Dr. Helena Lass shared this startlingly dramatic statistic above with us in a recent conversation in her office at WellnessOrbit in Tallinn, Estonia.
Can you imagine what that really means for us and what life would be like if we could change that number?
When Dr. Lass shared this information with us, my mind was immediately taken back to another type of autopilot experience. I’d like to share this story with you because I think it’s instructive.
Several years ago I was piloting a Cessna 172 aircraft one brisk winter morning on a flight from the Washington, DC area to Pennsylvania. Just as we reached our cruising altitude of 3,000 ft., the plane suddenly veered to the right and began a steep dive! After a few moments of initial shock, I hit the autopilot kill switch and fortunately we returned to stable flight in short order as I took back control of the plane.
What had happened?
My co-pilot had just activated the autopilot without letting me know what he was doing. Normally we would have continued forward in steady flight but this time one of our systems wasn’t working. The electric elevator trim system that controls the pitch angle of the plane was not working properly. I had noted this anomaly during preflight, but it was not something that would keep us on the ground. We still had manual control of the system and could safely fly the plane.
Fortunately, in the back of my mind I wondered what the impact might be if we turned on the autopilot and was ready to intervene if the unthinkable happened.
But imagine what the outcome might have been if I hadn’t known or noticed that the autopilot was activated and responding to incorrect inputs?
Our own personal autopilot works is a similar way.
So what about you…
How often is your own autopilot activated without you knowing or realizing it?
And when your autopilot triggers, is it responding in a way that you desire or is it reacting based on an internal process that causes an unintended response?
In our my interview with Dr. Helena Lass, you might be surprised to learn:
“Almost 99% of our life runs on autopilot. We are living the lives of complexes that are very similar to instincts because they are automated and reflex like. They are human made instincts that we have copied from everyone around us and society in a way that we don’t even know that we have copied them.”
Can you imagine that?
We are largely operating on autopilot that functions in the same way as an autopilot on a plane. At any moment, something can trigger us and the autopilot responds. And it doesn’t always respond in a way that we expect or in a way that serves us.
Until a few years ago, I certainly couldn’t have imagined that was possible. But now I’m convinced it’s true. My quest to have an impact on the workplace has led me to the people and experiences that have changed me from the inside out and discover how much of my life was running on autopilot.
I now realize that real change begins with each one of us becoming more human. In the words of Dr. Helena Lass:
In this interview with Helena, we’re deviating from our usual transcribed format and providing audio clips for the responses to each question.
This interview is another one in a series of many recent important and valuable interviews. Please take the time to listen and learn from Dr. Helena Lass in Who Is Leading Our Lives?
And please share what comes us for you after listening to the interview. We’re here to have conversations and learn from each other, so please get in touch if you’d like to talk more.
To your great work life & success!
Bill Fox, Co-founder