Everything you do is motivated by the desire to feel as much happiness as possible and to eliminate mental discomfort — either in the short term or the long term

– How I found freedom in an unfree world p. 15

Happiness is an emotion — an involuntary reaction to what happens to you. And unhappiness is an involuntary feeling of discomfort as you react to things that don’t suit your nature.

To change your mental state from unhappiness to happiness requires that you change your circumstances. And this is why you do things — to bring about the circumstances that will make you happier.

Everything you do is motivated by the desire to feel as much happiness as possible and to eliminate mental discomfort — either in the short term or the long term.”

In everything you do, with the knowledge and insight at your disposal, you choose what you think will give you the most well-being and the least mental discomfort. The objective is what is usually called happiness …

– How I found freedom in an unfree world p. 14

In everything you do, with the knowledge and insight at your disposal, you choose what you think will give you the most well-being and the least mental discomfort. The objective is what is usually called happiness — the feeling of well- being.

Happiness isn’t a new car, fame, a good marriage, wealth, or a warm blanket. Those are things. Happiness is what you feel inside of you as a result of the things that happen to you.”

The main reason we establish embassies around the world is to serve our own interests, which during the last half of the twentieth century meant turning the American republic into a global empire

Perkins, John (2004-11-09). Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (p. 16)

Like U.S. citizens in general, most MAIN employees believed we were doing countries favors when we built power plants, highways, and ports. Our schools and our press have taught us to perceive all of our actions as altruistic. Over the years, I’ve repeatedly heard comments like, “If they’re going to burn the U.S. flag and demonstrate against our embassy, why don’t we just get out of their damn country and let them wallow in their own poverty?” People who say such things often hold diplomas certifying that they are well educated. However, these people have no clue that the main reason we establish embassies around the world is to serve our own interests, which during the last half of the twentieth century meant turning the American republic into a global empire. Despite credentials, such people are as uneducated as those eighteenth-century colonists who believed that the Indians fighting to defend their lands were servants of the devil.

When we make any decision in life, we have come to the conclusion that whatever that choice is, is the appropriate choice for us given our place, time, circumstances. So that in essence is what a belief is …

From New Rainmaker Podcast on persuasion:

Tom Asacker: When we make any decision in life, we have come to the conclusion that whatever that choice is, is the appropriate choice for us given our place, time, circumstances. So that in essence is what a belief is. The word “belief” comes from an old word, root of the word “lief” which means “to wish.” So to believe something is to wish that it is right, is appropriate, is the best choice. So our beliefs are driven by our desires to have the right choice for us as individuals.

Robert Bruce: So how does belief relate to trust? And which comes first?

Tom Asacker: I’ve been asked that, for the distinction between belief and trust more than one time. And the way I think about it is that belief is something that comes before the actual experience. So I would say trust is one step beyond belief and that some type of experience has been validated for us.

Robert Bruce: And what does this have to do with persuasion? Well, we do what we believe in – so if you’re looking to inspire action, you must first inspire belief.

Tom Asacker: … what we desire is what we end up believing. And what we believe is what we end up doing. So it’s desire, belief, action. And then the action either reinforces the belief, supports it, encourages more of it, or it doesn’t.

If you can discover desire, you win.

Robert Bruce: So what’s the key to modern persuasion? How do we discover what people desire in the first place?

Tom Asacker: … if you think about it: sell, persuade, even influence, they don’t seem to get at the essence of what’s required to move people. Especially when people are inundated with choice and then they’re very skeptical.

Then you have to really understand what’s going on inside of them so that you can align what you’re doing and complete that story in their head that’s already partially there.

Robert Bruce: It turns out that understanding your audience determines your ability to move them to action. And that takes good ol’ fashioned research – but the payoff from what you discover is powerful.

But here’s the thing … it’s much easier to discover and align your media content with the existing beliefs and world views of your prospective audience. In other words, discover desires and then fulfill them.

Tom Asacker: Let’s give them a “reason to believe,” and what they typically are saying, “let’s give them information to rationalize their decision.” Because their real reason to believe something is their desire for it.

If we go into an organization or if we’re marketers talking to a particular audience and we’re trying to get them to believe in something for which they have absolutely no desire to believe, it’s an impossible task because desire is what leads to belief.”

We may frequently behave selfishly as individuals, but in our more idealistic moments we honour and admire those who put welfare of others first

“Perhaps one reason for the great appeal of the group-selection theory is that it is thoroughly in tune with the moral and political ideals that most of us share. We may frequently behave selfishly as individuals, but in our more idealistic moments we honour and admire those who put welfare of others first. We get a bit muddled over how widely we want to interpret the word ‘others’, though. Often altruism within a group goes with selfishness between groups. This is a basis of trade unionism. At another level the nation is a major beneficiary of our altruistic self-sacrifice, and young men are expected to die as individuals for the greater glory of their country as a whole. Moreover, they are encouraged to kill other individuals about whom nothing is known except that they belong to a different nation. (Curiously, peace-time appeals for individuals to make some small sacrifice in the rate at which they increase their standard of living seem to be less effective than war-time appeals for individuals to lay down their lives.)”

The Selfish Gene P. 9