How our brain interferes with the development and achievement of goals "Mind under Control"
Harmful settings of your brain
The fundamental principle that Joseph Marc Blumenthal tried to carry through the entire article is that our mind shapes our life. Thanks to the mechanisms, the brain serves as the major provider of your results. And that the mind shapes our life is an amazing gift! Perhaps the best gift we have received as human beings.
The point, however, is that this gift requires some customization, and there are some significant difficulties involved. When we are born, we already come with problems in the default settings, and they will force our brains to work against us.
As we get older, these problems only get worse, so that by the time we enter adulthood, we already have a complete package of harmful settings in our arsenal that prevent us from going where we want to go. Unless you actively and purposefully work to fix them, they almost guaranteed that these defaults are:
● Will prevent you from reaching your goals.
● Will slow you down and obstruct you in all areas of your life that are important to you.
● Will bring an enormous amount of unnecessary stress into your life.
Not personality traits, just survival mechanisms
It is very important to note that the default settings are not your personal traits. If you notice them for yourself or observe the behavior of loved ones or colleagues, you should not think that you or they are bad people.
All of us have similar tendencies, and this is because they are extremely effective coping mechanisms. Understanding the origins of these behaviors will help you develop the best strategy for communicating with the surrounding people: leaders, colleagues, customers, family members, friends, and so on.
If you lived in the wilderness, hunting or gathering, then such attitudes would certainly increase your chances of survival. But for running a business, achieving goals, or simply being a lucky person, these ancient mechanisms become counterproductive. Let's see if you can remember examples of similar behavior.
The default setting is # 1. Your brain amplifies negative signals and underestimate positive ones.
The first outdated coping mechanism is an attunement that forces us to overestimate negative signals from the environment and ignore or omit positive ones. Your brain - whether you know it - responds to threats. If you live in the wilderness, this is incredibly rewarding: there really is danger everywhere!
Huge grizzly bears, enemy tribes, and many other creatures that are just waiting to kill and/or eat you. Under these conditions, those who notice the threat earlier will be better prepared for it and are more likely to survive. So in the wild, this setting is critical.
The problem, however, is that you are not living in the wilderness and are not under constant threat of death. The setting is still in effect, only now it is useless. Moreover, it creates situations that drain your energy.
The hidden cost of negativity
If you do not actively work with this problem, then overestimating negative signals will force you to:
● Excessively worrying.
● Worry about things that aren't worth it.
● It is involuntary to see the threat in the opening opportunities.
● Reject people who like you or who would like to be your business partners.
● Constantly be between eternal discontent and exhaustion.
As soon as a group of two or more people gathers, these attitudes instantly create a culture of negativism - and in the blink of an eye, smiles and laughter evaporate from the office. Work every day to overcome these harmful settings if you want positive energy to help improve your results.
Default setting # 2. Your brain is quickly (very quickly!) Distracted by urgent tasks at the expense of important
I adjusted your brain to instantly switch your attention to what is in front of your eyes.
It does not matter what exactly appeared in front of your gaze and what you were doing at that moment - your attention will switch and pull you in that direction. This switch can be anything: a phone call, a text message, an email, a random thought, or even just a squirrel! Whatever happens at the moment (especially if you saw it), your attention will be directed there. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
Again, this response was initially beneficial: in the wild, quickly switching focus is extremely valuable. We've already figured out that there are grizzly bears all over the place that want to eat you. And if a grizzly wants to eat you, when exactly does he want to do it? Right now! He won't send you an invitation to meet next week on your calendar - he attacks immediately! And this means that if you don't react right away, you will be eaten.
Therefore the brain has a habit of being completely consumed by sudden "threats." He will not even ask you about the difference between "urgent" and "important".
You no longer live in the wild, but the old settings continue to affect your life.
Have you ever noticed the amazing ease with which you get distracted and lose track of the story? It's just ridiculous when you think about it: you're in the middle of a presentation to a client that promises you a million-dollar deal if successful, but a puppy walks into the room at that moment. What's going to happen? Game over: your brain left without even apologizing.
This example may sound silly, but, in fact, it is not so far from the truth. And while we may joke here about how distracted we are, this is not a joke. Distraction can cost you dearly, and here's why.
The insane cost of distraction
When you are distracted, there is an unfair drain of energy. Think about examples of how you were really focused, and then something made you lose focus. A millisecond is enough for your brain to go out of the way.
How long does it take afterwards to get back to what you were doing? To completely re-immerse himself in an interrupted business, he needs from four to twenty minutes! As we said, this is unfair, but it is true.
