Buffering extremes

The mobius is the most elegant example of equilibrium there is
The mobius is the most elegant example of equilibrium there is

The Equilibrium Equation

Capability   =   Challenge

Ability/Willingness  =  Danger/Opportunity

Positive Change  Capability   >  Challenge

Negative Change  Capability   <  Challenge

A friend of mine sent me an email  the other day with this equation in it and, since they know I’m into human development, asked me my opinion of it.

Here is how I replied:

On the surface this looks like a serious scientific question. But in reality it has already been answered. It was answered in the shape of the mobius.

But let’s break it down to its component parts. There are two main parts to this:

Part one is the equilibrium argument. The important part here is the equal sign. I’ll be referencing this a little more in a minute.

Part two is the change segment.  It is described by the (<) less than and the (>)  greater than signs.  This is about a movement from one condition to another. It’s about “change” and all change comes in two distinct polarities: Negative and Positive.

One type moves toward the challenge and the other shrinks from a challenge.

But let’s start with the “Equilibrium” argument first.

In the human body the immune system operates automatically to keep things close to a state of homeostasis.  If the body gets too hot for example it tries to bring the temperature down by activating the sweat glands.

On a graph the process looks like a curve. It rises steadily upwards and forward until the system starts to respond. Then the curve starts downward and forward to arrive at the point of the mean temperature. That’s the ideal at which the system can operate at efficiency.

But in this equation it’s referring to the intrinsic attributes of a system (Capability, Ability/Willingness) as being equal to certain extrinsic values (Challenge, Danger/Opportunity).

I like this because it speaks about the duality that we see in so many things in us and around us. Now let me just address the actual components.

On the one side of the equation we have “Capability, Ability/Willingness”. This includes all our internal resources including our internal motivation.

On the other side we have “Challenge, Danger/Opportunity”. This includes all the extringent factors that make up our outside experience. In this equation these are equal because in a human system that is enervated by an internal ethereal energy, like the kind that is switched on by this, it expands to meet the level of the ongoing challenge.

When that happens the duality is balanced like a financial statement or a weigh scale. In the mobius strip the balance was the shape of the system itself. It’s an elegant reciprocal and continuous feedback loop. It’s totally equal in every dimension. That’s because the mobius is perfectly balanced in elegant dual harmony. No conflicts exist here.

Now let’s look at the second part of the question. The key word here is “change”. Positive or negative.  This is the story of conflict and turmoil. Either one is not a secure state. It’s in flux. There are no guarantees. Not now, not ever.

Our best bet is to try to enervate the immune system that looks after the thinking (mindset immunity) because it’s usually far too slow acting in most people to do much good.

Once enervated from the gut drive, which by the way I believe is the same energy that’s behind the drive of persistence and determination, then it acts like a buffer against the extremes of over-hype on one side and depression on the other.

Hard to think straight when either one is taking over. Buffering of stress and worry, of the type that is offered via connection of the gut-brain with the head-brain, frees up energy resources and increases use of your natural capabilities and inherent talents.

More power to you.

David's signature in look-like handwriting

 

 

Don’t Take a bath

rubber duck takes a bath
If you payed for head-based self-motivation you could end up taking a bath

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” -Zig Ziglar

Welcome to this edition of “Quotivations” for December 17, 2010.

Usually every Friday I choose quotes that I think are motivating or inspiring. But today I’m doing something a little different.

Rather than being motivating I found this quote, from one of the original key figures of modern day Self-help, to be a less then a subtle complaint about one of the biggest faults of his positive motivational product.

It doesn’t last.

Never has and never will.

Poor old Zig. He’s been at this self-help game since before the earth was done cooling. A defensive quote like this one appears to bring out the curmudgeon in him.

It’s total spin though.

But there is something I’ve  got to give him credit for. He’s always been good at adding a touch poetry to make his message more memorable. Remember the famous line “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude”. Clever stuff like that sells well and it sure did for multi-millionaire Zig Ziglar.

But I still don’t buy it.

Want poetry? How about this: “Disable the fable about motivational spinners making you able”.

Ok, maybe it’s not as good as Zig can do it but, hey, I’m still working on it.

I believe that the real reason why motivation appears not to last very long is because of the type of motivation that’s being delivered.

What doesn’t last is the typical self-motivation injected toward your head-brain by clever artful dodgers like Zig.

Now, don’t get me wrong here, anyone who’s been at for over forty years, like Zig has, deserves some respect. I’m sure he’s helped some people along the path.

But we need some hard truth here.

The problem is that Zig, like all of his compadres today, did not and has not been able to recognize that there is another overriding motivational force that comes from the gut and powers through all the head-brain muddle causing a desired goal to be achieved despite all the great motivational sayings.

That energy, we refer to it sometimes as persistence and determination, cannot and does not originate in the head brain. It’s strictly a property of the gut brain (scientifically known as the enteric nervous system).

The problem with trying to change thoughts from negative to positive is that as humans we have a slight negativity bias to start with and the head-brain, which is always open to messages from the eyes and ears, can’t avoid reverting to and taking on the polarity of whatever has the greater amount.

In other words, there is a lot of negatively charged media fighting for attention with the positive stuff (poetry notwithstanding). It usually swings back to the negative side because that is often the default setting. Negative is also the polarity a lot of our perceptions happen to have about how our existence is treating us.

For example, you could be studying one of Zig’s great books and feeling very positive about your day. That’s until some jerk cuts you off in traffic or you get a flat tire on your way to work and suddenly bamm! just like that you’re back to where you started. You need to bathe your brain again in more positive juice.

The fundamental Problem…

It’s taken me a lot of years but I can now describe the fundamental problem with just three words: lack of immunity.

See the mindset is constantly under attack by our negative perceptions of our situation. But the body’s physical immune system is primarily a buffer against the attacks of pathogens and most of the time it works quite well.

But mindset immunity is another animal all together. It’s not physical it’s ethereal because thoughts are ethereal. The problem with it is that it’s too weak and too slow acting in most people to act like much of a buffer. But, here’s the good news:

I’ve found a way to fix that with this.

Not one of the best head-based motivators working today has ever thought of this approach before. If they did they’d have to change their whole business model to include one where they only deliver the result just once and it sticks.

Like I do.

They wouldn’t want to ever do that though. If they did their business could end up taking a bath… daily.

That’s it for today, consider yourself “quotivated”.

More power to you.

David's signature in look-like handwriting