I have always struggled to stick to the task when essay writing, and have taken a few risks in my time with some subject matter. One example would be “Write about mental illness in popular culture or the media.” I wrote about the TV show Being Human. Essentially it’s a show about an addict, his friend who has multiple personality disorder, and another friend with chronic depression who feels like the world doesn’t notice them.
So when it came to writing about controversy in the world of biopsychology, what could be more interesting than head transplants and zombies? It was a fun essay to write, and in the head transplant part I talked about Sergio Canavero and Xiaoping Ren, a couple of pioneer doctors/unstable lunatics*, who plan to conduct a human head transplant late in 2017 or early 2018. It made me think about Worzel Gummidge, a character from a TV show when I was growing up (Mrs. Hudson from Sherlock was in it). Worzel was able to swap heads depending on needs, and I started to think about how great it would be if we could just swap heads and bodies at will.
Initially it sounds like a great idea. A new, young body for this old head? Sounds amazing. Less aches and pains, fully functional knees, and maybe I could get one with a six-pack built-in. But here’s the kicker – would I really be inspired to maintain it? In truth, probably not. If that were my goal I’d be doing it with the body I already have. Ultimately, unless I change my habits and lifestyle a magic solution to swap my body for a new one won’t help, and I think this holds true to many areas of life.
I said “many” because I realise there are situations we sometimes have zero control over, chronic sickness for example, (a magic wand would be amazing in those situations). Sadly, I have no way to fix that, I wish I did. I am only talking about situations we do have some control over, where we have a dream, and just wish really hard that it would come true.
Here are the three take aways for today:
1 – Unless I change my habits and lifestyle a magic wand won’t help. If I were to change my habits and lifestyle, I don’t need a magic wand because I’ll have the results I am looking for.
2 – The behaviours that brought you to where you are today will bring you back to this place. If you want to be somewhere else, do something different. I wrote about the dangers of this in The Calf Path I and The Calf Path Pt II.
3 – By waiting for a magic wand we are handing over control of the situation to an outside source. Even if the outside source could fix it, if we fail to prepare for a life with our problem solved, would things be different?
As 80’s band T’Pau said:
Don’t push too far your dreams are china in your hand,
Don’t wish too hard because they may come true,
And you can’t help them,
You don’t know what you might have set upon yourself,
China in your hand.
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