Processionary Caterpillar Syndrome; one of the 4 popular, very surprising and easily avoidable habits that are currently making your life difficult, or otherwise may soon make your life difficult


PS : This presentation is an excerpt from my book: PURPOSE COMPASS; for more about it you may click here. To see the other popular, very surprising and easily avoidable habits that are currently making your life difficult, or otherwise will soon make your life difficult, you may click here; esle see below for a transcript of the video above…

Now what is the processionary caterpillar syndrome? The first habit…
Can you make out what’s on your screen?
Well, we have about 11 insects here all lined up (one behind the other). They are 
caterpillars; the larval stage of the butterfly. These particular types are called processionary caterpillars because they have the habit of lining up this way as though in a procession.
Jean Henri Fabre, a researcher, conducted a very interesting experiment; he placed these caterpillars in a circle, and for 24 hours, they dutifully followed one another round and round and round. That is activity without productivity; terrible! Fabre then placed the caterpillars around a saucer (or a small plate) and placed their favourite food (i.e. pine needles) at the centre of the plate. And for 6 days, the processionary caterpillars were moving around the saucer, dying from starvation and exhaustion, even though an abundance of good food was within 2 inches reach.
As strange as this appears, we humans behave this way a lot of the time (if not most of the time).
You never decided to come into this world; no one ever did; well, ordinarily! 
You woke up one day to realise that you were in this world, and living among a number of people at various levels, 
starting with the family. Though you were born with certain instincts (for instance the instinct to cry, crawl, imitate, be inquisitive, etc.) much of what you know now, and the things you are able to do have been by means of elaborate learning processes delivered to you by people within the 7 pillars of culture: Family, Religion, Education, Arts & Entertainment, News, Business, and Government.
It so happens that even with their best intentions, and effort, chances are that eventually, you have been inadvertently socialised to underestimate your capabilities and are thus using so little of your true / hidden potential (far less than 10 percent)
Indeed, most people would rather not think, make their opinion known, or speak in public. Interestingly, among adults, 
the fear of public speaking is ranked above the fear of death! For that matter it is often joked that at a burial service if you call someone at random to come in front to say something to the gathering, that person would rather wish that he / she was the one in the coffin; funny though. Most people would rather wish to be the one in the coffin than the one to make a public speech of any sort.
In a lot of cases, when someone is bold enough to raise a concern that seem to challenge the status quo, people are likely to either ignore him / her, or otherwise attack him / her. I have experienced it so many times.
James 1:22-25 inspires us to continue to look into the mirror so as not to forget how we look like, and make it a point to do something positive about how we may be looking like. Well this is someone who looked at herself in the mirror and did something very interesting; a child with cancer; she’s lost all the hair; she looks in the mirror and tries to draw hair on her head; she draws on the mirror; isn’t that cute?
This picture reminds me of how much we love the status quo, and resist the need to do things differently in the face of the reality.
In the 1950s most diseases were as a result of poverty, but in the case of childhood cancers, this was not so; the children who were dying from cancer seemed to come from affluent families; this baffled everybody; it was such a big problem! Alice Stewart, a brilliant doctor in Oxford at the time, felt that to make her mark, her greatest contribution to medical science would be to find the cause of this problem, and therefore help solve it. She worked very hard, and eventually discovered that largely, the children who had died were of mothers who had been X-rayed during their pregnancy period.
People got very excited about the findings, especially following the publication in the Lancet; she even won an award very much similar to the Nobel Prize. Now, what would be the most logical step to follow from such a finding; stop x-raying pregnant women; right? Well, the medical establishments did not stop x-raying pregnant women until some 25 years later; 25 years!
In spite of the rampant deaths, even in the light of the convincing findings that had received such applause through a well respected scientific journal, nothing really changed for 25 years!
What Rita Brown says about this habit is indeed instructive.
The temptation to be a processionary caterpillar, and just keep doing the same old things, is not easy to resist. It is as if there is some romance in following our old habits. I will give some local examples…
In February 2015, I published one of my most insightful articles, titled: What the Church Refuses to Teach About Christianity. In June that same year, I granted an interview on the matter, and according to the host, that interview generated the most audience response as at then. Indeed after the interview one of the many follow up calls I received was from one bishop with about 100 pastors under his mentorship, and he invited me to speak to his team of mentee pastors. I have had so many pastors encourage me to carry on with this assignment. Similarly, lots of people and organisations have been loud in the media trying to draw the church’s attention, but has there been any significant application of the insights so shared? Your guess is as good as mine; the church still refuses to teach what it refuses to teach about Christianity, even though teaching that would help improve the lives of the members significantly, help them to make greater impact on society in amazing ways, and also increase their earnings.
Let me turn to education…
Much of the current educational system was designed to serve the industrial revolution; it has become largely obsolete. The system is predominantly educating people to fit into yesterday’s way of doing things, not necessarily to ‘deal with existing and emerging problems!’ let alone create an amazing future! Many well-meaning individuals (including experts in the field of education, like Annis Haffar, Geoffrey Canada, Sir Ken Robinson, Prof Sir William Arthur Lewis, and many more) have therefore called for a major paradigm shift in our educational system, as it’s no longer serving it’s purpose. In March 2016 I added my voice by suggesting two very effective ways of improving our education; it was in an article that was published in The Daily Graphic (the biggest newspaper in Ghana). Indeed my thoughts have been shared on many media platforms 
including CifiFM, JoyFM, TV3 and more. Despite these incessant calls for major reforms, the system has been extremely slow at responding, even though the suggestions are relatively easy and inexpensive to implement; we seem to be okay with the status quo even though we very much complain about the graduates being churned out, year after year.
I believe that if you should look into your own life, you must have received advice / guidance / recommendations that you did not implement, even though you knew very well that implementing those recommendations was going to impact your life in a very positive way; example reducing intake of sugary and processed foods. You get the point. Great!
Obviously we cannot go on doing the same thing over and over again, but expect different results. So I have chosen to use a different approach. But generally what can we do to avoid this habit?
Question everything! Ask a lot of questions; it could be just to yourself or to others where necessary; Questions such as: Why are we doing this; what do we seek to achieve? Will we achieve what we seek to achieve by doing what we are doing (or will be doing)? We have been doing x, y, and z for so long, what has been the impact, and is there a better way? Ask all the questions! 
Most especially review what people propose in order to understand them sufficiently, 
and then critique same. When your findings are 
persuasive publish them; speak about them, or write about them; let others know your considered opinion / position. 
And where necessary use the available legal system to compel people to act in the proper way.
I believe that, True ‘Education’ must sow in us a penchant to continually ask questions, the right questions, and all the questions; until we are completely satisfied with the answers, because that’s the only way we can create a better world for ourselves.
I agree with Albert Einstein to a very large extent that the world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. At least say something. 
When you get great insights like I’m sharing with you today, analyse but don’t overanalyse; when your instinct tells you it is right adapt early and evolve quickly. This is a law of nature: I will paraphrase and say that It is not necessarily the strongest nor the most intelligent that survives life’s demands but those that readily adapt to changes.
That’s what I wanted to share with you about the first habit that makes life difficult; if you have any questions on what I have shared so far you may pause this video and post your question at the comment section below. Great!

