Today the topic is iconoclasm. An iconoclast is someone who destroys the old images, the icon or idols. Every real entrepreneur is also an iconoclast, there is no other way.
My statements emanate from the book 'Iconoclast' by Gregory Berns. Berns is an American neuroscientist. He claims that the ability to be an entrepreneur or iconoclast can be systematically learned and trained.
Berns brings up many examples of iconoclasts who have permanently changed the world we live in. Berns suggests that a successful iconoclast/entrepreneur is characterised by three traits:
1. The ability to perceive differently.
2. The ability to deal differently with fear.
3. social intelligence
For all three traits, he points out what in the brain forms the basis for them. So you can better understand these traits and observe them in yourself live.
Let's move on to point 1 - Different Perceptions:
Whatever appears in our consciousness is already the result of a process. This process, this lens through which we view the world, is determined above all by the experiences we have had with the world in the past, and to which we owe our survival. Our habits determine what we perceive. The curse of habit is that we become incapable of seeing the world with new eyes.
The good news is that we can practise keeping things open. For example, instead of always gliding over things and saying, "This is this, this is that," we could start asking, "What is this?" and "How do I know this is this?" If we learn to endure this not-knowing, then there is at least the possibility that we will discover something new, which will immediately unsettle us.
And here we already come to point 2 - Dealing with fear:
If we always live only in the comfort zone and our habits determine our reality, then fear does not occur in our lives. Then we have successfully avoided or numbed fear. There are many ways to distract yourself from the uncertainty that arises when you start asking questions.
If I had no fear, I would already be dead. But on the other hand, if I allow fear to freeze me and inhibit my creativity, then I am a victim. So first we would have to learn to feel the fear in the first place, and for that we need courage. Then we have to learn to live with fear or even transform it into driving force.
If we succeed in tearing our perception away from what we have been told and what we are used to perceiving, and if we also manage to become students of fear - as it is said in Sören Kierkegaard - in other words, to use fear as fuel, then we have created good conditions to really create something new.
"The transition from ape to man, is us." (Konrad Lorenz)
This brings us to point 3 - Social Intelligence.
Many geniuses have died misunderstood and only become famous after their death. Others were legends in their own lifetime. What distinguishes the two classes of iconoclasts, that is, what makes them successful in the end or perish in misery, is the ability to make the new view they have gained plausible to their fellow human beings.
Picasso was a star during his lifetime who made fun of the art business. This went so far that one day he simply scribbled a line, which can now be admired in the Barcelona Museum as 'La Linea'. The work sold for millions. Picasso laughed himself to death over it.
Van Gogh, on the other hand, had so little money that he even ended up buying paint instead of food. And then he got hungry and ate the paint. On the side, he then drank far more absinthe than any of us could stand today. Which then also led to interesting colour experiences for which his paintings are famous today. Van Gogh knew what he was doing, he knew he was founding modern painting.
This becomes clear in the long correspondence with his brother Theo, which fortunately has been preserved for art history. Unfortunately, throughout his life he was unable to make other people understand his point of view and so he finally died in an insane asylum, his ear having been cut off earlier, namely after his dream of an artists' colony together with Gauguin and other painters had been dashed. What do we learn from this?