The fifth principle of metacognitive programming is remembering the future (or the impossibility method).
Is it obvious to you that you are remembering the future and not creating it? Today's episode is the only category in metacognitive programming that is based on ideas that are hard to prove. And yet, you will very quickly appreciate their logic and effectiveness.
Today, we will talk about the future.
Humans vs. Chimpanzees: The Planning Difference
Humans are chimpanzees with a plan and a hope that we are spiritual. We share 98.8% of our DNA with chimpanzees. If this seems like a small difference, consider this: we share 44% of our DNA with bananas. That's right - slightly more than 44%, in fact. The 1% difference between us and chimps developed over more than 100 thousand years. This crucial one percent allows us to plan and think in images and words.
By the way, having common genes and descending from a monkey are two different things. Apes and I are descended from a common ancestor but not from apes themselves. Chimpanzees can be our siblings but not our parents. Let's talk a little about our brothers and sisters and how they achieve their goals in life.
Navigating Life Through Emotions
We can safely assume that monkeys don't plan their lives as we do. The two letters of CEDRA - C (circumstance) and D (dissonance) don't apply. (If you don't know what a CEDRA is, start with the first episodes). Monkeys don't assign verbal meanings to circumstances. Instead, they use emotional memory directly. What does this mean? When an animal sees an object, its reaction depends on how it affects its sensations. If the object brings pain, the animal freezes or runs away. If it brings pleasure, the animal approaches and takes it.
Our animal brothers and sisters navigate life through likes and dislikes. If the animal likes something, it approaches and receives it; if it doesn't like it, it freezes or moves away. An animal's memory can be both genetic and emotional. That is, an animal is born with some inherent preferences and aversions. They also develop emotional reactions through the repetition of situations and circumstances.
What I described above also applies to humans. For example, you dislike snakes or insects. Maybe they've never harmed you, but your genes remember them well.
Or, maybe there's a smell that immediately makes you sick. Perhaps you were sick in the car as a child, and the car smelled a certain way, and now, when you smell that odor, you feel uncomfortable.
So, people, like animals, also navigate using emotions. But our thinking also plays a role, and our thoughts are often the mediators between what we see and feel. This ability is important for evolution because there are thousands of things in life that didn't exist 20 years ago. Thinking allows us to adapt to new things, so man is considered the most adaptable creature on the planet.
Understanding the Future Through the Past
But our thinking has a few inherent problems. Since analyzing reality from scratch every time is difficult and energy-consuming, our brain uses stored models to analyze new events. I remember when my children were small, and I was trying to teach them how to use tools a little. I handed my son a small hammer, and before I had time to come to my senses, he managed to "repair" absolutely everything he saw with this hammer. It ended with dents and cracks. But he could also hammer nails in the birdhouse we were making. Our brain works similarly. Using old knowledge and experiences doesn't always work, but it is effective in many circumstances, and the brain is willing to make mistakes to avoid wasting energy.
Let me digress a little and explain how it feels when your brain analyzes from scratch. I don't know how much you love physics, but if I put the algebra of limited operators on the Von Neumann Hilbert space in front of you and asked you not to get up from your chair until you figure it out, your resistance and desire to free yourself is the result of your brain working from scratch.
Why am I telling you this? You already know 98% of everything in your near future. How? We have just answered this question. Because everything you know in the future is based on what you know from the past. Thus, you do not create the future from scratch; you remember it.
This brings us smoothly to the next idea. Humans are the most successful species on Earth because they are the most adaptable. Now, the next question: who receives the most resources and lives the best life in terms of owning material things? The answer is the same - the one who adapted to this goal better than anyone else.
And we come to the most important question of the lesson: how does one adapt to the achievement of the goal better than anyone else?
The Impossibility Method: Principles for Achieving Goals
By assessing circumstances based on new thought paradigms. Or, in simple terms, by describing circumstances with new meanings to bring you closer to what you want. For example, instead of saying to yourself, "I won't build a successful company because I'm not an entrepreneur," say, "time is passing, I'm getting older, so if I can't think of anything more interesting, why not create my own company?"
But changing paradigms on the go is difficult.
We know from neuroscience that people have different levels of neuroplasticity. From the last episode, Seeing Through, you know that people with high openness are more neuroplastic and ready to accept new paradigms faster. But without great conscientious work, it's difficult for them to use these new paradigms for action. They may have ideas but little will to implement them.
And here, we come to the fifth principle of metacognitive programming. We need a method that makes us more neuroplastic and helps us start acting from new paradigms.
The Purity of a Goal and Mass Action
The impossibility method is based on several important principles.
The first principle is the so-called purity of a goal.
We want our clients to approach their goals with interest rather than willpower. This is important because interest is your genes' way of telling you what you're good at and what you're not. For example, research shows that extroverted people have healthier and stronger bodies from birth. There is a theory that when expectant mothers receive better nutrition and experience less stress, their bodies signal the foetus' genes to be extroverted because competition awaits them; it is more profitable to be an extrovert. So, the child may grow up drawn to action and adventure without realizing that the body is asking for it and is ready for it. The purity of a goal hinges on the ability to hear the melody of your genes, or your soul, telling you where you are going.
The next principle is mass action.
We want to deliberately stress our bodies to force ourselves to adapt quickly to a more serious game. Therefore, on the way to the goal, we create bold steps that will give us results and challenge our strengths.
The last principle is the philosophical idea that life is interesting only if there is a big contrast.
For example, you will feel little difference if your monthly income increases by 5%. But you will be shocked if your income doubles in the first month. Therefore, we want to set ourselves goals that seem impossible. When we succeed, we will be as delighted as puppies.
Later I will tell you more about this. For now, I have given you a good overview of the fifth and last principle.