In the tradition of guest bloggers our next piece comes from Brent Britton……..a gifted lawyer and Rockstar himself!!!
Hi Rockstars! I am a lawyer. I help people start companies, do deals, and become rockstars. I try to be really good at this. In fact, I try to be a big effing rockstar myself ! Like they say, “Go big, or go home.” Life is way too short not to supersize the hell out of it. My clients know this, which is why they are all rockstars.
Why would they want me around if I weren’t one too? It’s ain’t easy though. We humans are stuck with some evolutionary baggage. We come from schools of fish and herds of animals for whom sameness is a survival skill and standing out from the crowd gets you eaten. So, we have evolved a pleasure response to our own conformity. Fitting in to our peer group evokes a sense of comfort.
Somewhere deep within our brains lies machinery that makes us really dig being part of the flock. Choosing to be a rockstar requires unflocking. You need to overcome the visceral desire to just sit down, shut up, and accept the status quo like everyone else. But, prepare thyself for some criticism. Evolutionary disdain for your radical behavior causes your peers to fear and loathe you. And they have no qualms about letting you know it.
This kinship-based weirdness suppressor is an evolutionary backup to keep us in line if we can’t self regulate as individuals. When we have too many different ideas, they think we’re crazy and they tell us so. Witness the very epithet “mad scientist.” Heck, witness how any group of teens treats a nonconforming peer. When Fulton proposed the steamboat, they called it Fulton’s Folly and they said it would never work. After all, why put a steam engine on boats when we’ve got reliable, centuries-old sails and oars? I have no doubt that when the first caveman tried rubbing two sticks together in an effort to make fire, the rest of us stood around making fun of him and suggesting he was the Devil.
Some folks have trouble conceiving of their place in a world that is populated by too many crazy rockstars. Just ask the 19th century oarsmen that Fulton’s incredibly useful steam engine put out of work. To become a rockstar, you’ve got to get used to haters and cultivate a certain pleasure in flipping them off. you’ve got to get yourself spending time around people who appreciate weirdness and smartness and boldness, who value your ideas because they are crazy and new. you’ve got to remember that pretty much everyone who ever said it couldn’t be done, about anything, was wrong. So, step 1 to becoming a rockstar is overcoming fear of criticism. It’s also step 2-10, by the way. So, that means fishbrain avoidance from here on out.
You want to be a rockstar, but you’ve got this paleocortex in the back of your head insistently pumping out the signal that you are a fearful little ball of nerves just desperately trying to avoid getting eaten (because your paleocortex knows that you are crunchy and good with soy sauce) and pressuring you to just stay in line and avoid the whole hornet’s nest. Not much of a rockstar, your paleocortex. Best to move north. Because you’re also gifted with these highly organized electrochemical potentials in your cerebral cortex, the very newest part of your brain, the part that makes you human.
Your cerebral cortex paves the way for all sorts of useful skills, such as choice. Such as choosing whether to supersize it. You control the horizontal; you control the vertical. Choose to be a rockstar. Fear not the longshot, kids. Always go for the Hail Mary. If you miss it, that’ll suck a little, but everyone will forgive you. Hey, it was a longshot. But if you make it… Man, you’re a rockstar.