Why do we make bad choices despite knowing what’s right?

A deep dive into the core of our nature

Photo by Hennie Stander on Unsplash

The divided mind

We will begin with an excellent analogy about how the mind works — popularized by Jonathan Haidt in one of his bestselling books, The Happiness Hypothesis.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Photo by Clark Street Mercantile on Unsplash
Illustration by Jurgen Appelo from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurgenappelo/10867776843

Evolution tells the reason

Maybe you’d ask: If the rider is so smart and rational, why didn’t evolution choose it to rule over the “dumb”, impulsive elephant? Maybe then we could all be like Plato, Socrates, or the other super-rational philosophers.

Photo by Matt Chesin on Unsplash
Photo by RAYMOND Wong on Unsplash
Image from Pinterest
Image from peakpx.com

Understanding your elephant

I’ve already stated in the beginning that to utilize the human-machinery on its maximum potentials, first, we need to understand its nature.

Training your elephant

After understanding about the elephant and the rider, you must be thinking, “What’s the significance it might give to my life anyway?”, “How can it be useful in my daily strivings?”

1. When the elephant on its aroused state

Whenever the elephant gets aroused — whether in forms of rage, desperation, lust, or fear — don’t use the rider to fight it directly.

picture from https://www.afar.com/places/patara-elephant-farm-hang-dong

2. When the elephant on its neutral state

Training the elephant on its calmer state is easier, but that’s also why it became easily overlooked.

Photo by Mylon Ollila on Unsplash

Junior Doctor, live in Bali. Human behaviour and Well-being enthusiast. Hit me up at bandorogunarso@gmail.com

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