We live in a time in history with a lot of technological advances. We have advanced computers, science and medicine.
We also have a lot of material prosperity and its easy for people to fall into a mental trap.
The trap is that most people in the modern world see themselves as advanced, progressive, and sophisticated.
They have forgotten or started to deny their true nature.
Sure we have made many advances and we have made a lot of progress with the accumulation of knowledge and the global availability of knowledge through the internet.
However, if you take a step back from all the hype and self-congratulations, you realize very quickly that we are the same humans we have always been.
All you have to do is to spend 10 minutes on social media and you will see that our so-called rational progressiveness is a total myth.
Our Animal Nature.
The thing that exposes our animal nature is the emotional overdose that you see online.
The same people talking about being “scientific” and “objective” are the same people who act the most irrational and emotional online.
The only thing technology like the internet has given us is the ability to fire these emotions around the globe in seconds.
We now have the ability to play the emotional war-games on a global stage through the internet.
Our inner primate or Limbic system is more visible now than its ever been.
And if you want to go see it for yourself go on any major social media platform and start reading the comments.
You will see our primate emotions going wild everywhere.
If you look at it objectively you will realize that we are just as unstable and emotional as 1000 years ago.
The only difference is that we have more social safety nets like law enforcement and medical care.
These safety nets were put in place through the moments of rationality.
We developed these safety nets through the great civilizations humans were able to create.
And if you know anything about history you know all great civilizations ended.
They ended when the primate side of our brain became the dominant force in society and the rational voices got drowned out.
If you look at the current state of mainstream culture you will see addiction to very powerful and dangerous emotions.
Emotions like anger, envy, jealousy, conformity, pretentiousness etc.
These emotions are encouraged and embraced by millions of people.
They get rewarded for them on social media and this feeds this nasty circle of emotional addiction.
The Human Brain.
In my book Self Discipline, I explained the Triune Brain theory that explains how the human evolved from about 5 million years ago.
The theory goes on to explain how the human brain has 3 parts.
The reptilian part of the brain is the most ancient part.
This part of the brain is where our primal instincts are located.
In other words our fight or flight part of our brain.
Then we have the mammalian part that is the part of the brain that governs our emotions, this part is also called the mammalian or monkey brain.
Then the last part of the brain is the youngest.
This is the human brain that covers the other 2 parts.
This what makes us as a species very special in that it gave us the ability to be rational and be logical.
This part of the brain gave us the ability to think about thinking.
This human part is an incredible part of the brain but its one that gets dominated by the other two older brains.
The problem we now have is that we have millions of people around the world that now think they are somehow above these powerful emotions while at the same time being dominated by them.
These are the same people that will take someone like Shakespeare and judge his work as being racist, sexist, etc.
They act like they are above any irrational actions and that they would have acted in a totally different way if they were alive 400 years ago.
My point is that regardless of what you think of the politics of the past we are all mostly irrational.
Just as irrational as humans were 100 or 1000 years ago.
Why Emotions Are So Powerful.
Emotions are ancient powers that evolved long before we had developed language.
In ancient times our emotions were our main way of communication and surviving.
We didn't have languages so we used emotions that were clearly visible on our faces when we felt them.
For example, we would show fear on our faces when a bear was coming.
Even today we can read people's faces by a glance.
Of course, some people have developed the ability to read facial expressions to almost an exact science.
Unfortunately others have lost faith in their natural abilities to read and understand other humans.
But most of us can unconsciously or consciously still read the most powerful emotions of other humans by just looking at their faces.
What we learned back in those ancient times was to hide our darker emotions.
When you became jealous or envious for example you would learn to hide it and not show it to others in your tribe.
Then the person who felt these dark emotions would at some stage expose those emotions with violence.
Of course humans still do these things today.
We see countries, groups or individuals acting nice and then a month later declaring war or acting totally different towards the same people.
Today we have language but we still have these emotions we depended on to survive and communicate.
