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“Every morning upon awakening, I experience a supreme pleasure: that of being Salvador Dali, and I ask myself, wonderstruck, what prodigious thing will he do today, this Salvador Dali” 1
We are not self-proclaimed creative geniuses like Salvador Dali, but from our humble creative corners, we all live under the spell of our own illusions.
According to Leonard Mlodinow’s book Subliminal, there’s power in perceiving our abilities, aptitude, and attitude as above average. In fact, it’s essential we believe our talents and possibilities to be so. Viewing ourselves in the best possible light is the unconscious defense mechanism against external and internal adversity, it’s the strategy our minds engage with to give us a fighting chance.
If we don’t believe we can, we won’t even try, that goes for the survival of the species as for the creative battles we have to fight every day.
Motivated Reasoning 101
“Motivated reasoning enables our minds to defend us against unhappiness, and in the process, it gives us the strength to overcome the many obstacles in life that might otherwise overwhelm us.” 2
Therefore, we are intrinsically motivated to look for and find reasons to keep going after our dreams, and that’s wonderful news. As our minds keep finding new ways to reaffirm our purpose and convince ourselves we can, we are more likely to take another step, wait another day, go a little farther, make a harder effort.
Every morning you should feel the intense pleasure of being yourself. You must hang onto the powerful illusions you’ve set for yourself, and expect you’ll find a way to do what must be done. If anyone can do it, it’s you.
The Danger Zone
We’re all at risk of falling into self-delusion. Contrary to powerful illusions that move us into perceiving the path ahead as less rugged, the chances we take less risky, delusions blind us completely to all risks or caution. Where positive illusions focus all energy into a point of self-fulfillment and purpose, toward the achievement of hopes and dreams, and therefore toward becoming a better version of ourselves, self-delusions inflate our Ego into believing we already are all we need to be and are entitled to have all we want. Beware of self-delusion.
- Subliminal, Salvador Dali quote p.216
- Subliminal, Motivated reasoning p.217