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Puppets, Robots and Conductors

Are you a puppet, a robot, or a conductor?

Before you answer, consider the terms as they might apply. A puppet is one who get’s pulled around by a set of strings; forces outside themselves, tugging and pulling on their limbs, driving their every move. A robot is one who is driven by internal forces, also outside their control: programming, internal wiring, and the limitations of their gears and mechanisms. A conductor on the other hand is one who drives themselves: standing high on a podium, waving their baton, bidding the forces in their internal orchestra to produce the beautiful music they intend to create.

So are you a puppet, a robot, or a conductor? Hold your answer again for another moment. First know this. We are all three. All of us, all three at once. Sorry, no exceptions.

We are puppets because we are controlled by the forces around us. Our strings are yanked every time we pay our taxes, stop at traffic lights, react to an unreasonable boss or get annoyed at people who go on and on about the dream they had the night before.

We are robots every time we stare at a beautiful man or woman, crave ice cream, fear an unknown situation or simply fall asleep. Internal brain chemistry, evolutionary psychology, and the limitations of our physical body — they are all robotic functions beyond our control.

The conductor on the other hand, is the one in control when we choose to exercise, go to college, treat those around us with kindness or paint a canvas. The conductor is free will, creativity, uniqueness and meaningful intention.

Ok, knowing you are all three, instead of picking one, divide the three into percentages. Take a moment and give it some real thought.

Got your answer? Well, you’re wrong. Most likely. If you said 50% conductor and 50% the other two, you are delusional (an understandable robot quality). If you said one third, one third, one third, you have chosen an admirable goal, but it is highly unlikely you are there yet. If you said 10% conductor, you might be close. There are a lot of people unfortunately who hover between 2% and dead 0. Their conductor has left the concert hall, caught a taxi and is at the bar with a bottle of scotch.

If you are insulted by this low assessment of your natural conductor characteristics (a classic puppet reaction), great! That means you have processed today’s daily Though Vitamin and it is well at work. This low assessment is not aimed at you, but at all of us, based on new understandings of psychology, physiology, human behavior, statistics and natural science. Qualities we long believed inherent to our individuality are in fact evidence of deep seated programing. For some, it is also because we have allowed the conductor in us to get in that cab. If all this means you want more challenges, ideas, thought experiments and even some new neural pathways that could strengthen your conductor side, this is the place to start.

We will come back to this idea and ponder many others in the coming days and weeks. We here at Thought Vitamins hope you are along for the ride!

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