Are Brain Parasites Behind the Success of Powerful Entrepreneurs?

Studies of wolves in the wild have yielded a lot of results that revealed that importance of collaboration amongst wolves that stayed within their packs. In spite of the fact that this is the case, there are often wolves who prefer to hack it out on their own. These wolves often end up dying out due to the dangers of being without a pack, but a few of them manage to find great success and become the Alphas of their very own packs.

Researchers at the Yellowstone Wolf Project hypothesize that such high risk and high reward behavior may be brought about by a parasitic infection in the brain. Behavior like this seems to go against the lone wolf’s best interests from a survival point of view, so there is a chance that brain parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii might be causing such aberrations although this is still just a theory at this stage.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that there are other entities outside of the wolf community that behave in a similar manner. We’re not talking about lone wolf terrorists either. Rather, the lone wolf mentality that seeks to go against the grain and innovate to forge new paths seems more similar to the mindset of a startup founder, CEO or entrepreneur.

The main impact that an infection from this parasite can have is that it increases risk seeking behavior. More specifically, the individual that is infected by Toxoplasma gondii has more of an appetite for risk than might have been the case otherwise. You need a risk taking mindset in order to become an entrepreneur because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up helping you take the risks necessary to get ahead.

Does that mean that all CEOs and successful entrepreneurs have this parasite roaming around in their brains? The answer might be yes, but not for the reasons that you think. It turns out that approximately 80% of all human beings might have be infected by this parasite.

The origin of this parasite comes from cat feces. Any contact from a warm blooded creature with feline fecal bacteria will likely result in an infection. Rats infected with this parasite were more likely to go exploring into unpredictable territory, so it stands to reason that it could increase a human being’s desire to venture out into the unknown as well with all things having been considered and taken into account.

Another thing to remember is that this isn’t a one to one relationship. Being infected with this brain parasite is not going to turn you into an entrepreneur overnight, so don’t go out looking for cat poop if you are unsatisfied by your current career trajectory.

There are likely a number of other factors at play here as well, and it is the combination of one’s personality as well as other aspects of your brain chemistry that can go towards entrepreneurial success. It is also possible that Toxoplasma gondii does not have any impact whatsoever on a CEO or startup founders confidence since the findings might just be a coincidence!

H/T: Business Insider

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