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We All Want More, But Our Brains Aren’t Designed for This

Professional and Personal Development

What’s It All About, Alfie? (Are you old enough to remember that song?)

You want more for yourself. Right?

We all do. Neuro- & psychological sciences tell us that all people are driven to Be, Do & Have more.


These sciences also tell us that our neuro-biological brains and our psychological minds work against us Being, Doing & Having/Achieving to our potential.

Our Brains and Minds are Working Against Us

Evolution engineered our brains for survival in a relatively wild, isolated & dangerous world. This took hundreds of thousands to millions of years.

Our brains evolved to, first and foremost, serve our single, highest historical drive of physical survival in a tenuous environment.

However, today our needs and drives have evolved well beyond simple, physical survival. Today, we seek fulfillment, happiness and complex productivity and contribution well beyond our physical survival. Contribution and relevance both personally and professionally. 

But our biological brains haven’t had the necessary time to keep up with the evolution of the explosion of what are now complex human needs and desires, which must maneuver and operate in increasingly complex, modern societies.

Fulfillment, Productivity and Success Require Self-Leadership

To achieve our strongest drives and needs in the modern age — such as personal and professional fulfillment and success — we must lead ourselves. Often, we must also lead others. And we must lead habitually and at consistently high levels

This is much more complex and potentially untenable than the daily physical survival our brains are engineered for. Success and fulfillment today require us to habitually inspire passionate, creative focus and productivity out of ourselves — and out of other people.

(Click the following link for a great video on developing your presence, charisma and rapport skills).

Our Brains and Minds Work Against Fulfillment and Success

But our brains are designed to seek threats and run. And they are designed to seek, and take, the path of least resistance.

Our brains are not designed to actively seek creative opportunities, then move passionately and industriously towards them. Because this is dangerous. We could fail. We could be harmed emotionally, possibly even physically — and this is not the avoidance off threat. Nor is it the path of least resistance.

Our brains are not engineered for modern fulfillment and success. Our brains still, by nature, seek (and imagine) threats to avoid at all costs. 

What’s more, our minds, our psychology, further complicates things.

The highest human drive and need is to BE actualized. To BE creatively successful in our passions and gifts. To BE important and to BE valuable to other people. Our highest drive is to BE of personal power so that we reliably and significantly affect our world with our gifts and passions.

Our Minds, Like Our Brains, Work Against Us

Most of us, most of the time, have things backwards. We feel compelled to have more: More money, more home, more respect, more status and so on.

But what the human spirit most wants is to BE more: We want to be more fulfilled, be more at peace, more happy, more relevant, more personally powerful, more capable and effective, more important, more impactful, etc.

We mistakenly think that having more will satiate our higher need to be more. 

But having more are only external symbols of being more. These symbols may or may not have any direct relationship with our actual beingness. In any event, they do not equate with beingness.

Don’t get me wrong, having more is a good thing. It’s much better than not having more.  But having more does not fulfill or satiate our core need to BE more. Having more might, at best, be merely an external representation of accomplishing things in the world. 

Doing More is Also Important, but Again, Not Enough

The smarter and more industrious among us also focus on the DOING more.

But, most often, we do this, because we realize that to have more, we must do more. 

So, we are still focused on and driven by the having of external things.

But, again, we have it backwards. Having things is always transitory. 

When we have a car, that car will eventually pass. It will rust, break and become useless. 

Even when we have peace, it will pass. When we have personal power, it’s something we temporarily possess. Because possessions always pass.

Having is, by its nature, transitory.

Be the Change

On the other hand: when we ARE something. When we are in a state of BEING regarding something, then that thing is, by definition, an integral and inseparable part of who we are; of our very BEINGNESS — as a human being, in our current form.

This may sound like semantics, but I think this is important. Because this is what we are all most after. We want to BE relevant. We want to BE important. We don’t want to have peace or have relevance or have importance. We want to be them.

We want to FEEL and BELIEVE that these are integral and inseparable parts of our very existence. Yes, of our beingness.

Things that we have, are things that we possess. And possessions always pass. And possessions are never a part of who we are. They are never a part of our being. They are things we possess for a brief time.

Doing: The Path to Being

But, don’t get me wrong. Doing absolutely is an important component of being. Doing can be, and often is, integral to being.

In fact, doing may be necessary to truly being something.

We can’t be benevolent without corresponding benevolent doing/action.

We can’t even be relatively passive things, such as being peaceful or being at peace, without making the choice to use our life energy in a peaceful manner.

Nor can we be successful without considerable doing on our part.

Doing, Yes. But the Intention Matters

But our doing must be driven by an intention that is to be something and not to have something.

Again, for example, if we do something benevolent with the intention of having the perception or result of benevolence, we are, at some level, violating benevolence. We are taking benevolent action, at least in part, for selfish reasons and not for benevolent reasons. 

On the other hand, if we actually do benevolence — if we do something to benefit another — and if our only intention is to be benevolent, that is, our sole intention is to benefit another, without concern for ourselves. Then, by definition, we are being benevolent. Benevolence is and can only be a result of benevolent action driven only by benevolent intention.

Being In and Of Itself Does Matter Though

But still, even the most benevolent person might not feel themselves to be benevolent. And the most empowered person might not feel themselves particularly empowered. This might be unusual, but it’s certainly not unheard of. And what, how and who we choose to be in our self-identity and life experience does matter. It matters in our experience. And it matters, in that, it will affect our actions — our doings.

For it’s part, our beingness is, I believe, most often and most substantially shown in our DOINGNESS. In the actions we choose to take. Including their quality, frequency and duration. 

Again, mostly identified by the intention we have in our doing.

The human spirit is most inspired, driven, productive and fulfilled by doing more. But by doing that is driven by and associated to our highest BEING more, and not by doing that we associate to having more. Being such as being of service; being of value; being relevant to humanity.

Hey, It’s Not Just Altruism. It’s Common Sense and Self-Serving Too

Studies by industrial psychologists show, and common sense tells us, that in the work environment, and in life in general, you and I are most driven to exceptional and sustained behavior, action and results by things for which we find deep, personal meaning. We are most driven and we are most fulfilled by DOING things that provide us a deep sense of BEING more in our hearts and minds.

Almost all of us, almost all of the time, are most driven by DOING things that provide us a deep and abiding personal sense of BEING important. Of BEING able to make a difference. Of BEING of personal power to matter to other people.

When we master our primary being drives, through mastery of Inner Peace, Presence, Personal Power AND Productivity, we kill two birds with one stone: We are, a priori, happier and more fulfilled. But, we are also more productive. And, by being more productive, more positive, more energized, and more engaged, we position ourselves to Do much more.

And, as a result, we will almost certainly have much, much more.

There are Techniques to Do This

In our training together, whether for Peak Performance as a Leader many thousands of people or Peak Performance of leading only yourself, you and I will use proven techniques for you to hack and optimize your neuro-biological brain AND your psychological mind. 

As a result, we will rewire your brain and mind to BE, DO and HAVE your dreams and potential.

We will optimize you for PEAK BEING: That is, for Peak Experiences, moment by moment, day after day.

We will optimize you for PEAK DOING: That is, for Peak Performance, moment by moment, day after day.

And, we will optimize you for PEAK HAVING: That is, for Peak Results, in your impact in your world, in your deliverables you create and in your rewards you reap, for yourself and for and through others. 

Posted in Leadership Development Blog, Motivation, Leadership & Success Self Help Blog, Personal Development & Leadership Development Blog.

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