When we start something new the brain releases a hormone called dopamine. That’s the feel good hormone released when you’re eating chocolate or having sex. It’s a survival hormone. It allowed our primitive ancestors to know what would help keep them alive (e.g. eating food) and the species going (having sex).
So why does starting something new release this feel-good hormone? Because, as Chris Cade explains in his free “Getting Things Changed” mini-course, prehistoric survival was totally dependent on being alert to new things. Namely, prey, predators and berries. Caveman didn’t know how to raise livestock, farm or build cities. They were at the mercy of nature – both its bounty and its threats.
Have you ever seen the TV show Survivorman? After being stranded out in the wild, Les Stroud was usually happy if he hadn’t been attacked by a puma; found clean water; and had eaten at least one small snake and a handful of dandelions – over the course of seven days.
Imagine living like that your entire life?
Our ancestors were always at the whim of performing short-lived experiences like escaping a tiger, finding twelve wild berries or spearing a boar.
In our more sophisticated society, a short attention span is not so compatible with the type of material, psychological and spiritual progress that people like you and I are seeking. The opposite has become true. If you can’t focus and stick to something, you make little progress. Sure you won’t starve to death. Instead you find yourself facing a fate worse than death by wild alligator — you find yourself living a mediocre life.
Unfortunately our ancestors’ short attention span and obsessions with new threats and opportunities seems to be coded into our DNA. It is but one of the reasons we have so much trouble sticking to a personal development program for more than 12 minutes (forget about 12 months). This is why we get bored after learning a few basic greetings in a new language. This is why we give up after spending a week dieting and exercising to lose a pound of weight.
Nonetheless, all of us have experiences where a burning desire, aroused will power or life-and-death necessity has made us commit to certain long-term goals… and achieve them. And we know that the satisfaction of finishing a self improvement course, changing a habit or learning an instrument produces a deep sense of joy and wellbeing (that the fleeting dopamine rush of food and sex can not compete with). Nothing against food and sex, mind you – but life is so much more.
I don’t believe our ancestors were put on this planet to just survive… I believe we were given the gift of evolution so that we could THRIVE.
The other day I introduced you to Chris Cade’s complimentary transformational mini-course called “Getting Things Changed.”
This 7 day email-based course helps you overcome all identify the mental obstacles to doing what needs to be done to achieve your big goals in life. You can get all seven lessons for free by going to:
Each day, for seven days, you get something new. A little dopamine shot to help you along as Chris unravels many of the mysterious subconscious blocks stopping you from achieving your most important goals in life.