Full transcript of serial entrepreneur Peter Sage’s TEDx Talk: Stop Waiting for Life to Happen at TEDxKlagenfurt Conference. This event occurred on September 12, 2015.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here: Stop Waiting for Life to Happen | Peter Sage | TEDxKlagenfurt
As a keen student of human behavior, I’ve been fascinated by watching people over the years. And one of the things that fascinates me the most about us as a species is we seem to be hardwired to disagree with each other. You know, whether it’s the social taboos of religion or politics, every one of us has an opinion that we seem to defend.
Yet, I think one of the things we can all agree on is that we’re living in a time in human history that is absolutely unprecedented, a time that not even our ancestors could have dreamed about in their wildest dreams. I mean, think about that. How many of our ancestors looked up at the cloud and wondered what it would be like to see life from the other side? What would the Pharaohs of Egypt give them 5000 years ago to be able to step onto a machine and meet the other side of the world in hours? Wow! Kingdoms.
Yet the reality is for many of our ancestors, they gave a precious gift. Childbirth was uncertain for many many years. In fact, my grandmother on my mother’s side actually died in childbirth, giving birth to my mother. It was very uncertain time and if you could just connect for a second to the fact that some of our ancestors gave their life in agony, so that we could be standing here today.
The question that, that poses my friends is this: what do we do with the gift that we got? Now some of us would say quite a lot, some of us would say we’re living in a time now where technology is so overwhelming, so incredible that even just 20-30 years ago we couldn’t have imagined the world that we live in today.
But that technology comes at a price. It generates its own level of paradox. One of the paradoxes — right now there’s so much information that’s out there that we are literally overwhelmed and the emotional route tends to be overwhelmed which leads to confusion, which leads to inaction. In other words, we learn so much we do nothing. For every one second that YouTube is up right now there’s between 5 and 10 hours of new content uploaded, unbelievable!
The other paradox that technology has brought is that in a world of 7 plus billion people, we’re all just a push notification away from each other. Interconnectivity is a time that we’ve never even had the foresight in history to ever even dream of.
Yet in a world that is so connected at every single level, why is it that so many of us feel so alone? Hmm, the evidence of this is everywhere. Labels of ADD, ADHD with information overload, or prescription drugs for depression at an all-time high. And one of the reasons for that is so many people I believe are drowning in technology but they’re starving for something more.
What are they starving for? Well, I believe that the ultimate app that you can download from the App Store these days is not Facebook, it’s not LinkedIn, it’s none of the myriad of millions of different apps with billions of downloads. The ultimate app comes down to love. Love, such an old-fashioned notion.
Why do so many people have such an aversion to understanding what unconditional love is? Well, I looked at that, and it really comes down to understanding what our first and earliest memory is. You know, if we go back nine months before we were born, a certain event happened which unleashed one of the biggest battles in human evolution, in human history: the battle to be here. 400 million to 1 and guess what you show up, in a battle that was in the dark and uphill.
Why did you want to be here so badly? Not only that but if you look under the microscope and see what actually goes on, it’s not just the first person that was there, is it, one of them is actually chosen. Yes, my friend, you were chosen to be here. But the challenge is once we’re born we’re born we can’t do anything wrong. Yeah, we throw up on mama two o’clock in the morning, it’s inconvenient but we still get love.
But something happens around about 18 months old where the parents suddenly realize there’s a communication issue. And now it’s going two ways. And at that moment a lot of the parents impose their model of the world on how to bring up a child because nobody wants to be a bad parent. But the challenge with that is this: that what we do is we then say if the child behaves in a certain way we reward that with positive reinforcement. And if they behave in a different way, the perception of the child regardless of the reality is that we then withdraw love. And that creates frustration.
It creates frustration but it also creates the perception that love needs to be earned. So by the time we get our earliest memory at about three, four, five, six years old we’ve already had almost a lifetime of learning that love is conditional: we have to earn it, we have to behave a certain way in order to be good enough, to be worthy of the one thing that we most want. Wow! We then live the rest of our life projecting that into our lives and our relationships and wonder why nobody can figure out how to download what I call the ultimate app of love.
And the challenge is it fosters the illusion of separateness. Why do I say the illusion of separateness? Because there isn’t a physicist on the planet right now that wouldn’t argue the fact that every single one of us is connected at a much deeper level than we ever give credit for. It’s just that we don’t have a reference for unconditional love based on the child.
I was having a conversation last night at dinner with Dr. Raj, beautiful soul, and these two people, they never met, they came together and we had a wonderful one-hour connection where what was touched was the stuff that we’re made of. Yeah, I saw a guy sharing stories and feeling something that you can’t feel when you’re left brain, technology drives us into our left brain. Why? Because it can be measured, that’s why we’re taught at school left brain principles. Because if I take a math test and I score 75% you can measure that.
How do you measure creativity? How do you measure how much you care about somebody? How do you measure love? And last night there was two people from different backgrounds, different colors, different beliefs, born at different times, both with different life paths on their own journey, probably die at a different time. The illusion of separateness, just as if I was to put my hand through a saucer of milk and you would see the tips of my fingers the illusion would be that we’re separate, whereas if you take the milk away we realize we’re all connected.
Allow me to give you another analogy. If we take the human body between 50 to 70 trillion cells, give or take, some of you more than others. If you go to the bloodstream and you take two blood cells: white blood cell, red blood cell, both different colors, both born at different times, both have different paths in life, different jobs to do. One delivers oxygen hemoglobin around the body, the other takes stuff out of the bloodstream and dumps it into the lymph. Both probably going to die at different times.