Interchangeable parts. When we build something and one part of it breaks, no problem, just replace the part that broke with the exact same part. This is extremely convenient for when we mass produce something. In a big machine, if a small part breaks, we can just swap out the broken part with one that works and the machine keeps going.
There’s nothing wrong with interchangeable parts, they’re extremely useful because they’re easy to replace. The problem is that when the industrial age and all of the factories came along interchangeable parts expanded to include interchangeable people.
For the VAST majority of us if we were to quit our jobs tomorrow, the company would barely have a hiccup, our employers would replace us the next day with someone else who can do the exact same thing we do with a little bit of training.
We have become interchangeable.
We don’t hold any real value to most of our employers. If we stop doing what they want then we will be fired and they will find someone else who can do the exact same thing we do with a little training.
The people who have real value are the ones who can create. The ones who contribute something that no one else can contribute.
We haven’t been trained to be creative, schools aren’t set up that way. Schools are set up so that we will have a baseline knowledge level so that we can replace the ones next to us when they fail and so on.
Train yourself to create. Train yourself to bring more value than the person next to you. People who are compliant and fit in are easily removed.
(Inspired by Seth Godin’s “Linchpin”)