This difference in time and energy can be very costly. Remember how many times a day your brain flies away, being fooled by distractions, and if you believe that time is money, the situation ceases to be just a funny "ah, I'm so absent-minded."
In fact, this attunement, if you allow it, can destroy your productivity, undermine your focus, drain your energy, self-confidence, and drag you down every day.
The default setting is # 3. Your brain is much more committed to safety than progress
If we asked you directly if you want to progress, you would look at us as if we had three heads. Seriously? What a stupid question? You would say, “Of course, I want progress! Of course, I want to achieve more this year than last! Of course, I want to get in better shape. Of course, I want my children to have a better life than me. Why would I even buy this book if I didn't want progress in my life?! "
And you know, we believe you. We know you want to move forward, and we want the same for you! And your results are the best confirmation of this. We are convinced that your family, colleagues, your environment - all also want progress because this is the only way to win together. But the problem is not your desire for progress.
The problem is that this is not at all what your brain wants ... Your brain wants you to stay where you are. Rationally, you won't to progress, but irrationally, biologically, your brain wants security.
Let's take another look at how things would work if you lived in the wilderness. As we said, in such an environment, your physical safety would be constantly threatened. It should have been your top priority, otherwise, you would have died. Therefore, through the generations, through the guidance of your parents and serious reinforcement from the culture, your brain has developed such a persistent desire for security that cannot be ignored.
The connection between geography and psychology
If you were actually a hunter or gatherer, this initial brain attunement would manifest itself geographically. You and your clan would settle a small piece of land that they call home. The area would be remarkably small — only ten to twenty square miles, the size of a modern small town.
And during your lifetime, you and your clan members would never leave your home territory, if only you were not forced to do so. This small piece of land would have a tremendous force of attraction for you. This makes sense because you have an advantage in your territory, don't you? You know where to hide, where good berries grow, and so on. For survival, pursuiting safety is an extremely effective strategy.
But these days, the craving for safety manifests itself psychologically, and it works to your detriment. Actually, this is the setting that creates a comfort zone. There is nothing wrong with its very presence: such a need is inherent in our brain. The problem is that you are striving for growth ... And in the comfort zone, no growth is possible.
Height vs. comfort: is the battle lost?
Think about this: anything that allows you to grow is inconvenient or risky or both. For example:
●Do you want your business to grow? Do research and exploration, which is inconvenient and looks like a risk.
● Do you want to become physically stronger? Load the muscles so that they hurt.
● Do you want to increase your net income or save money for the future? Sacrifice some of your existing comforts, which your brain sees as risky.
The desire to move forward will always force you to choose between risky or unpleasant, but leading to progress, and what is comfortable, and safe, but will not budge you. And by default, 100% of the time, your brain will prefer the easy and safe option. Not even 90%, but 100%! Therefore people so often get stuck in one place, experience stagnation, and stagnation, and feel unable to break out of it.
Stagnation is a side effect of security
Never consciously choose stagnation of your own free will. You will not wake up on the morning of January 1 with the solemn thought: "I sincerely want the new year to be as stupid as the previous one." And yet we constantly subconsciously choose thoughts and habits that are comfortable, familiar, and therefore safe. And stagnation in life every time becomes a by-product of this choice.
Your brain has three main default settings:
● Seeking to overestimate negative signals from the environment.
● The tendency to quickly switch to urgent tasks, regardless of their importance.
● A constant thirst for security at the expense of progress.
This is what will stand in the way of your progress. Admit it to yourself: do you recognize the manifestations of these attitudes in your life? We hope so because learning and understanding is the first step towards improvement. You can't escape jail if you don't even know you are in it, can you?
Bad news, good news, and just glorious news
The bad news: you have these basic settings, and if you allow them, then they will rule your life. It's a shame, but this is the truth of life.
The good news is - and we ask you to pay close attention to this - that you are definitely not a victim of your basic settings. You are not a machine that is doomed to work as programmed. First, you are a person who is given the freedom to make choices, do things and learn from your own experience.
And if you can do all this - choose, act and learn - then you can rewrite the programs embedded in you so that they bring the result that you want.
And the significant news is that by making even the smallest changes to these programs, you can achieve tremendous improvements and updates. And that’s what we’ll learn to do.
Chapter Four Summary
1. Your brain, like a computer, has default settings. Some of them are very useful as coping mechanisms, but they desperately hinder your progress.
2. Your brain overestimates negative environmental signals and ignores positive ones.
3. Your brain quickly switches to urgent tasks at the expense of important ones.
4. Your brain seeks safety more than progress.