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Tame the Primitive Brain: 28 Ways in 28 Days to Manage the Most Impulsive Behaviors at Work by Mark Bowden

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Day 9

Opposites Attract

Missing Out on Great People

You don’t have to go looking for love when it’s where you come from.

—Werner Erhard

Today you’ll tame:

  • Your compulsive need for another person—like you and your family
Here’s a conversation I got into with a colleague, James, over coffee:
James is in his second marriage. It’s not perfect, but it is going better than his first.
I asked him about his choice in mates, and he told me that he had fallen in love with his first wife at first sight. They had lots of good times, but lots of bad times, too. He said they wanted different lifestyles, and didn’t have much in common. To this he added: “I married my mother—insecure, depressed, dependant on her husband; and she blamed him for the problems in her life.”
When that marriage ended badly, James decided that he shouldn’t trust his impulses when picking a mate. In fact, he believed that anyone he was attracted to would be a repeat of his first choice. He also remembered something that an Asian friend of his had once said: “In the West, your relationships start off hot, and end up cold, whereas in the East—with our arranged marriages—we start off cold, and then warm up.”
After taking a year-long break from relationships, James deliberately set about finding a partner to whom he was not necessarily sexually attracted, but who wanted similar things in life and had hobbies and pastimes similar to his. He thought he had found this in Stephanie, and was encouraged that, at first, she ...

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