6. Instincts

Imagine that you’re walking down a path through the woods and suddenly you think you see a snake on the ground in front of you. You jump back in fear, your heart pounding. Your response is strong and automatic. Your survival instincts have kicked in.

We are constantly scanning our surroundings, alert for danger. That’s one of our instincts—to survive. Our instincts include our reactions to novelty, danger, food, and sex. Instinctual responses are strong, fast, and largely unconscious.

Our instincts make us pay attention to certain things in our surroundings and ignore others. Not only that, most of our decisions are either made by, or at least greatly influenced by, our unconscious, instinctual reactions.

When you understand that ...

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