I just received a text from a fellow trying to leverage the courses his paid for to become a real estate investor. He’s been attempting to break free from the 9-5 life for almost a decade and he asked me a question.
“What I don’t understand, is why don’t we always do the things that are in our best interest, and none of the things that don’t serve us.”
-Future millionaire friend post the year of our lord 2019
The answer is simple… well simply complicated. This is a broad question and their are very specific answers for very specific patterns of behavior or unserving bad habits. Generalizations are not going to help here.
But that’s not what I wanted to talk about in the first place.
I first asked this when I was maybe thirteen. I thought at the time I was clever and I could figure it out. I was after all a smart boy, educationally bored and problems like this I could dwell on til I had an answer I deemed suitable.
First I made the question simpler
“Why am I doing things that I don’t 100% want to do because I know aspects of them are bad?”
Why am I teasing my friend for his failed attempt to draw ghastly? Why don’t I answer all the questions on the quiz? Why don’t I like eating vegetables? Why did I steal that thing? Why do I occasionally drop everything and focus everything on one specific aspect of a task like an annual retentive accountant? Why am I thinking dirty thoughts instead of focusing the math homework?
What I understood then was that each of these things that I was doing was in service to a need that I had but not all my needs as a person. Stealing got me the object of my desire but left me with guilt becuase god says it’s wrong so now I feel bad. Bee tea dubs stealing is wrong unless its inspiration or art or method.
So this is when I broke myself apart to figure out why half of me could be fore something and half could be against it. Or in some cases how twenty percent could take control and do it anyways.
I took the general motivations I as best as I understood them and created a council room within my mind for them to meet and discuss the business of life. I sit as always at the head to my left sits the first chair but all chairs are equal. (This bugs me that even as a child with no knowledge of military seating etiquette. I managed to solve the problem of having a rectangular board room table but distance from the head of the table did not create an implicit rank between the board members. By leaving the chair on my right side empty for guests every member present was equally separated and not therefore equal in voice, votes, and authority though a standard meeting starts from left and ends on the empty or guest chair.)
Well, the first chair sits myself in a leather jacket, long rebellious hair, and a quite curt demeanor. He is in change with aspects of myself that pertain to image, social influence, status, reputation. Basically the Fonz of my brain letting me know how a given course of action will affect me socially. The public relations officer if you will.
Then to his left sits myself rather thinner wearing glasses, a lab coat, a short unkempt but regularly trimmed haircut. His role is to simply tell me the odds of success, cost benefit analysis, and general inquiries needed to raise the quality of data available for future decisions or more accurate predictions. This is the head of my R&D division.
To his left, and at the tail of the table, sits myself bearded in robes with a funny hat and fluctuating religious adornments. Sometimes deacon-like color schemes or wearing a Buddhistic piety cut. His appearance is never static. His role is guide me morally, ethically, and righteously through life as any spiritual advisor would. His arguments come largely from christian teachings but he will incorporate all other available religious teachings as well. Unfortunate Corporations don’t have souls and therefore moral guidance does not have a seat or position within a company’s board room. So there is no corporate equivalent job title but as far as a military command he would literally by the Chaplin.
To his left, now ascending the right hand side of the table. Sits myself in full military regalia, a five star general, military fade cut weekly, the most muscular build of myself, as well as the rudest. He speaks for authority, discipline, and how to concisely achieve victory. The chief of operations or COO would be the corporate equivalent. General Order is about stratagem, resources, and whether or not a course of action is lawful.
To his left is my penis, an unimaginative representation of myself wearing a mushroom capped flesh toned German M35 steel helmet. Yeah I was going through puberty at the time and providing representation to the hormonal screams of my body was and still is important. Otherwise ignoring his thought process leads to unexpected outcomes when shareholders vote over a given course of action. Because he is a strong shareholder within the boardroom of my brain. Suffice it to say his advice will often be “Fuck it!” or “Fuck it hard!” or “Fuck it gently.” or the classic “I don’t give a fuck.”
Then there sits an empty chair and beyond that at the head of the table sits myself, without body.
This helped me discover a few of the reasons why I did things that I shouldn’t be.
Why did I steal that?
Because now you have another item that adds to your social status. It’s what’s cool
It was very likely to succeed. I saw no cause to raise the alarm.
I was out voted. Don’t steal.
While success was likely the consequences of a failed attempt would have been disaster. Don’t do that again without first consulting us.
Nice. Fuck that guy am I right.
Well there you have it a peak behind the framework that I use to deliberate future courses of action when I have time to internally debate whether or not any idea is a good idea or bad one.
Did this solve the ever present problem of long-term self destructive behavior. NO, each behavior must be analyzed and dealt with individuality. There is not blanket cure-all one pill solution to apply.