“Our modern brains are still wired up for the ancient evolutionary purpose of surviving in a dangerous environment. Over a million years or so, we developed specialized neural structures that selectively tuned in to danger signals.”
Why do we procrastinate? For survival.
We’re not naturally inclined to be:
- taking risks and daring to fail
But rather to:
- “expect and perceive threatening – a.k.a. unpleasant – experiences rather than to fantasize about pleasurable ones” (source)
- avoid potentially uncomfortable and dangerous situations
- systematize and reduce for ease and maximum effectiveness in responding to danger.
- maximize pleasure and comfort, which we equate with living longer
The life hack:
- leverage pleasure over pain
- make a list of pros vs. cons and make sure the pros outweigh the cons
- leverage your imagination and emotions and create a visceral experience to motivate/teach/familiarize the brain with positive energy rather than the focus of fear and pain
- generate the energy and feeling in your body of success
- mentally walk thru the process of successes, joys, benefits (source)
- reward progress for positive steps, actions and accomplishments (part of self-care) – source
- changes brain chemistry – increase dopamine levels, as released in anticipation of reward
- celebrate to self-motivate
- know your why (something bigger than oneself)
- Siegel, Ronald. “The Science of Mindfulness: A Research-Based Path to Well-Being.” The Great Courses, 2015. http://www.TheGreatCourses.com.