What is your biggest driver?

What is your biggest driver?

Neuroscientist Jaak Panskepp has found that there are seven human drivers, and one of them is your stand-out number one driver.

Famous for his research on “laughter in non-human animals”, and featured in the documentary “Why Dogs Smile and Chimpanzees Cry”, Jaak has made his life work at Washington State University research into our neural pathways of emotion.

Jaak has found that our emotions are linked to activity in our brains. Not in our cerebral cortex, but deep in the more ancient parts of our brain, our amygdala and hypothalamus.

In his studies, he found that humans and animals share the same seven emotional triggers:

Care
Fear
Lust
Panic
Play
Rage
Seeking

Of these, our number one driver is ‘seeking’. This is when we get a dopamine hit in anticipation of reward for exploring and discovering new things.

In his study with rats, where they were rewarded for exploring, he said “Self-stimulation animals look excessively excited, even crazed, when they worked for this kind of stimulation.”

Evan Thompson, Philosophy Professor at the University of British Columbia, says all of philosophy (which means ‘The love of knowledge’) is based on this seeking impulse.

Evan says this seeking impulse is the driver that links the work of artists and scientists:

“If you’re an artist there are always new modes of expression, new things to create and communicate. The world isn’t fixed, it’s always changing, so that means you have to create anew in light of the changes. I don’t think any good scientist thinks one day science will come to an end. Science is about questioning, new ways of looking at things, new devices. That’s entirely open-ended.”

Have you ever wondered why kids get turned off formal education and standardized testing? Because it suppresses their natural desire to seek and replaces it with the need to conform.

Have you ever wondered why so many people are choosing entrepreneurship over employment? Because seeking and discovery is at the heart of entrepreneurship – where the reward isn’t in achieving the goal. The reward is in the journey.

And if today you’re out seeking answers, know it’s not because you need answers. It’s because you love seeking.

“The journey is the destination.” ~ Dan Eldon

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