As suggested before, I believe that the subconscious will of a person is influencing their behavior. Now, bear in mind that this is my personal hypothesis and not backed up by science. So it should to be evaluated and you could be a good test object, if you want. For me at least, it has worked out that way, so I am going to share this with you.
The reason, why our will diverges from what we think our will is, is that a subconscious bias thinks that the behavior we display, is valuable.
After all, the entrepreneur who is starting up but always sleeps-in started his company because the ultimate goal was not to work hard, but to somehow earn sufficient money to live a lazy lifestyle. When he worked for a company, sleeping-in was no option. If he would sleep-in too often, he would encounter disciplinary measures and probably lose his job. In a capitalistic society, however, you need money to be lazy. Consequently, his ultimate, expected reward of starting the company was to earn enough to allow this laziness. So laziness, not business (there’s a pun right there), is his real will. And considering that no immediate consequences threaten his behavior, he sleeps in a gets nothing done, until his seed-capital (or whatever money he lives on a the moment) is gone.
The smoker, on the other hand, was originally hooked on cigarettes, because they made him feel dizzy in the beginning and appeared to be a quick and uncomplicated remedy to stress. His real will is to have a wonder-pill that releases stress. To make matters worse, however, the resulting addiction turned the page, and made him become very irritable when the amount of nicotine in the body decreased. So the addiction increases the smoker’s stress if it is not satisfied. Smoking the cigarette, appears to be resolving this issue, when instead, it’s causing it. But as worse as that, he also believes that the cigarette tastes well, helps social contacts and maybe looks good also. His real will, although misled, is to smoke cigarettes for these reasons.
The person who is overweight and never works-out, knows that the ideal of beauty in our society is to be slim (it used to be the other way around, when food was scarce – and still is in many of the poorer countries). However, she enjoys the taste of a burger and a pizza and just loves to be entertained by her TV. On the other hand, she would like to look like the people she sees on TV. So she might say to herself that her will is to be slim. But her real will is to continue the hedonistic lifestyle.
As mentioned in the introduction chapter of this book, it is interesting, how the wills that we have discussed just above, are in line with the promises of heaven. Oh, what a wonderful place that must be. You can eat and drink whatever you please without having to face the negative consequences. You can be lazy- and there is probably a wide variety of psychedelic drugs at your hand for enjoyment without negative consequences. All of that obviously without any negative consequences and -the best of the deal- forever. It surely can be assumed that the reason why heaven is described in this way, is that the hedonistic, lazy lifestyle is appealing to each and everyone of us humans.
Yet, we know, that at least while we’re not yet in heaven, the hedonistic life comes at a cost. Eating junk food, will make us fat. And more importantly: unhealthy. And the same goes for substance abuse, and laziness in general.
My approach on tackling this issue and getting our goals in line with our will, is therefore, the application of dumb, pure logic. We just need to consciously understand that the behavior we’re exerting does not lead to our desired outcome.
The entrepreneur who sleeps-in and gets nothing done, will at one time run out of money and be forced back into a life where a boss is present to discipline him. Unless, he understands that hard work comes before laziness is possible.
The smoker needs to understand that the nicotine addiction is the cause, not the solution to his irritability. And that cigarettes do neither taste good (remember your first taste of smoke?), nor do they help social contacts any more than any other activity, nor do they look cool (if they would, people would walk around with pencils in their mouths- just about as cool).
The overweight person needs to either fix the view of herself in comparison to the ideal of beauty of society (if the weight is still considered as normal and she is able to socialise and be happy in her love life), or realize that the consumption of junk food is not nutritious and that healthy food, when consumed with an open mind, offers the possibility of endless taste-bud explosions. And excercising is natural and makes happy.
Only when all the misconceptions that we talk ourselves into believing, have been debunked, can we approach our real goals and align our will according to our goals.
The entrepreneur would need to understand that hard work is required in order to build the company up. Once the company is successful and either earns money without him or has been sold, can he sleep-in and not worry about it. Once he has really understood that his business is the key to his desire, and that he needs to delay the instant gratification of sleeping-in and not working on the business in favor of working hard, in order to being able to be lazy once the business was sold, his subconscious mind will be in line with his behavior.
The smoker will understand the misconception he has been fallen for. And resist the urges of the addiction to get back to a life where stress wasn’t induced by a lack of nicotine. He might naturally also learn how to cope with everyday life’s stress in different ways, such as meditating and jogging.
The overweight person will either continue her life, being satisfied with the way she looks, or stopped to eat junk food, while rediscovering the natural taste and working out.
All of these have in common that we fell for misconceptions or created these misconceptions in the first place. They are believe-systems which do not cohere