Transparency Takes You Off Autopilot

When I meet with people who read my blog regularly, auto-pilot is not an option.

You know auto-pilot — it’s reciting your stock lines, fun facts, or personal biography in the way you’ve always done it. Maybe someone asks you a question about X and, when you’re in auto-pilot, you search your mental drawers for some stock answer that most closely matches the question and then respond. Auto-pilot is lazy. I try to avoid it, but since most strangers ask me the same 5 questions it’s seductively easy to slip into.

Except when that person’s been reading my blog. They know my one-liners. They know my interests. They know when I’m bullshitting. A few weeks ago I had a smoothie with my friend Jason and along the way I reverted to auto-pilot. I brought up my theory about how in tense situations the best perform even better and the worst perform even worse.  He said, "Dude, you wrote about that on your blog a month ago!"

This is how transparency is beautiful. It keeps me on my toes. It forces me to really focus to what someone’s saying and to construct new ideas based on what I take in, instead of reverting to my theories of yesterday.

4 Responses to Transparency Takes You Off Autopilot

  1. Zoli Erdos says:

    Hm… I don’t have auto-pilot. That’s because I don’t get the same 5 questions asked. I actually have time to listen and answer.

    You live a rather “unusual” life, do things others don’t do at this age, and have become somewhat of a celebrity, so of course most strangers ask the same questions – let’s quess, they must revolve around time management, whether you missed being a “regular kid” ..etc. :-) Your “on the road” post is a good example of preemptively taking care of a stock question by a stock answer (Don’t you have school classes? Yes, but between spring break and “sick days,” I get by.)

  2. J Kwok says:

    Hey, I made the blog! I remember that interaction vividly, actually. To provide some insight from my point of view, I didn’t really see it as “autopilot” (though that’s an interesting idea). At the time, I was more interested in the fact that I was already aware of your opinion and thoughts on a variety of interesting topics from your blog posts. It made me think a lot about the effect of blogs on personal relationships. In particular, I think you’re right that you can’t bullshit anyone who reads your blog, but not because you repeat the same ideas, but more because you can’t hold anything back. You have volutarily exposed your inner thoughts to us loyal readers, and I’ll bet most of us would be able to tell if you weren’t being completely honest with your input/opinion.

    I didn’t think you were being lazy at all; it’s perfectly understandable to have a set opinion about a topic. As long as you readily add to your opinion through conversations that stem from your posts, you’ll always have new ideas to share. Unfortunately for you and all other blog-writers, your interesting stories simply become interesting stories from last month.

  3. Tim Taylor says:

    I’m interested to know whether that is an example of auto-pilot or consistency.

    I will be on full “auto-pilot” alert Wednesday at lunch.

  4. Kelvin Yorke says:

    Kia Ora (Hello) from a krazy blogger down under in New Zealand. After nearly a year of blogging I thought I had seen them all, but your blog – well, it not only blows everything out of the water, but blows them sky high as well !!! (hehe) Auto-pilot ??? Whats that ? Me, I just blog to express myself, not to impress others. I just open my mind and let the words flow…….

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