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September 21, 2020

Recognizing Roots

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Our behavior is so complex and exists on so many different levels. When we take action, we very quickly seek to find the meaning in that decision. We as humans are meaning making machines and we will continue to process decisions until we have achieved some sort of understanding, or we’ve alleviated an internal disagreement called "cognitive dissonance". Unfortunately this is often maladaptive because our brains are reflexively looking to rationalize behaviors, and do so on more of a superficial level rather than tapping into the true cause.

When we do get to the root motivation of the behavior, we find it’s a matter of meeting a deeply engrained human desire. Common human desires include a need for safety, a need for belonging, and a need for comfort. These desires are generated from a lifetime of experiences, with a focus on creating strategies that compensate for needs that weren't met in the past. This means that we can overcompensate and try to meet needs beyond capacity, resulting in dysfunctional and distracting behavior. With this understanding, we should attempt to identify these areas and redirect this energy toward more productive areas.  

The best way to do so is by auditing the fulfillment payout. Basically, when a need is successfully satisfied, we need to evaluate how much joy or comfort it actually provides. It’s a very difficult process because it asks you to see in your blindspots, but with the right instruction you can begin to see the areas that are unnecessarily sucking your energy and attention.

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