Change is a scary place to tread for many reasons. Doubt is a close and ever-present climate and the clouds overhead are filled with nothing but droplets of potential disaster. The grass is a darker ominous hue and the ground is filled with cracks of famine.
Not only is the weather somewhat inclement but beware the monsters waiting to unsheathe their claws and reveal their teeth to keep you in check.
Change is not a nice place to be.
By far the most evil inhabitant of this world is the ever present lizard. He stalks you wherever you tread, sitting on your shoulder tapping into your fears, telling you where is safe, where is best, where is easy. Turn around and it’ll be better. There, there. Don’t worry. The lizard will make it all better. No more Change, no more fear and isn’t that grass green where you were anyway?
The lizard in question doesn’t walk next to you, it’s carried with you on every journey in every step. It’s a personification certainly but it’s actually part of every one of us. You see the lizard is you, more specifically it’s your Lizard Brain. This concept has been around for a while but no-one has done a better job of explaining it than the writer, CEO, marketing God and amazing story teller Seth Godin. In a brilliant book I read a few years ago called Linchpin, he describes the Lizard Brain as the part left by early man that wants to save us and keep us away from what it decides is harmful. This could be the sabre tooth tiger, it could be the berry we shouldn’t taste or the unknown over the hill we definitely, completely, unquestionably should never look beyond.
The Lizard Brain crops up in modern times just as much as it did when your scruffy looking caveman ancestor was running away from that tiger or towards that cavewoman who looked like Raquel Welch. If you want to do anything in the slightest bit different you can hear it saying “don’t do it.” “Think about what you will lose and what will go wrong.” “Everyone will laugh at you.”
Some people will be controlled by this from the day they’re born to the moment they die and I have no doubt they’ll live a happy life, after all their Lizard Brain is kept quiet.
Everyone says that IT is a permanent resident of Change and in some ways that’s true but I’m quickly seeing that many people are clinging to old ways because it’s easy and comfortable. It’s how we’ve always done it and besides can’t you hear the Lizard Brain screaming at me? I literally cannot hear myself think!
For me, I don’t like being shouted at and over the last few years I’ve learned to identify and fight back, sometimes just to show I can do it (try not scratching an itch if you want to test yourself – it’s very hard), but most recently because I have a firm belief that I want to do something different for the betterment of myself and those around me. My Lizard Brain told me I shouldn’t change job, that there was too much to fear and lose and right up to the day I started he was getting louder and louder. But I stopped listening. I’ve learned to control him and focus on the possibilities of what is over that hill. It can be a beautiful place with none of the clouds you heard about and those monsters are actually new friends who feel the same way and want to embrace change too because they also see the limitless benefits it can bring.
Take the example of Nutanix and the traditional SAN. One is the way you’ve always done it so why not just repeat the process and be comfortable? Buy another SAN. Go ahead. Don’t change. But there are so many positives and wonderful things to be had from trying something different, especially when it comes to what we at Nutanix are passionate about with concepts like WebScale and a running your world on a true Hyper-Converged platform. Maybe all you need to do is learn to turn that little sod into a nice wallet skin once in a while.
Whatever you do, even if that’s not approaching IT problems like SANs and choosing a Nutanix solution, even if it’s just identifying that he’s there trying to stop you achieving what you want, try to embrace change because it’s the best thing I’ve learned to live with and I’m very happy being a disruptor rather than the puppet of my own Lizard Brain.