Don’t be Excitable

“Responding to stimuli and playing to the tune of what’s expected of you is how you get trapped. Refuse to play ball.”

Excitability. This is a term I have gotten used to in the past couple of years during my education. Whenever excitability came about, there was a nerve involved. Today as it came to mind, I saw it as a response to the external stimulation that is drawn from the scientific concept, because it is all coordinated and executed via the nervous system. We feel aroused, happy and jump into action when we are bombarded with new information. Often, it is about the things we love or aspire to do. It therefore means that in order to control someone, you have to play in line with their interests, making them act not in your interests but in line with their aspirations which you create, control and hold just a little distant every time. It is one of the things I have been able to take up from the concept of game theory.

Game theory, which is a concept explained by itself in special contexts, does not stay confined to the realm of conscious application, but rather the basic being of humans. Why do people get to trust you? Is it because of what you want or what they want but see the prospects of realizing it through you? You guessed it, the latter. Why then do we still play into the trap of such stimuli and incentives making decisions against our own best interests? It is an important feature to be able to hold back, sit still and not let the other see you acting in line with their expectations but rather put them off the hook. Guessing, hoping and most likely taking chances all around with no clear direction. Then, you will have mastered the art for they cannot predict your moves or lack thereof.

I have gotten accustomed to people putting forth deals and proposals my way with the hope that at the end of the day I am going to play along and earn them the ultimate prize they hope for, because I am bound to be a nice person. That is what nice people do right? Maybe or maybe not. When prompted with an enticing and lucrative offer, take a step back to think. Your thinking may be your only redemption and point of recourse. However enticing and legitimate it looks, think of the long term value it has for you including what is in it for the people pushing it across the table in your favor. Failing to critique any of the offers that come your way is giving away your power. I wrote about it in “Of scammers and Scumbags” reflecting on the deal brokers always there to give us an offer we should not resist because it ultimately is what we have been hoping for.

Throughout the day, I get my fair share of excitable moments. I almost fell for some, while for others I instantly put them off, before I make a terrible decision that I will probably regret in the long run. I think it has been long overdue as one of my aspirations, until I got to do a route cause analysis on the prospects. I realized it was but an exciting idea rather than a need. For that matter, I shall retract and stay put until when it feels otherwise. Meanwhile, we make do with what is in place while looking ahead at the bigger picture. Partly, this has been informed by alternative ideas, suggestions and opinions that in one way or the other played out in guiding my thinking. Having critical perspectives into decisions one is to make is good, as it is having people who bring them forth in your circle.

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