Now we have tools like the internet and we pollute the planet with some of our darkest emotions.
We do this pretending to be brave by hiding behind our keyboard and exposing our darkest and nastiest emotions.
The 2 Main Modern Groups.
People have 2 main sides to this debate.
You get the modern liberal side that is of the opinion that we are past our primitive past and now we are advanced humans that have science as a tool to solve problems.
They are of the opinion that we are now progressive in nature and above our primitive animal nature.
In fact, this same side is of the opinion that gender is a choice and a social construct which is kind of ironic if you look at the claims of rationality, science and reason.
Then the second group is all the different religions that say we are created by God and that we are sinners and make mistakes.
They argue that we are divine but born into sin.
In other words, these religions in an indirect way say we are animal-like in the sense that we are not perfect and that we have major flaws.
My view is somewhere in the middle.
I am not religious but I do believe in God or the force or whatever you want to call the creator of the universe.
I think God created all creatures including humans.
We are the most advanced primate species God created and religion is one of those things we as advanced primates developed.
Therefore we are just as irrational as chimps at times.
But of course, we are a lot smarter and have abilities that other primate species don't have like the potential for rationality and logic.
Not All Humans Are Equally Rational.
Why are humans not all rational?
Like I said before we are mostly irrational as a species and we have moments of rational thought and logic.
But even those moments of rationality and logic are inspired by irrational emotions.
And by the way, not all emotions are bad.
Emotions are what make our human experience fun, exciting and interesting.
The problems start when we let the dark emotions dominate us and push things into chaos.
But some people are more rational than others.
The question is why?
The answer is that every human believes in a certain set of values above all else.
Irrational people (modern society) value things like feelings and emotions above all else. (Sound Familiar?)
Rational people through history like Plato, Socrates and others valued intelligence or the power of the mind.
Intelligence and knowledge are the creative forces that bring about the transformation from chaos to order and stability.
These great thinkers knew something that most others didn't. They knew that rationality is a potential within us all but it has to be developed.
That potential to develop rationality intelligence and knowledge is a choice.
The problem we have today is that the majority of society doesn't even know of this choice.
They have been deceived by fake universities that indoctrinated them but did not educate them in truth.
Therefore they have been enslaved to the darker emotions of our nature.
The emotions of hunger for power, money, and attention.
If you want to be a rational man in a world filled with unstable emotional humans then you need to develop it.
The problem with emotions is that it turns us inward and away from reality.
It makes us act without thinking.
It makes us focus on our anger and insecurities.
Train yourself to never react in the moment.
Take a step back and take a deep breath.
Analyze your feeling before you make a decision.
If you need to remove yourself out of a physical space to get control back then do it but don't allow your emotions to make choices for you.
Don't limit yourself to your own view of the world.
Learn about how others think and how they approach the world.
Try and see the world through their eyes.
Ask yourself why they think what they think?
When you try and understand others you put your ego to the side and gain real understanding.
This will put you in a position to make more powerful decisions.
Don't forget that even with all the training and development you will still be influenced by others and this will stir up emotions.
You will also be influenced by your own dark emotions and that you will always have to be cautious of the fact that your emotions could get the better of you.
Be aware and minimise the power of your emotions.
3 Steps To Acquire Rationality.
-Become Aware Of Low-Grade Irrationality
Low-grade irrationality are the daily moods and feelings we all experience as humans.
These feelings and moods that linger just below our consciousness.
They influence the way we make daily choices and are a filter of how we experience every day life.
It creates unconscious biases in our decision making.
This leads to mistakes and ineffective decisions.
-Understand High-Grade Irrationality.
High-Grade Irrationality happens when our emotions get infected or inflamed due to external pressures.
For example when we constantly focus on our anger, resentments, suspicions or desire then everything we experience in that time frame is seen through the lens of that emotion.
This leads to becoming highly reactive and our existing emotions channeling into more severe emotions.
For example, anger can become rage.
Or sadness becomes depression.
