Problem: Desire to achieve is not a simple psychological variable. It stems from the perceptions of options and opportunity – environmental feedback and our perceptions of it.
This is why diet is the foundation of Weightlessness training, which regulates hormones and re-sensitizes dopamine/serotonin receptors. A reduction in stimulants makes working for big wins far easier in the long run.
When you have Facebook, McDonald’s, and every other major brand in the world studying your hormonal responses to food, likes on social media, images, and conversations until they know exactly how to make you an addict of their product, it’s much harder to pursue challenging goals without feeling like a failure most of the time. Because reward signals are harder fought for.
Understanding basic operant conditioning and Pavlovian reinforcement is critical. A mind-body conditioned for simple and ready reward is ill-suited to the grind and hustle required to overcome hardship on the path to success. It’s also, for that matter, unlikely to fair well if the perception of one’s environment is stifling and prison-like.
This problem should be tackled on two fronts: the perspective front, where we dispel delusions of ease and certainty; and the options front, where we attempt to manufacture an environment that reinforces positive actions, with any luck setting the stage for internal (motivation) and external (compounding options) momentum.
This text is an excerpt from The Motivation Problem chapter in Reflections of a Diceman, the Law of the Die Nonfiction Appendix, which you can get for free by subscribing to my newsletter: Subscribe and Join the Tribe