Disrupt the Robots

We are all victims of robots. Not those displacing human jobs. The real threat of AI is how we let our robotic selves replace our humanity. And that undermines who we are and who we want to be.

Think about your robot-self that auto executes without your awareness or scrutiny. The muscle memory neural pathway routines — what you say when someone asks how you are, the way you brush your teeth, how you order a cup of coffee, or better yet how you look in the mirror at yourself!

Routines are great to create discipline and mastery. Otherwise, we succumb to losing the now for the next–where life is what’s going to happen and not what is happening.

It takes so much time and effort to be authentic.

I have been intermittently but intentionally disrupting my robot and occasionally the robots of others. I offer a few stories and tips to help us disrupt the robots!

Stop, Breathe, and Be Present
My fight to disrupt my robot begins when I wake up and continues until I turn in for the night. It is a good fight that yields wonderful moments of awareness and reality. My robot is relentless. Keeps saying things that distract me to make me think I am the center of the universe, that what I do, am doing, want to do, is more important than anything else. And my time and attention to others and the world around me suffers.

Try to take a breath before your machine gun mouth gets going. And use all your senses to be fully present. I will never forget when my friend Akuyoe advised me to use “delicious words”, to taste my words and enjoy them. Words that give you pride in the accuracy and authenticity they convey–robots cannot do this.

When you sense your breath, your heart, your aliveness. And you listen and see what and who is in front of you is energizing and exhausting. When I am aware, I literally stop, take a deep breath to center myself, and say to myself “be present” before I engage. It is not magic or a guaranteed process. But it does open my mind, my eyes and my heart, putting the robot in a time out. Giving me a chance to be me.

Tell Your Face
I had an assistant named Pam who never smiled. It became a game with me. Every morning, I would greet her with a huge smile and a theatrical, “GOOD MORNING! How are you?” She always responded the same no matter what I did. She said, “Fine,” without smiling. It was more of a frown. One day I could not stand it anymore. She stood there and said “fine” looking like her cat died. I said, “Then Tell Your Face!” After that Pam faked smiled at me every morning and we laughed. The robot was outed.

If the eyes are a window into the soul, then the smile is the sliding glass door into your heart.

Smiles always disrupt the robots! Real smiles. I know it is hard for see you smile with a mask. Smile anyway. Your eyes, your face and your inflection changes when you smile. On the phone or on Zooms—smile. It puts you in a better frame of mind, it puts others at ease and it lubricates conversations.

Actively Meditate
Perhaps you meditate, do yoga or engage in other acts of solitude to find peace and a deeper sense of self. As you know, you can meditate actively, when you are doing things with your eyes and ears open. By noticing. By engaging. By seeing. By slowing down and reflecting on where you are and why.

Active meditation increases your self-awareness. It disrupts the robot. Try it when you are doing a chore or any routine. Notice what you are doing and thinking. Go deeper. Reserve judgment. And appreciate the opportunity and ability to do it.

Try one of these robot disrupting techniques or try something that works for you:
Stop, Breathe and “Be Present”
• Smile
• Active Meditation
Don’t succumb to artificial intelligence. Disrupt your robot. Unplug it. And let your beautiful self shine. 

Thanks for reading. John

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