3. Give up common principles

Video with author's comments (English subtitles)

A piece of good advice: you should give up commonly held principles. A human being is more artistic in his nature and less limited in his abilities than is commonly thought. Before reading about the experiment with monkeys, please note that they do not have the ability to talk.


An experiment: Monkeys in a cage


There are 5 monkeys in a cage. A bunch of bananas is hanging from the ceiling and a ladder is underneath them. One hungry monkey climbs the ladder and tries to take a banana. Precisely at this moment, a cold shower is turned on and all the monkeys get wet. Some time passes and another hungry monkey tries to take the food. The monkeys get wet once again. After a predetermined number of attempts the shower is turned off.


If any monkey tries to get the bananas, others pull it back as they do not want to have another cold shower. Later, one monkey in the cage is replaced. When it sees the bananas, it rushes up to get them. Other hungry and exasperated monkeys pull it back. Somewhere around the third attempt it understands that it is better not to risk going for the bananas as it won't get any anyway. The experiment continues, and another monkey is replaced. It runs to the ladder, others pull it away. Even the monkey that was replaced first joins in on this.


Eventually all 5 monkeys are replaced. None of them try to get up and get the bananas, nor let others, even though these monkeys have never seen the cold shower or know of its existence.


Why is this? The answer is — everybody does that!


Once during a lecture Albert Einstein was asked how scientific discoveries are made. He gave a peculiar answer: "Society knows about those things that are impossible. But then an ignoramus comes along who does not know about these things. It is namely him who does all the things that once seemed impossible."


Some further advice: develop your imagination faster that your opponents. You should give up commonly held principles faster and with more ease compared to the rest; leave your opponents behind.