Rolling the dice on your CNS
An interesting (albeit simplistic in some cases) way of looking at life can be thinking of everything we do as a series of bets with our nervous system.
Before you dismiss this idea, allow me to explain: No matter what you’re choosing; work, life, play, or relationships, it all comes down to your CNS. In the longer term, only things that are kind to your nervous system have a chance of staying.
Take your job. Think about when you started your first job. Chances are, you might have been excited. Maybe the money was good, or the place was prestigious. Maybe it was Google, Amazon or just your dream job at your local bar. After the initial sheen wore off though, you started noticing reality. Maybe the pay was great but the hours were too long, leaving you no time to spend with friends or family. Maybe the satisfaction was very high, but there wasn’t enough money, leaving you unfulfilled financially. These would have been passing thoughts initially, but if the feelings in your CNS were strong enough, the thoughts grew. They’d slowly envelop your being until you could do nothing except think about those & some day you’d take a step & do something about it. This scenario, while it might sound like the plot of every Hollywood film about chasing your dreams, is mostly real.
Which brings me back to looking at everything we do in life as a series of bets. Would this bet be net positive for my central nervous system, or a net negative? Maybe the job sucking you dry of your time and your relationships pays really well, which gives you purchasing power which makes you feel good which is good for your nervous system. This is simplistic, as you might want to go into whether its just a short term dopamine hit or a long term calming of the CNS that you derive. With relationships too, it’s the same. The honeymoon period, after it ends is crucial. Do your days feel better as a whole, with this person or worse?
The way to place better bets & get lasting outcomes of course involves some effort on our part. It involves getting beneath the surface of the person, job & most importantly, yourself so you may understand the bet you’ve taken. With time & experience, we usually develop heuristics which help us get that information in a shorter timeframe so we can decide whether we want to continue or not.
Of course, this means taking a part of the human experience away, but sometimes, with things such as jobs & careers, it might just be a better bet to take.