We often think things
and we do things
because we want to feel good;
not because they are good for us.
The truth is often uncomfortable and when forced to face the dislikeable-truth, our emotional tendency is to ignore, deny and deflect in order to avoid getting in touch with the dislikable-truth and to create, support and preserve the preferred thoughts that make us feel good. We ignore, deny and even attack the truth or the messenger because the truth does not match our preferred feel-good perspective; even though that perspective might be incorrect, fallacious and nonfactual. According to Theory of Self-Relativity,
This need to avoid pain, to feel good, or at the minimum, to feel less-bad; is the main cause of our bad decisions, our incorrect actions and our inability to change and improve.
We feel because feelings enable us to quickly identify, connect and take action relative to internal and external stimuli. This quickness and impulsivity of acting on feelings is intended to be a protective-mechanism for safety and survival because in urgent situations such as in primitive-times that our ancestors lived in, they didn’t have time to think if the data that they were getting was factual or not. They acted on feelings and impulse because being wrong was not as detrimental as being killed or eaten; hence, we developed more ways of feeling negative in order to stay protected and safe because negative-feelings force us to take action in order to resolve or eliminate the causes of those negative feelings; for example, feeling fear and running from potential danger. It is because of this primitive programming of our mind that we have developed more negative-feelings than positive-feelings because negative-feelings notify us that there is a possible threat or a potential for danger and because negative-feelings are unpleasant, they force us take quick “corrective” action in order to increase our safety so that we can eliminate our negative-feelings.
Most self-help and self-improvement systems focus on motivation as the core requirement for transformation and improvement because motivation functions by trying to improve our feelings. However, the problem with such motivational teachings is that motivational programs incorrectly and sometimes deceptively try to elevate our emotions in order to get us excited to change and improve. Through peptalking and chest-pounding sessions, seminars and write-ups and messages, motivational programs create false-hope which quickly fades into oblivion without producing any results.
Unrealistic motivation and peptalk is the perfect setup for failure and hopelessness.
Most motivational teachings are made of implied purpose and reason for failures and negativities as if the failure or the negativity happened for a purpose or a reason so that we could learn from it to make our life better. Negativities don’t happen with the purpose of them leading us to improvement; negativities happen because we “our Self” either caused it by doing something wrong or because we refrained from taking an action in order to improve an outcome. Regardless of how we look at it, negativities and setbacks happen because we “our Self” are a factor in the situation. Motivational programs make us feel good and tell us what we want to hear rather than be honest to tell us how we are responsible for the things that happen in our lives. Instead of telling us how reality is, whether it is pleasant or not, and instead of showing us how to change so that we can improve our reality; most motivational-programs focus on telling us what we want to hear rather than what we should hear. Furthermore, even when motivational programs try to tell us what we need to do to change, they often fall well short of showing us how to make the change. Empty-motivation without implementation of follow through action is like knowing we need to eat to stay alive but not knowing how to find the food.
We all know we need to eat to stay alive; the question is how to find the food.
Motivation is a state-of-mind that creates the desire or willingness to do something; however, motivation alone cannot lead to change and transformation. It is easy to get motivated but motivation dies out if we don’t follow through with proper action. In order to take proper action, we must learn to think and reason based on facts so that the feelings that we create as a result of our thoughts could lead us to make proper decisions for action. We cannot just think positive-thoughts in order to create positive-feelings so we feel good; we must create feelings that are based on reality and facts. This is why motivation is easy but the difficult part is how to turn motivation into results.
Theory of Self-Relativity defines “behavior” as “an action or an inaction that we take as a response to a feeling that is caused by an underlying thought”.
The disconnect between motivation and transformation happens when we directly go to our feelings to behave. Feelings are irrational and feelings by themselves are not reliable to lead to taking proper behavior. In order for feelings to properly lead us into taking proper action or inaction, we must generate those feelings as a result of proper thoughts. Although our thoughts generate our feelings; as stated above and throughout Theory of Self-Relativity; we often think things in order to avoid pain, to feel good, or at the minimum, to feel less-bad. This means we think thoughts in order to feel good and not necessarily to do the right thing. This is why motivation without knowing how to take action fails consistently. Although motivation creates positive-feelings, if these feelings are only created to make us feel good; we will either do the wrong thing or we will not proceed to responding in the correct behavior.
Our behavior does not represent how we are thinking; it only represents how we are responding.
Hence the reason why many self-help and self-improvement systems end up being empty peptalks that get people worked-up and motivated but do not result in transformation. Many tell us what we need to change but they don’t show us how to make the change. In order for motivation to lead to proper action, motivation must be based on “factual-thinking” and not based on thoughts that make us feel good or help us to feel less-bad. Subsequently, feelings which are produced as a result of factual-thinking will then lead us to making sound decisions and taking proper actions.
Theory of Self-Relativity defines “factual-thinking” as “thoughts that are supported by facts and evidence”.
Factual-thinking creates feelings which are based on facts and not based on how we want to feel. Feelings created by factual-thinking are based on truth and facts of how reality is; not based on how we want reality to be. As uncomfortable and difficult as the feelings that are generated from factual-thoughts may be; these feelings will force us to take proper action to correct and improve the uncomfortable facts which are causing our negative-feelings. Factual-thinking will force us to behave correctly by taking an action or inaction in order to improve our Self and the reality which we are dealing with.
Factual-Thinking teaches us “how” to think, not “what” to think.
In order to modify our behavior and to improve, we must change and improve how we think.
We are much more in touch with our feelings than we are with our thoughts, this is why we often behave based on how we feel rather than behave based on what we think. Our thoughts cannot directly create our behavior; our thoughts lead to our behavior through our feelings. Since feelings are much more accessible and feelings are without rationality; in order to rationalize our feelings, we must generate these feelings via factual-thinking. Factual-thinking is the system of checks and balances of our feelings, our behavior and our existence as a whole. Although Theory of Self-Relativity places utmost importance on factual-thinking; it also insists that the feelings generated as a result of our thoughts lead us to expressing our Self as the person that we are. Factual-thinking does not make us into robotic creatures who have no feelings; on the contrary, factual-thinking filters out unnecessary feelings which disable us from improving and living a quality life.
Factual-thinking is the system of checks and balances of our mind.
Our feelings are what separates us from one another and from entities which have no feelings; however, as discussed, our feelings have no rationality and in order to feel the truth and be in sync with reality, we must generate our feelings based on factual-thinking. We should not create thoughts and beliefs in order to feel good; we must think factually so that our true feelings will enable us to change and adapt to the way reality is and not to the way we want reality to be. Therefore, in order to have the purest, strongest and most parallel feelings to factual-reality and to live the least frictional life, we must learn to think factually.
Although René Descartes has stated of the relationship between thinking and existing as “I think, therefore I am”; his philosophy is based on the thinking process creating doubt which is a form of cognitive analysis. Just because we can create doubt by thinking does not make us into the complex individuals that we are. Descartes states “I think I am, because I doubt, therefore I exist”, which is a philosophy that is relevant to existentialism. Our existence is not in question; the issue-at-hand is the understanding of our existence relative to our own Self, relative to reality and relative to everything else. Thinking is made up of multiple thoughts and each thought generates a feeling that we feel; therefore, Theory of Self-Relativity defines the relationship between our thinking and our existence as:
I think…therefore I feel…therefore I am...