This form of irrationality is dangerous and can lead to disastrous actions or decisions.
-Learn Strategies To Strengthen The Thinking/Rational Part Of The Brain.
We need strategies to help us get better with being rational men.
We are not born rational.
We are only born with rational potential.
So we need to develop it like any other skill we acquire.
The Following 3 Strategies Will Be Helpful To Start
Getting More Aware Of Your Emotions.
(1) Recognise Biases.
Emotions are always affecting the way we think and the choices we make.
All this happens at an unconscious level.
One of the human truths that marketers have known for a long time is that humans always want to move towards pleasure and away from pain.
A lot of times we think we are superior and rational with our thinking but we are just holding on to ideas that give us an ego boost and feelings of superiority.
The idea of moving towards pleasure is at the heart of this type of thinking.
We don't like moving into uncomfortable ideas or uncomfortable explorations of our own thought processes because it's painful.
This human tendency to move towards pleasure is the source of all mental biases.
Most people reading this will probably think they are above these biases which will just confirm that they are under the direct control of them.
When you have confirmation bias you have a closely held view of something and you will go out of your way to find evidence to confirm that view even if you have to ignore all the evidence that contradicts your view.
These days you will find arguments that point out certain points of view that are backed by many “Scientific Studies”.
They will usually say things like ” The Science is clear” but will totally ignore studies that contradict their view.
A great example of this is the climate debate.
Whatever view you have on this subject is not the point.
But the mainstream argument that “The science is clear” is not convincing if you are not willing to discuss the arguments that contradict your viewpoints.
To find the highest level of truth we need to move towards pain and try and find a weakness in our own arguments and try and understand the opposing viewpoint to get to the best possible outcomes.
Conviction bias happens when we believe in something so totally that we have made it part of our identity and the idea of losing this idea is painful.
We are so attached to these ideas that we will aggressively attack anyone that opposes our ideas.
When we suffer from conviction bias we usually have strong emotions to defend it.
Appearance bias happens when we don't see people as they really are but just as they appear to us.
The problem is that a lot of times these appearances are misleading.
Politicians are good giving the impression of being ethical and being upstanding citizens but underneath they are the biggest predators in society.
Appearances can mislead us in other ways. For example, with beautiful women, the Halo Effect comes into play where we think good looking people are honest, ethical and good people.
Unfortunately a lot of times it's the exact opposite.
Most people like to fit in and be part of the group.
Again the pleasure-pain principle.
Most people are sheep and like the safety of the group. It gives them pleasure and comfort.
It feels good to be in a group where people all feel and think the same.
But within this herd mentality, the danger of group bias comes into play.
Unfortunately, most people are unaware of the power of group bias and they merely tell themselves how lucky they are to be in a group where everyone thinks the same.
Blame Bias happens when we get swept away by emotion to blame our own obstacle or mistake on other people.
This is a common bias in the modern world where nobody takes responsibility for their own problems.
Instead, it's easy and convenient to blame it all on someone else.
Unfortunately, if you suffer from this bias you tend to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over because you never deal with your own problems.
Again this one is very common in today's political environment.
People think that they are the elite and rational ones and look down on any argument that opposes them.
It's easy for people that suffer from superiority bias to see themselves as the custodians of power and rationally.
Only they understand the big picture and the only they can solve the problems in the world.
Unfortunately, the people who so totally convinced of their own ethical and rational superiority are usually the ones that are the most irrational of them all.
(2)Become Aware Of The Inflaming Points.
Low-grade emotions are constantly hovering below the surface in our day to day life.
They affect our natural impulse to please others and comfort ourselves in everyday life.
High-level emotions usually come from external sources for example stress at work or a fight with your girlfriend.
Whenever these high levels of emotions get triggered it's usually linked with some other factors that make the emotion worse.
Some of these factors are the following:
-Triggers From Your Early Childhood.
In order to understand yourself, you need to think back to your childhood and deal with the things that happened to you.
