Does some of our bad habits are unproductive ways to escape discomfort and how to use it become greater us?

Evolutionarily, our brains are similar to brains of some animals. They’re more complex, sure, but the motivational drive is the same – when we are uncomfortable, we are motivated to restore status-quo. Even wanting is its own form of discomfort, which means that what looks like a lack of motivation is often simply someone escaping discomfort in an unhealthy or unproductive way.

Let’s take, for example, teenagers who spends all their free time playing video games. Despite what their parents may say, it’s not quite right to say they lack motivation. After all, it takes hours of focus and practice to emerge victorious from an epic battle. Rather, the teenager is motivated to play video games because, in them, they find the way to escape boring schoolwork, social pressure, and nagging parents. It’s a quick, easy relief from dealing with discomfort.

That’s the other important thing to remember – humans, like water, seek the path of least resistance.

So, how can we use it for our own benefit?

I’d say we all have to-do lists with abandoned tasks which are there for ages. Me, personally, can easily memorise a lot of occasions when under the pressure of doing some stressful thing I found myself executing with great enthusiasm something different, something that waited to be done for ages.

Seems to me that sometimes we are forced to choose between two stresses and in the end it drives an execution of a smaller one or just more familiar to us.

May be I should play some kind of a mind game with my brain and have a whole range of tasks that needs my attention and let my brain decide which one cause more excitement today and gives me a feeling of safety and opportunity to escape from the greater stress?

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