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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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Conclusion

The Way Forward

It is easier to prevent bad habits than to change them.

—Benjamin Franklin

If you’ve followed all or even just a few of the actions, tips, and techniques laid out in this book then I will lay down good money that you are seeing people’s behavior (including your own) in a very different light. You might even be having very different reactions to them: cooler, calmer, more assertive, and less impulsive. And people have very probably commented on how refreshing this is.

Your question now may be: “How do I keep this up? What’s the plan, Stan?”

Maybe you’ve already noticed that your primitive brain has no interest in planning for the future; its only concern is with dealing with today, based on how yesterday turned out.

Our limbic system, which has a memory of all the most impactful yesterdays, rewards us when we behave accordingly to those. Our reptilian brain, in contrast, has an inherited structure based on many millennia of yesterdays, and when triggered, rewards us for adhering to this ancient code.

In short, our behavior is triggered based on our past and on our genetics; a pattern of action plays out, and we are rewarded at the end of it, which serves to enforce the pattern.

How do we create new habits of behavior that will give us better results than our instinctive behaviors, given that these instinctive responses are enacted in our primitive brain and cannot be planned?

Here’s the answer:

We can’t!

Understand now that the environments that trigger ...

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