I wish I had been a brain researcher like Dr. Helen Fisher, who wrote the book The Brain in Love. Her job is very interesting: she looks at thousands of surveys from people who just fell in love.
Some of these people are put in an MRI scanner to look at what is going on in their brains when they are in that happy state.
Some parts of the brain light up like fireworks on New Year’s Eve.
She says that cells that spray dopamine into many parts of the brain are turned on by a small part of the brain called the Ventricle Tech-mental Area.
Christopher Harris, a neuroscientist and researcher at the National Institutes of Health, said that dopamine is the chemical in the brain that controls how we think, move, feel motivated, and learn.
Addictive drugs release dopamine. Dopamine is released by romantic love that is obsessive and acts like an addiction. But Christopher says that everything you want also goes. And the only reason you want it is that it gives you dopamine. Coffee, pizza, chocolate, alcohol, ritual, going out to dinner, getting paid, getting… okay, that’s enough.
That’s a pretty big thing to find out. Your wants determine what you want, what drives you, and what gets you out of bed (or into it).
If that’s the case, why isn’t life so easy, if what we want makes dopamine come out? You feel energized and motivated right away, and as a bonus, you also learn something.
Brains vs. brains
It looks like the parts of our brain, the Paleo-mammalian Brain, which is connected to the Ancient Brain (also known as “The Lizard”), are what ruin that perfect scenario.
This part of the brain is very important to our daily lives because it controls our emotions (like pain and pleasure) and a lot of our memories.
Without scientific proof, I’d guess that a lot of people are still fighting out there on the plains with big scary animals, making snap decisions every day about whether to run away from Rex or try to take him down.
The rest of the day, our Old Mammalian Brain might have us sit in comfort and safety at the top of the forest and get a thrill by watching the entertainment on the plain below. We don’t need to look further than the billions of hours people spend watching TV or on Facebook to see that.
Humans are the only ones with a “new” Rational Brain or Thinking Cortex, which is responsible for “higher thinking” like creativity, the idea of abundance, and empathy.
It doesn’t respond to danger as quickly as our other brains do. It would rather think about the situation and write a paper about what the best thing to do would be, even if its owners’ feet are pounding the pavement below it.
This creative brain keeps us going by giving us opportunities and possibilities that never end.
Every day’s fight
Then, there is a fight every day. We see a chance, and Lizard and OMB start working on us right away. Both of them don’t like change.
Our family calls this kind of thinking “awfulizing.” It can move quickly from “That won’t work, that won’t pay the bills, and no one will want that” to a “what if” scenario. “What if nothing goes right at all? We won’t have any money, we’ll have to start over, and everything will be gone.”
This is a never-ending cycle of work and lack of motivation for entrepreneurs.
Our Thinking Brain sets up many opportunities for us, like a tray of precious stones. We jump on one of them and act on it, only to give in to the chatter of our other brains.
Still not giving up, our Thinking Brain brings out the tray again. We pick up another great idea, and the cycle starts all over again. Of course, it won’t work or pay the bills if it’s only half done. Seth Godin says that this is just ruining our work.
“A good idea done is better than a brilliant idea undone,” is one of my favorite quotes that I don’t know who said it. Seth says that we should let bad ideas happen and not have a plan B.
There’s also nothing else like this cycle, even if it’s just a small part of your bigger business life and making you feel demotivated. In that whirlpool, getting a bill is like getting a slap in the face. It stares you down. Until you put it in a “to be sorted” tray and get a mind blow when its pinker version arrives a month later.
When the battle between the brains is over, there is a lot of motivation. And it’s over when you can just ignore the noise and keep going with your chance.
Here are seven ways to get motivated again and get your passion going again.
STOP TALKING LIZARD!
1. Know your goal and explain it
Use a course, a mentor, self-examination, counseling, a master mind group, or a combination of all of these to find your business’s purpose and then set boundaries around it.
Why do you do what you do? For whom do you do it? What’s the point? Does it make a difference? Learn to pitch it in everything you do every day. You’re educating your audience. You are also making the Lizard calm down. When you talk about why you do what you do with confidence every day, it starts to believe you.
2. Be open to research
Find out about every opportunity that fits with your purpose and calm the Lizard by showing it proof that people want what you have to offer.
3. Make sense
Think carefully about how to carry out the plans. Don’t leave anything out when thinking about how to roll it out. If you do, you leave yourself open to argument. Good planning can help with the Lizard. It makes me feel safe and sound. It’s true. Being consistent gets things done, which keeps people motivated.
4. Manage and take charge
Give your Thinking Brain as much time as it needs to give you ideas and reasons why you should act on them. They’ll help you reach your goal because your Thinking Brain has already worked that out. Then research and plan for how to put the plan into action. Managed implementation is the best way to keep the Lizard in line.
5. Publish and go public
Put it out there: blog about it, pitch it, or publish it. Publish a book. Tell everyone. Lizard might even start to celebrate your goal with you if it gets a lot of attention, feedback, and support.
6. Make connections and work together
When you all work toward the same goal, you get more excited. Such eagerness, spirit, and dedication are like snails to a Lizard. It just has to run away.
Once you go further and work with others to reach your goal, your once stubborn Lizard won’t have much to say about it.
7. Play to fuel what you love
Now that the battle is over, you can feel passionate. So play to keep it going. Play means doing something in a certain place at a certain time.
I gave myself permission to play when I wrote the book Clans. Supercharge Your Business. First, I wrote down 200 reasons to wake up at 6 a.m., even though I’m not a morning person. Then, for 60 days, I wrote every day between 6 and 8 a.m. It was lovely. Every day, my brain wrote things I didn’t know were there. It wasn’t a job; it was fun.