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Explorations and Reflections

on awakening the true self  in education

  • Writer's pictureMick Scott

It's Not You, It's Your Brain

The oldest and most primitive part of our brain has three key motivations:

  1. Avoid pain

  2. Seek pleasure

  3. Minimize effort

Go ahead - breathe a sigh of relief. I’ve seen students and clients breathe one too when we’ve discussed this “motivational triad.”

Our brain is ALWAYS looking to satisfy one of those motivations. It’s not personal.

  • Your desire to avoid uncomfortable conversations and actions? That’s your primitive brain avoiding pain.

  • Your desire to eat yummy foods and drink unhealthy drinks? That’s your primitive brain seeking pleasure.

  • Your laziness? That’s your primitive brain seeking to minimize effort and conserve calories.

None of that is personal. It’s our wiring, our neurology, our humanity.

You are not committed to avoiding pain and discomfort. You are not stuck in a pleasure-seeking loop. You are not lazy.

But your brain is. And it’s doing those things because it’s what got us here, to 2023 and 3.5 billion years of evolution on this planet.

The brain is a beautiful, miraculous organ, and it serves us well. It’s just not often by default in agreement with the more evolved parts of our brain, our higher self, or our spirit.

So, when we hear the whisper of inspiration, and we commit to taking action towards a future we care about, we don’t have to fight with ourselves about it. Instead, we can acknowledge the brilliance of the brain and act anyway.

We can thank it for protecting us, for looking out for us, for caring about us. And then we can invite in a little fear, a little discomfort, a little effort, and get to work creating a future that inspires us, fulfills us, and serves our core values.

My turn for a sigh of relief. Ahhhh.

  • I prefer to avoid the discomfort of tough conversations and other vulnerable actions, so I get them done to keep them from hanging over my head.

  • I enjoy the pleasure of breaking my vegan commitment for dairy and sweets, so I set aside holidays and vacations to do it.

  • I love letting myself be lazy, so I schedule it for when the work is done.

We can love our brain AND move beyond it to take inspired action - even if we've got the motivational triad to contend with.

Thank you so much for engaging with my work. 🙏❤️

P.S. As a transformational life coach, I help people move beyond their self-imposed limitations to live their best lives and feel amazing. If you’re interested in finding out how I can support you, reach out and let’s talk. 💌

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