Being an enzyme


In the nomenclature of biochemical reactions, the items involved in a reaction can be described as substrates and enzymes based on what part they play in the reaction. Using these labels in different combinations to describe people, opportunities, and their interactions can sometimes result in insights about the best course of action

Quick explanation

Generally, substrates are the molecules that actually react together in a chemical reaction to make something happen. Some reactions can be sped up when an enzyme helps it. Enzymes can be described as third-party molecules that don’t themselves react or change in the reaction, but serve as a “worker” that grabs the substrates and smashes them together to cause the reaction. Sometimes a specific enzyme is necessary for the reaction to start at all. One example of a enzyme would be ATP synthase, which is called that because it combines the substrates of adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and another phosphate molecule to make the famous ATP (the “product” of the reaction)

Without substrates, there’s no reaction to happen. But sometimes, increasing the amount of substrate won’t cause more reactions, because the enzymes have their hands full already. You can only increase the rate of reactions happening by adding more enzymes

These descriptions of enzymes vs substrates can be used in a couple flexible ways to describe how humans interact with the world and with each other.

Some questions

If opportunities in the world were substrates, and the humans combining them as enzymes, what do you need to be a good enzyme?

Given identical substrates, what if some people are effective enzymes while others people wouldn’t be able to make anything happen? Only boring people get bored…

Who might be better at procuring a larger selection of substrates to react together? These people are the ones who are always up to something new and interesting. You learn something new each time you talk to them.

When a group of people get together as substrates (perhaps a team at work, or friends hanging out), who/what is actually a enzyme but is overlooked as one?

What situation needs more substrate instead of enzymes? How could you make that happen?

When you’re considering new opportunities, might it serve as a enzyme for your life, or just more substrate? Do you need more substrate?

What enzyme isn’t the right one for you?

Have you tried out some substrate that didn’t react for you before, but perhaps you hadn’t evolved to be the right enzyme at the time?

What enzymes do you want to keep away from your substrates?

If you’re struggling to make some reaction happen, how might you introduce a enzyme?

If you, the enzyme, are not able to organize the chemical reaction of getting from A -> C, how might you break up the larger substrates into smaller substrates? Then you could perform chemical reactions of A -> B -> C, being an effective enzyme for each step.

Consider who and what you surround yourself with. Where are you a enzyme or a substrate? Would you like to change any part of that?

High agency is one of my favorite personality traits in people. In situations where most people think they are substrates, you could describe people with high agency as the ones who never saw themselves as anything but enzymes