PS : This presentation is an excerpt from my book: PURPOSE COMPASS; for more about it you may click here. To see the other popular, very surprising and easily avoidable habits that are currently making your life difficult, or otherwise will soon make your life difficult, you may click here.

Processionary Caterpillar Syndrome; one of the 4 popular, very surprising and easily avoidable habits that are currently making your life difficult, or otherwise may soon make your life difficult

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About the Author

David K Egyir

David K Egyir

An Architect, a Designer, and a Life Coach; passionate about helping serious people like you to escape the most dangerous — common but avoidable — problem most people (rich, poor, educated, non-educated, religious, and non-religious alike) face in life. Also, he designs and builds beautiful, cost-effective and functional buildings, and graphics. And he helps executives, marketers, and business owners to make effective presentations; what you may call winning presentations. Especially as a life-coach, he's been popularly adjudged the best coach for excelling in education, increasing wealth, eliminating stress, and enjoying true fulfillment in life! Egyir has a firm conviction that, “The greatest tragedy in life is that majority of people have accepted to be less than they were born to be and are thus accomplishing far less than their true capabilities.” To that end, he authored (wrote) PURPOSE COMPASS and other amazing books, and more than 50 articles; on how to live a highly productive and a truly fulfilling life. And he organises training seminars and workshops for the benefit of individuals, groups and organisations. Dave (as affectionately called by many) understands life thoroughly and shares amazingly liberating insights from a uniquely empowering perspective. He is the Lead Founder of Seers, Associate of Arthro Synergeio, Lay Preacher of The Methodist Church Ghana, Global Lead Advocate of Zing4Life! and Volunteer Mentor with iMentor Ghana. Dave is married, and is a father of two. To see more about him you may click here. To get in touch with Dave or to follow him on social media you may click here. #DaveGuidesDaily | To support Dave's writing & life-coaching social ministry you may click here. #SeersFoundation | To be part of Dave's live sessions online at 20.30 GMT on Sundays you may click here. #TimeWithSeers |
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Processionary Caterpillar Syndrome; one of the 4 popular, very surprising and easily avoidable habits that are currently making your life difficult, or otherwise may soon make your life difficult

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One: Sometimes you need someone to show you the obvious, and oftentimes… the not so obvious! Credit to ZigZiglar

Two: Education and schooling are not the same thing. What goes on inside the schools is often not education. And the results may well be that it reduces productive capacity rather than to increase it. Credit to Prof Sir William Arthur Lewis

Three: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Credit to Prophet Hosea

Four: The illiterates of the future are not those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn! Credit to Alvin Toffler

Five: The greatest obstacle to progress is not ignorance, but the illusion of knowledge. Credit to Daniel Boorstin

Six: When you know the right things, the boundaries around your life suddenly disappear. Credit to Brian Sher

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