For most, this is painful so we avoid it.
So we ignore it and then we act surprised when something triggers us into a fit of rage that is related to something in our early childhood.
For example, if a young boy was bullied by an older boy at Elementary School that feeling of anger could be triggered as an adult and cause severe overreactions and bad judgment.
To recognize these triggers in yourself try and observe where you suddenly react irrationally and feel out of control.
See if you can link it back to your past and when it happens again remember to stop, take a few deep breaths and make a better decision.
-Sudden Losses or Wins.
When we go through times of struggle and disappointment we tend to go into dark emotions and think that we cursed and destined for failure.
Emotions like sadness grows into depression and the downward spiral leads to all kinds of bad choices and chaos.
The same could happen when we have sudden success.
In business, this is a common thing that happens.
Success usually comes out of nowhere.
And then people tend to react with uncontrolled emotions, grandiosity and arrogance that leads to bad choices and self-destruction.
When the success comes quickly people tend to forget it could disappear just as quickly as it came.
Be aware of these factors and be ready to identify and resist them.
-Building Of Pressure.
We all come under the spell of Pressure or stress and when its a consistent hammering of stress things can get out of control.
If we don't deal with the pressure it tends to boil over and explode into a bad action or decision that could have been avoided.
When we are under stress the ancient parts of our brains get activated and we sometimes push out nasty reptilian responses that surprises, not only ourselves but the people around you.
When you start feeling the pressure build-up take some time out to be alone. Try to relieve the pressure and gather your thoughts into a calmer state.
-Individuals That Start Fires.
We all know people that tend to bring out strong emotions in us.
These emotions could be good or bad but they are strong.
It could be a beautiful female movie star or a politician.
It could also be someone in your life that just bring out the worst in you.
When you start feeling these emotions when you deal with these individuals pause for a moment and take a deep breath.
Try not to fall under their spell and realize that they usually have a front that they use to cover their own humanity that covers all their insecurities and weaknesses.
Realize that they are human just like you and that it's unnecessary to have these feelings for another human being.
-The Group Effect.
We mentioned the group bias earlier but this is the high-level group emotions that I am referring to.
When we get in big groups like a sporting event, rock concert or political rally we start acting differently.
We start getting caught up and dragged away with the group emotions. You can feel the power of the collective emotions and we get swept away by it.
Group emotions are not always negative but unfortunately many times they are.
So be conscious when you are feeling overwhelmed in a group.
Take a step back and evaluate the situation
(3) Strengthening Rationality
Let's Look At 3 Strategies To Strengthen Your Rational Muscles:
Before you get negative about the human species being mostly irrational remember that we have always had exceptional rational men among us.
These men were more rational than the average and because of them we were able to make progress and achieve great things.
People like Leonardo Da Vinci, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Charles Darwin, Plato, Socrates and Marcus Aurelius to name a few.
All these men share certain qualities.
They tend to look at themselves critically and therefore had a realistic view of themselves and their weaknesses.
They were dedicated to truth and reality.They had a high level of tolerance for other humans.
And most importantly they took responsibility for their actions.
This also meant that when they set goals they would make a plan and follow through until they reached their goals.
The other good news for us is that we all have had moments of rationality.
Some more than others.
This rationality level depends on your level of self-discipline and mental toughness.
And if you have experienced these moments it means you have the ability to build on these moments and get better as a rational male.
It will take work but it's possible through hard work and self-discipline.
Let's look at some strategies for you to bring out the excellence and rationality that are hidden inside you.
Rational Male Strategies.
The emotional part of your brain loves the fact that you are ignorant of your own weaknesses, blind spots and vulnerabilities.
The moment you figure out where you are weak the power of this part of the brain over you disappears.
To learn about yourself do the following:
Look at yourself under stress.
How do you react when stress is overwhelming?
Do you become a bully?
Are you aggressive?
Do you start mistrusting people?
Look at patterns and choices you have made related to stressful situations.
