WHY DO WE DO THINGS WE DON'T LIKE- PT. 2
This is the second part to the article, Jay from Darbhanga wrote.
Why Do We Things We Don't Like?
Joey was a successful man, an executive at a successful company. He was liked by everybody, except he had headaches.He took medicines, naps, and even tried to destress but nothing improved. In fact, the headaches only got worse. He went to the doctor, and then found out that he had Brain Tumour in his frontal lobe. The surgeon cut the tumour out, but after the surgery everything changed. He skipped investors' meeting for buying staples, he spoke to his wife only once a week, he skipped parent teachers' meeting to watch James Bond and so much more. Eventually, he lost his job and got divorced. He was not the same person he once was, not anymore. His brother took him to a couple of doctors and the doctors analyzed his reasoning and said he was completely normal, except he wasn't. So at last, his brother took him to the famous neurologist Antonio Damasio. Initially Antonio also took the same cognitive tests and he passed it with flying colours. Finally, Antonio sat down to talk to him to know about his mistakes. Joey recounted facts and sequences of events in perfect fluidity but when asked to analyze his decision making - why staples over meetings - he had no answers. After similar sessions, Damasio realized that in the surgery Joey lost his ability to empathize and feel. And without this ability - to make judgements, to determine better from worse - he lost his self-control.
Joey's case calls onto a question of the assumption that we can force things on ourselves logically - he still had the same IQ but couldn't make decisions when he lost ability to feel. When we don't do things we should do, we think that we don't have self-control. But it's not a problem of discipline or information but,rather, of emotion. We do whatever we feel like, and feelings can't be reasoned with.
So what do we feel like? As stated in previous article, we feel doing things that give Instant pleasure. But in life, we need to do the opposite ( recall that good habits have delayed rewards) and we can't also force things. So we need to use Instant Gratification to our advantage - we need to work with it, not against it. If an action is satisfying, then the mind will find it worth repeating. So to do good habits we need to make it's ending satisfying, as we tend to remember this phase more than others. A feedback upon completing an action that we have succeeded in our goal, makes the activity satisfying.
But how to get started with the activity in the first place? Well, it has been found that not only getting the reward, even the anticipation of reward also releases Dopamine - the pleasure hormone - which can bring motivation to start a certain activity. But over-indulgence of this can result in day-dreaming, so we need to use it wisely. And we also need to make the action easy in the starting, as our brains tend to avoid hard work.