Wrong Thinking Will Be Punished

In the very first episode of Star Trek ever filmed, there were these crazy aliens called the Talosians. They controlled the thoughts of their human prisoners, and the rules of the Talosian prison were simple: “Wrong thinking will be punished. Right thinking will be rewarded”.

Social groups here in the real world work much the same way. Those in control of the group decide what constitutes “right thinking” and “wrong thinking”. The group will dole out the punishment and rewards – sometimes in subtle ways and sometimes with no subtlety at all. Break the rules – be shunned. Follow the rules – be rewarded.

Not an inefficient system, but there is one problem: every single advancement in history started off with someone engaging in “wrong thinking”. Usually resulting in their being punished. Often the punishment was severe – being stoned to death or crucified, for example. But thanks to these brave souls we have seen life improve here on Planet Earth. No, it's not perfect, but in many measurable ways, it is better.

This is not a recommendation for “wrong thinking” for its own sake; but it is an exhortation not to mindlessly stop at the first resistance you encounter. That resistance might be a sign you're on the right track, whether the “group” realizes it or not.

Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at RayEdwards.com.