CHAPTER 5Diagnose the Pain

A circle with text at the bottom, “DIAGNOSE THE PAINTM” with an iceberg along the water with text, “LIKE”, “WANT”, “NEED”, “PAIN”, and “FEAR” (top–bottom).

“Most people want to avoid pain, and discipline is usually painful”.

– John C. Maxwell Clergyman


First, your message must target the elimination of fears, threats, or risks that the primal brain prioritizes to eliminate. As humans, we aspire to reduce or remove anxiety to survive and to feel safe. As we learned in the section on personal, our brain has evolved over millions of years. Even today, we need to pay attention to events that matter most to our survival so that we can thrive as a species. According to Stanislas Dehaene, a foremost expert on the neuroscience of consciousness, our ability to navigate a complex array of decisions is driven by the level of vigilance we apply to critical states of consciousness. As vigilance rises (as threats increase), the brain recruits more brain areas in a bottom‐up process that results in recruiting more cerebral blood flow [136].

Since vigilance is so critical to how brain energy radiates from emotional to cognitive layers (from subconscious to more conscious), it is why we are anxious beings, not only when we wake up every day, but also when we make buying decisions. It is part of our default processing mode. Our brain is like a car that is always in an idle “anxiety” state. Vigilance is the basic program that helps us cope with this idle state. Starting the engine is ...

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