Our Best and Worst Selves

I have a constant curiosity in human behavioral studies and learning. I enjoy studying both when we are at our best and when we are at our worst. It’s healthy to explore this. I think if more people practiced human social and human behavioral work we’d be a different human race today. Instead, we get distracted. We find it very hard to stand still. We say a lot, “I don’t have time.”

I’ve found for myself behavioral studies incredibly useful. Whether you want to use them for working through teams professionally or on yourself, there’s a topic in this field that can help. I believe in the best of our human natures, seeing first hand what we can accomplish. I’ve also seen and believe in the worst of ourselves. We all have things we can learn from both.

The saying goes, everything happens for a reason. Wether or not you believe it or not, it will take a lifetime to really get your answer.

Human behavior is really human biology. How our brain’s interrupt all that data. Last post I discovered how our brain’s can warp our sense of reality. With that in mind, our behavioral biology is deeply intertwined with our interactions with human society, in our neighborhood’s cultures, our work cultures, and our history.

Years before our brain responds a certain way to something at work or in our lives, it was trained to react that way because of the input it received as we grew up in our societies. We were taught right or wrong based on societal norms. That’s why today’s generation it is so super important to make sure what our children get from their digital lives are accurate. We need to discuss it with them. Help them understand what’s fake and not. If we don’t, well, imagine what all this fake news could do.

Our five senses are constantly sending data to our brains. These sensory cues can shape our behaviors. To keep this post short, lets take our auditory cues and how they can generate certain responses in our behaviors. Music can move us. Certain types of music can move us to relax. I listen to my chill playlist while I write or read because it keeps my breathing calmer and relaxes me to really be present. I find conversely at work when working through administrative work, playing music that is fast and quick makes me work fast and quick. I am much more efficient and productive. I move faster.

It has been well studied and researched that our childhood and adolescent experiences had a hand at impacting our behavioral development. I now understand the value of what my father taught about nurturing my creativity and putting a premium on time to explore it. I was never going to be as great at creating art as he was. But, I did learn to look at things with a exploitative and creative mindset. To figure it out, problem solve what I was seeing, hearing, and feeling. During our childhood the human brain has a remarkable ability to absorb information much faster than our adult selves can. We need to think about more than ever in this age of instant information, what our children are learning or being exposed to. It can literally shape how they grow into societal behavioral norms.

Looking at our work environments for a minute, there are cultural factors that explain our behaviors there as well. If where we work is based on a individualist culture, as we move through our job in that environment we will find success in individualistic type of work and less success in collectivist/group work cultures. The reverse can be said about work cultures that are dominated by group thinking. When someone is put into position where they have to work on their own outside of a group, they will struggle. Then you add in a moral system, you will find the moral system of a individualistic work environment much different than a collaborative/group work culture. I have pride in the work culture I live in, as it works hard from top down to incorporate a environment that embodies both. This allows me to excel as an individual or in a group. I feel incredibly agile and find success outlets in so many other possibilities.

Our brain chemistry is more linked to our behavior than we at times give credit to. We have to practice constant vigilance in being self-aware of what’s going into our heads with our time at work, at home, and with our children. Only by really understanding how our actual behaviors come about, can we truly unlock our potential and the potential of others around us. Challenge everything you think you may know about emotions. It will serve you incredibly well in your career and life.

🧠 Shawn

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