Evaluate your strengths and look at what makes you different and what makes you stand out?
What are you very interested in?
These questions will give you a more clear picture of your goals and vision for your life.
-Study and Evaluate Your Emotions.
Get yourself a journal and start writing down powerful emotions that consistently come up for you.
Write down things that you think triggers those emotions and see if you can find the root of the problem.
Maybe it's your job that you hate?
Maybe it's your childhood?
Maybe it's an individual that triggers you?
Whatever it is you need to investigate the dominant emotions in your life.
-Adjust and Increase The Time It Takes For You To React.
This will take time to develop especially if you re-addicted to certain emotions.
In the current society, we live in a lot of people are addicted to being outraged by something. This is the so-called outrage culture.
They are also addicted to victim-hood and anger.
These people literally look for things to be outraged about.
These emotions become a currency they trade with.
It becomes difficult for them to break the bonds with these emotions.
It's hard for these people to leave these emotions because these emotions give them the attention or fame that they desperately crave.
So if you are influenced or addicted to some emotions then identify them and next time you feel the urge to react to these emotions stop for a second and realize its happening to you.
Take a couple of deep breaths and decide to not react this time.
Realize you have a choice to act in a different way if you choose to do so.
You don't have to be “triggered”.
You can take control if you develop this aspect of yourself.
-Accept People As Humans That Are Irrational.
Remember we all have the tendency to see ourselves as better than others.
This leads us to the idea of trying to change other people by our “superior knowledge.”
We want them to think and act the way we want them to.
This is not possible because people are different.
The simpler way to go through life is to accept humans as irrational advanced primates and to simply accept this reality.
See the “irrational people” as just more out of control primates that are being dominated by their emotions.
Don't get attached to your own higher developed rationality.
Sure you might be one of the few that are more rational than the millions out there but remember we all fall under the spell of emotions sometimes.
When you let go of this urge to control people you go through life with a lot less resistance.
I get it!
It's hard to have empathy for the millions of sheep filled with rage and ignorance.
You see them out there and they are totally addicted to their emotions and out of control with rage and envy of others.
But by taking a step back and understanding the power of emotions and the effect they have on people try and place yourself in their shoes.
Try to understand where they come from.
When you see them as lost humans you will lose the hatred for them and rather feel pity for them.
-Find Your Balance Between Emotion And Rationality.
We will never be free of our emotions.
And we don't want to be free of them.
Its what makes us human and its what gives us the rich experience of being human.
The problem is not the emotions but the control they have over us.
If you can get control of your emotions the balance will return to a healthy place.
And then it will lead to you living a more balanced life.
In Ancient Greece, they used the analogy of the horse and the rider.
The horse represented the emotions and the rider rationality.
If the horse is in control the rider loses his balance he falls off the horse.
When he falls he gets dragged around by the horse.
He is then being controlled by the horse(emotions).
But when the rider takes the reins and controls the horse things change.
Then the horse does what the rider tells it to do.
Then a harmony develops between the rider and the horse.
So you want to be a rider that is in control of his horse.
You want to be the rider that is balanced and enjoying the horse without letting the horse dominate him.
When the horse and the rider are in harmony you will find balance in life.
So now you have a good overview of how to be more rational and to take control of your emotions.
Become someone that not only develops his own rationality but also seeks it out in this crazy world we live in.
Remember that there is a potential rational power within you waiting to be developed.
This power is a higher power or Godly power.
We can all tap into this power if we make the choice to develop it.
This power has the potential to not only improve and transform your life but also the lives of the people around you.
It's your responsibility to develop this potential.
And if you don't develop this power darkness will rise.
Those hyenas that are dominated by the darker emotions of our nature will become stronger and stronger.
So it's your responsibility to develop your rationality and confront the hyenas.
So step up and tap into that power.
You already have it in you.
To learn more about the human brain and and human nature I highly recommend you read the book “The Laws Of Human Nature” by Robert Greene.
Until next time my friends…