Overcoming the Amygdala Part 100


Maybe you’ve reached a point now where you want to be able to evaluate your life correctly, find out some real reasons why things are the way they are, and pilot your way towards a more ideal situation.

Maybe you’re fed up with the amygdala grabbing the steering wheel every time you get going, and you want to direct your own journey a little more.

With all this talk of departures over the last few articles, it’s possible to lose track of what we are trying to do here, and that is to lift our lives out of the swamp of reaction and into the broader uplands where things make more sense and are more under our control. You might not ever be able to achieve 100% control or perfection, but rationality suggests that you can approach an ideal more closely than you might have so far.

To help you to do this, here’s a format which might assist you to keep track of what you’re trying to do.

On a piece of paper or screen, set out the following:

1. Ideal: firstly, sketch out an ideal — a picture of what you are trying to achieve, personally, in relationships, socially, in business or whatever. Try to keep it simple, include a time frame and a statement of purpose if you can.

Some imperfect but possibly insightful examples:

‘My health over the next year improved to the point where I can get out of my house and enjoy my surroundings more.’

‘My marriage enhanced over the next few months so that we can make the most of the summer holidays and emerge happier than ever.’

‘My job made saner and more productive so that, in 12 months’ time, I can move into a higher position.’

2. Stats: what measurable quantity can you use to indicate whether or not you are approaching your ideal or drifting further away? This could be a negative stat like ‘Reducing hospital visits’ or a positive stat like ‘Weekends away with my wife’ or something more mundane but useful like ‘Income’ — come up with something that is measurable, that you could graph and compare to earlier quantities.

3. Data: here’s where you start to list all the departures — gaps between what is happening and what you would like to happen— that you can observe. The stats show you where to focus; defining each departure and listing it starts to show you what your problem actually