“… And they lived happily ever after!”
Don’t you just love stories with happy endings?
Want to know why?
Our brains LOVE stories
Like researchers Philip Mazzocco and Melanie Green found out, stories have the power to do what logic alone can’t. They researched the “contrast between rhetorical persuasion, in essence arguing with facts and logic, and the use of narratives to influence decisions. They conclude that stories are more effective at changing emotional beliefs that logical arguments have difficulty reaching” (source).
Stories have also the power of engaging ALL of your brain, activating the regions that you would use to actually perform and experience what the story is telling.
Researcher Uri Hasson from Princeton noticed that “When the woman spoke English, the volunteers understood her story, and their brains synchronized. When she had activity in her insula, an emotional brain region, the listeners did too. When her frontal cortex lit up, so did theirs. By simply telling a story, the woman could plant ideas, thoughts and emotions into the listeners’ brains” (source).
“But what’s so powerful about inspiring emotions on other people’s brains?”
Well, did you know that you need emotions to make decisions?
Read Elliot’s true story: “In 1982, a patient of Antonio Damasio, a neuroscientist, had a small brain tumor cut out of a part of his cortex. Because only the emotional part of the brain was damaged, Elliot’s IQ in the 97th percentile remained the same, so Elliot just lost the ability to feel emotions. They discovered that Elliot would endlessly deliberate over irrelevant details like whether to use a black or blue pen. His paralysis for analysis was pathological” (source).
Michael Gazzaniga, a cognitive Neuroscientist, studied patients that had their two hemispheres of the brain disconnected. In his research, he found out that “on the left brain there’s a special system that seems to always want to explain actions and moods that we have after they occurred“!
They discover this by putting “a question to the right nonspeaking hemisphere and it, in effect, would direct the left hand to do something”. Then “the patient would make up a story that would explain why their hand had done one thing and why the other hand had done another thing and wove a tale that made coherent, as it were, the behaviors that are coming from all these separate brain areas” (source).
Gazzaniga called this special system - The Interpreter, “a very powerful force in the human condition and it’s always trying to figure out and seek explanations for our behavior” (source).
That’s why I always say that, one of the three things that we’re wired to do is to look for meaning! That’s why I showed you that mastering your Interpreter is exactly what can make you become unstoppable.
“Interesting. But I don’t have my brain divided!”
Gerald Zaltman, author and Harvard University professor of business administration, discovered that “95% of the time our minds are on autopilot, and most of our decisions are made with minimal conscious involvement” and they confirmed this in a recent study “where subjects were given a puzzle to solve, and through monitoring brain activity, the scientists were able to show that the puzzle was actually solved eight seconds before the subjects were conscious of solving it” (source) !
What about the happy ending?
That’s where the big hoax comes in!
Since we were kids that we’ve been listening to stories, often at bedtime.
Both the timing and the content of these stories work together to “install” in our minds some ideas that slowly, but steadily turn into deep beliefs.
At bedtime the Interpreter is less active so the story has a better chance to bypass the developing cognitive reasoning capabilities that we had at that age.
Now, I don’t have anything against a story with a happy ending. My problem is with the word “AFTER” next to “they lived happily”!
These stories have influenced people to believe two lies about happiness:
Lie #1 – Happiness must be earned
Lie #2 – Happiness is an event
These two lies are the definition of happiness that the Devil would want you to have! How much more dis-empowering could they be?!
You don’t need to earn your happiness. The key to happiness is gratitude and you can experience it as often as you want!
Be grateful for what you have that isn’t granted – EVERYTHING! Have you ever noticed that you don’t really OWN anything? The only thing that you own is your soul – that’s where you store who you love and who loves you! Everything else is temporary…
Each breath that you’re taking right now isn’t granted. We just breath so often without nothing special happening that we take them for granted. The problem is that you assumed that being alive is nothing special…
IT IS AS SPECIAL AS YOU MAKE IT TO BE!
It’s like those moments when you say: “one day, a year from now, we will look back and we’ll laugh about this!”
My question is – WHY WAIT A YEAR?! Why not now?!
This one is linked to the second lie – your Interpreter is running, most of the time, on auto-pilot looking at what’s happening and giving meanings to it.
The problem is that most of us are TERRIBLE at giving empowering meanings to what happens to us. That’s why you know examples of people that go through great adversities in Life and become more powerful than ever! They, consciously or unconsciously, decided that it was the beginning not the end! The decided that they were going to breakthrough not breakdown!
Attaching your happiness to an event is the reason why people believe that achieving their goals will bring them happiness. Then after they achieve their goals, they wonder why they feel like something is still missing.
Most just try to go for bigger goals. Those who do achieve those BIG goals, still don’t feel that sense of happiness.
The reason why is simple: your goals are worthless!
Last year I had an amazing year: I finished my Master degree in Management while working at my day-job as a Web Software Developer AND launching The Rabbit Way at the same time.
But do you know how I felt when I achieved all those goals?
Like finally I could rest, just for a moment, because my goals were achieved…
But happiness? Happiness is what I experience while I was walking towards a worthwhile destination!
That’s also the reason why I’m launching an online course called “Leading Life Beyond Goals”: top help you escape the biggest myths about goal setting with real research in the Neuroscience field, so you can finally start living a Life worth dying for! And catch that elusive sense of happiness and fulfillment that we’re all looking for.
Let’s face it your goals won’t do much for you IF:
- you don’t know where you’re going (Leadership)
- you don’t believe that you can do it (Beliefs)
- you don’t see it in your mind (Visualization)
- you don’t have a plan resilient to change (Planning)
- you don’t take purposeful action (Strategy)
- you don’t have an auto-pilot to drive you (Habits)
What to know more about it?
Share your e-mail in the box bellow so you can be part of this amazing journey!