Getting What You Want in Life:
It Sounds So Easy...So Why Doesn't It Usually Work Out That Way and What Can YOU Do
By Kevin Hogan
You've probably seen this photo of me at the Wynn in Las Vegas. It's not a great photo or anything, it's simply one I'm "familiar" with.
If you ask me where I want to go on "vacation" (something I am very unfamiliar with) I'd say Vegas. I love to play cards. I'm good at it. I win more often than I lose and in Vegas that is rare.
I've done events and been to lots of places. Sydney, Oahu, London, Krakow, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Prague. All very cool. (I've also played cards in almost all of these places.)
What's interesting is any one else in the world thinks of Prague and you are triggered to think of the Charles Bridge. And I do too...but if I can't find a place to play cards somewhere, I feel uncomfortable. So the little reptile in my brain searches that out and when it finds a place to go play, THEN it finds the more rational reasons everyone goes to Prague.
This concept of familiarity is really what success and failure in life stand on.
If you get it, you understand MOST of human behavior.
If you understand the basics of human behavior, you will succeed in life. If you don't...you don't.
I was raised in a poor family. We had paper, pencil and a deck of cards for the longest time as the tools of entertainment...think of how predictive that is of Kevin Hogan in 2015...
Familiarity is the king size driver of all behavior.
A metaphor: At age six months you had 500 "houses" in your brain you could go explore and learn about. The neural nets were waiting and ready for sucking up more information and experiences. And you WANTED to do it. You were DRIVEN to explore. You WERE a sponge.
And then the plug was pulled on most of those experiences.
Two years later you had 50 metaphorical houses left in your brain that you could explore. As time went on, you had fewer and fewer choices. And by the time you were 30, if you've made it there, your world of possible lives to lead was down to one or two. In fact, the notion of "security" of a "job" is so ingrained in our brains it's often hard to imagine doing ANYTHING other than what you are doing today.
By the time you had been assimilated, I mean educated, in school, you were down to very few life choices and opportunities. The ability to create, develop, explore, be curious, be excited about engagement had been sucked right out of your brain.
The remaining 10 or so areas of interest and excitement became familiar.
You got to high school and were told to select a "Major" in college.
"I don't know what I want to be when I grow up."
Well no kidding! You only had 10 things you were potentially excited about and most of them were playing videos, watching the tube, sleeping, and getting into trouble.
You would have NO WAY to have a CLUE what might make an interesting profession...and in the future...no less.
Much easier to stick with what you are familiar.
And that is of course why so many kids follow in their parents footsteps. (This can be a blessing...or a curse right?!)
Consider this: youíre standing before the closed door of a very large room. Letís suppose that you happen to know thereís a cash reward waiting for you if you open this door, walk across the room, and claim your reward. Simple, right?
But thereís a problem: the room is pitch black, so dark that you canít even see your hand in front of your face. Since youíve never been in this room before, you have no idea what the interior of the room looks like.
Maybe itís a completely empty room that you could simply walk across and collect your reward. But on the other hand, your imagination creates other interesting scenarioís likeÖ.could there could be broken glass on the floor, objects in the way that youíll trip over, and things hanging from the ceiling that youíll bump your head intoÖor WORSE!
For all you know there could be ANYTHING! You just donít KNOW. Itís unfamiliar and uncomfortable and even though there is no reason to believe so, itís scary.
This keeps you from getting what you want...Get rid of it.
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Coffee cup photo appears under license with Stockexpert. Article photo appears under license with istockphoto/evirgen.