Today would have been Douglas Adams’ 61st birthday. For those of you who aren’t familiar with his works, Douglas Adams was the mastermind behind The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy. If you haven’t read it, read it, listen to it, or watch the old BBC series. There are so many ideas that can be pulled from this book and applied to our everyday real world lives. But let’s explore the most notable, and recurring theme in the book.
These are the commanding words printed boldly on the cover of the imaginary guide to the galaxy. In reality though, it is a rule which we oft overlook, and subsequently, a recurring theme in my blog (primarily because I need to keep reminding myself of this fact).
Nature has developed a strong ‘Fight or Flight’ instinct in all animals. This single factor lead to your survival or demise. But now, things are different. As a species, we have learned to harness out brainpower and create plans of actions, strategies, and have more control over our environment then any other collection of animals which ever existed. Yet, so frequently we fall back to our native ways of panic.
Today, we live in a world that makes us afraid. We are afraid to be rejected, afraid to take chances, afraid of heights, afraid of spiders, afraid of losing everything. In short, we are afraid to fail.
In the book, Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, the character Ford Prefect takes Arthur on a journey throughout the universe (primarily due to the destruction of earth). Arthur greatly resembles our primal fight or flight instinct, to which Ford Prefect constantly reminds him, Don’t Panic.
Being overwhelmed does nothing to aid us in our progress towards success. In fact, it hinders performance, leads to anxiety and illness, causes breakdowns and worse. We continually try to cram in as much as possible in to the shortest amount of time.
Perhaps we can all take a lesson from Douglas Adams, always remember your towel, and Don’t Panic…
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known”