You’re an Independent Individual in a Complex Technological World.Advertising
You want success and an independent life for yourself and those close to you. An independent life has always been essential in our society, but the more technology runs our world, being independent becomes both easier and more difficult.Advertising
You have a infinite number of resources and information on the Internet that will answer about every question you can generate. However,Advertising
independence does not mean that you can simply rely on your smart phone to solve all of your problems. You must have intellect and personal power in order to make use of technology and allow it to meet your needs.Advertising
The Benefits of an Independent Life
Technology progresses at such a fast pace. It can make your life easier, but incorporating technology into your life effectively is anything but simple. Also, one cannot simply rely upon technology to solve every problem. For one thing, you don’t always have access to the technology you need, and there are aspects of life where a human mind and body are irreplaceable.
Maintaining self-reliance is difficult in a fast paced technological world, but it is worth the effort. Independence benefits you in 12 broad areas:
- It boosts your self-confidence and self-esteem. An increase in self-confidence means that you trust yourself to be competent in the situations you confront, and a boost in self-esteem gives a positive outlook on yourself. Learning independence instills confidence because you believe in the knowledge and capacities you possess to deal with any challenge.
- It decreases the burden you place on family, friends, and society. If you are capable of meeting your own needs with the help of technology, you don’t have to depend on others for help. Instead of being a burden, you lighten the load of others.
- It turns you into an asset to help other people. It is not bad to need help. Everyone needs it at some point. But, with independence comes the ability to care for yourself and help other people with the knowledge and abilities you have. People learn to trust you as a beneficial resource and look to you for assistance.
- It enhances your reputation among friends and colleagues. When you prove that you are independent, other people view you positively as a contributor to society rather than a dependent. Today, reputation determines how far you can go in life. Independence creates a powerful reputation.
- It leads to financial freedom because you are skilled and capable. You are able to work and earn wages that allow you to provide for yourself and prepare for the future. Financial uncertainty is frightening, but independence is empowering.
- It gives you social independence and dexterity. The world we live in is social both in face-to-face situations and online in social media engagements. Sociability is essential to being human, and being independent provides you with the ability to maneuver in society and mingle with people. This enables friendships, networking, and collaboration.
- It makes you physically capable of caring for yourself and others. Despite disabilities, the more physically able you make yourself, the better you are able to deal with situations in your environment.
- It fills you with a sense of joy and happiness that can come from no other source. Happiness comes from independence, self-esteem, the ability to associate with and help others, and physical activity.
- It places you in a position to be an innovator with independent thought. Regardless of your occupation or workplace, innovation is a valuable commodity, and independent creativity makes you a powerful asset to your employer or to your own business.
- It makes you mobile rather than confined within your community. This means that you are able to freely act, move, and operate as you see fit. You are not bound to your current circumstances, but can alter your future for the better.
- It sets you up for further progress and self-sufficiency. Because you can rely on yourself, you are able to keep up with technology, and, with that resource, you can accomplish anything you want and you possess the means for infinite progression. Rather than falling behind with every new step technology takes, you are able to stay ahead of the changes and adapt as needed.
Set Goals for an Independent and Self-Reliant Life
Declare your own independence if you haven’t already. Regardless of your present circumstances, you have access to opportunities, education, and technology to elevate yourself. This is also a powerful legacy that you will pass on to children, family, and those around you. You will demonstrate, through example, that independence leads to happiness.
Last Updated on July 17, 2019
The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)
What happens in our heads when we set goals?
Apparently a lot more than you’d think.
Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.
According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.
Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.
Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.
Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams
The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.
Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.
So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.
Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.
One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.
Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.
Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.
The Neurology of Ownership
Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.
In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs!
But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.
This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).
Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.
The Upshot for Goal-Setters
So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?
On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.
It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.
On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!
But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!
More About Goals Setting
- How to Set Goals and Achieve Them Successfully
- How to Set SMART Goal to Make Lasting Changes in Life
- How Setting Personal Goals Makes You a Greater Achiever
Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com
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