I love reading books about evolution, and primitive behavior. I always like reading how scientists are figuring out what we did back in the day and how it relates to how we behave today.
See, humans change very, very slowly. Most of our instincts, desires, and natural born skills center around a hunter / gatherer lifestyle.
When we see food, our caveman brain says we’d better start eating, and eat a lot, regardless of whether or not we’re really hungry, because we might not get any more any time soon.
Recently I was reading about some tribe that lives somewhere that still lives like we did eons ago.
The men usually hunt for meat, while the women usually dig around for grubs. What struck social economists as interesting is what they hunt for.
If they go hunting for big game, they’ll fail 80% of the time. But if they hunt much smaller game, they’ll be successful more than 50% of the time.
If they ONLY hunted for small game, they would average more meat per hunting excursion, on average.
Yet they almost ALWAYS go after big game, in this particular case, giraffes.
This puzzled those egg-headed scientists.
Then they stumbled across something interesting. When they did get a big kill, whoever was responsible for bringing in the big haul would be a sort of “hero” in the short term.
He’d have extra meat for his family, and much to the surprise of these social-economists, he’d sneak meat, on the sly, to his mistress.
So when they went out hunting, it kind of had a dual purpose.
One, to keep the pain of hunger away, and feed their family.
Two, to get some. (If you catch my drift).
Not only would they get all kinds of powerful social recognition back at the tribe, but they’d be able to have more sex.
This kind of reminded me of the whole “push-pull” motivation system in NLP.
See, most of us are motivated only when we feel sufficient pain. Say you look at yourself in the mirror, become disgusted and hit the gym.
Then you lose a couple pounds, get less disgusted, and lose your motivation. This strategy will keep you from being overly obese, but you’ll certainly never get those six pack abs a lot of us would like.
So what’s the answer?
Whenever choosing a goal, set up two motivational systems in your brain. One negative emotion that you’ll feel if you DON’T achieve your goal.
And one powerful and positive emotion you’ll feel when you DO achieve your goal.
Now, the important thing to remember is your negative motivator has always got to be updated. You’ve always got to feel as if it’s right there in your rear view mirror, always breathing down your neck.
For those cavemen, this was hunger. No matter how much fame, fortune and easy sex they could get, hunger was never more than a couple days away.
Keep this in mind when planning your success.