“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”
Best Milkshakes on the East Coast … it’s true!
We live in a society where withholding gratification is no longer seen as something worth doing. Instead we chip away at our ability to withstand challenge by succumbing to the idea that we should be happy and free of stress all of the time.
You can see self-gratification play out on our roads where people decide that passing on the shoulder is acceptable. We live in a time where our video game mentality is played out in real life. We strive to get more and more dopamine (the feel good hormone) released into our brain.
Let’s say you want something, something nice, how long will you wait until you have it? For most people the anticipation of waiting creates a strong desire to have it now. It might be that we are driven by primitive urges to satisfy our cravings quickly before the opportunity has been lost. We are still thinking that we are going to be chased by a large cat and if we don’t take care of our urges now we won’t be able to ever. How true is that?
Sale, 50% off, today only! It’s cool, it’s hot, and you have to have it NOW! These are tricks that your brain plays on you to get you to do things that you don’t really need to do. The promise of a reward is powerfully alluring and marketers know precisely which buttons to push to get you to act on desire rather than need. The message is if you have this thing today you’ll be happier, you’ll be satisfied, and you’ll gratified.
Test yourself and see what your resistance is to waiting for something you desire. What are the tricks being used to cause you to make a decision to trigger a release of dopamine?
Black Friday, shopping early and even earlier is a big rush for many people, the thrill is in the purchase and ultimately a dopamine rush. If our tasks and our work doesn’t fill us with dopamine we wait, we wait and wait and wait until we don’t have a choice and then it gets done.
What are your “feel good” things you do? What do you notice about them? What is your level of resistance to withhold self-gratification?
To learn more about the brain and the production of dopamine look at this video.
Posted in decisions, desire, motivation
Tagged Black Friday, decision making, Don't eat the marshmallow!, dopamine, gratification, happiness, Helen Fisher, self-gratification, the brain and love
Time there is never enough of it or at least so it seems. People working more than two jobs scramble to make all the pieces come together. Living with just a few threads of success life seems twisted and out of balance. Choices fly by at supersonic speeds and decisions need to be rendered in what seems to be seconds. Will it be the right choice or the wrong choice? What is right or wrong? Why me? Why do I have to make a choice in the first place? Life would be so much easier if someone would make the choice for me.
So, if you can have someone else make the decision for you then if it doesn’t work out you don’t have to take responsibility for that choice. The most powerful decision you can make is to make the decision to be responsible for all of your life. You have the choice, you have the power, and you are in control. Why turn your life over to a bystander, one that will never have to live with the advice, recommendation or the decision? Make the decision and take control.
What if the decision wasn’t the one you wanted? Your choice is then to aim the decision in a different direction.
In boot camp the drill instructors carefully instruct the recruits in the process of shooting a gun. The instructor yells out “READY”, “AIM”, “FIRE” and the recruits make sure they have everything ready and then they carefully aim at the target and then finally squeeze the trigger. The bullet moved forward by rapidly expanding gasses moves with great velocity towards the target. Once the bullet is in flight there is no way to change the path the bullet is on … it is going exactly where it was aimed. For many people that is how they view the decisions that they make, it was made and it is only going to go where it was aimed.
What if the decision was more like a guided missile? The target is aimed at and then the button is pushed and off goes the missile but … what if it was the wrong target? With a guided missile there is a choice, a choice to change the trajectory of the missile directing it towards a better target. That is “READY”, “FIRE” , “AIM”. Make the choice with all the ability you have and then make a decision to go for it, FIRE and then as you learn new things make changes or even look for a different target.
Who do you want to be responsible for your life?
“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson