Spoiler alert: if you’re hoping to read something about flying saucers or little green men, you’ve just been click-baited.
I have always found it weird that you can call somebody from another country an alien – technically, of course, and hopefully when the subject is not around.
“Hi there, I’m an alien, nice to meet you,” would probably be a strange way to introduce yourself at dinner parties.
So, it was a bit surprising when I realised a few days ago, that I am one of them.
Being an alien is a powerful way to remind yourself just how strange all humans are.
Humans do many strange things.
Like putting bananas into sandwiches.
Or playing cricket.
Or – perhaps even weirder – watching other people play cricket.
The most interesting thing about being an alien, though, is that it makes you notice how weird you (and your own species) are.
It makes your own world look rather strange to you.
It makes you less certain about your deeply-held beliefs.
But it also keeps your mind open, the way minds normally are at childhood, when we’re more prone to ask ‘why’ because we don’t know the answer, and ‘what if’ because we instinctively know that there is no single answer for most things in life.
The good news is that living on another planet is not a requirement for thinking like an alien.
The bad news is that it is not easy.
As a species, humans are naturally attracted to what’s familiar (sorry to spoil the Trump-Theresa romance, but the evidence suggests opposites do not attract).
It’s easy to be interested in the stuff you like and know.
It takes an extra-terrestrial effort to embrace difference and diversity.
But this kind of thinking – needless to say – pays off.
In an age where filter bubbles and conformity seem to be on the rise, thinking like an alien can help us keep alive the very essence of creativity – our curiosity.
Written by Ronaldo Pegoraro, Strategist at Now
Read: Be Curious & Study