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In the 1950s, Curt Richter, a professor at Johns Hopkins, did a famous drowning rats psychology experiment. This experiment, though cruel, demonstrated the power of hope and resilience in overcoming difficult situations.
I was writing for less than a month when a story I would classify now as downright mediocre (and I’ll save myself the embarrassment by not linking it) — took off. I still get the chills remembering the feeling I got seeing all that interest and, let’s be honest, the money pouring in.
In short, the experiment involved putting rats into water containers that forced them to swim to stay alive. First time in the water, the rats only resisted several minutes swimming before drowning. Then, just before giving up risking death, the rats were picked up by the researchers, warmed up, and after they recovered, they were placed back again into the containers. Amazingly, this time they lasted not 5, not 30, not 60 minutes, but days before exhaustion.
Hope is everywhere on this platform. Everybody inspires you to keep going, write every day, be consistent, show up, engage, push, push, push, swim to survive. If you stop, you lose traction. Algorithms forget you. If Tim Denning takes a one month vacation, there are plenty waiting in a row to replace him. And he will be replaced. But Tim is smart enough to know that, too even though he’s a rat-like all of us. What differentiates Tim from the rest is that he’s a more luxurious pet, being picked up and cared for more frequently than others. However, that doesn’t mean he’s better.
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