman, a research scientist in Germany, co-wrote a paper last year about the human tendency to walk in circles. After blindfolding his test subjects, he instructed them to walk straight for an hour. They walked on the beach. They walked through parks. They walked in the Sahara. No luck. Every externality was accounted for; from dopamine levels to different-sized legs, Souman tested every possible cause. None could explain the circling.
So what’s up?
According to Souman, humans apparently slip into circles when we can’t see an external focal point, like a mountaintop or the sun. Without a guide, our insides take over and move us all over the map. We see the same human workings in Fishbird on an internal level. When people don’t have an internal focal point, a core purpose to serve as their compass and guidepost for their work, they become lost in the day-to-day spiral. Keeping our eyes on the top of the mountain is fundamental to moving forward with velocity. It’s time to take off the blindfold.