Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene: My 3 Takeaways

"We tend to think of our behavior as largely conscious and willed. To imagine that we are not always in control of what we do is a frightening thought, but in fact, it is the reality. - Robert Greene, Laws of Human Nature"

Being quite uncomfortable around people, I sought to learn about human behavior as much as I could, thus, I found myself reading The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene. Not wanting to forget what I have learned from my reading, I share 3 things here that I would like to take away with me from this book.

It is okay to not always be yourself

A first thing that hit me right away was that being honest a hundred percent of the time is not realistic. I am always in conflict whenever I do things just to get what I want or need even though such an action is not of my nature. I have realized, there is nothing wrong with that. We all do things to try to fit in or to try to impress people and that is not a completely horrible thing. We are social creatures and our survival depends on being part of a group. Just imagine how difficult life would be if you are an outcast, thus sometimes we have to act opposite our nature to ensure that we continue to be accepted by society.

Accept that we are emotionally driven beings

The problem with us is that we always insist that we are higher than our primal instincts but the thing is, we only like to think so. Once we accept that we are in fact driven by emotions, the better we all will be in taking a step back and seeing things a bit more objectively. Never ever make the mistake of thinking that you are better than your fellow people because you are not controlled by emotions. We are wired to be emotional and our minds and bodies evolved that way but we have brains that can act more rationally too. The trick is not to deny emotions but rather understand why we feel a certain way and create a reaction based on that understanding rather than blindly following our gut feeling.

Emotions can be channeled for good

I already mentioned that we are such emotional beings but rather than just be a slave to it, emotions can be used for good. It's okay to be driven by anger, but you channel it instead in your way to success. It's okay to feel pain and betrayal, use this as a compass on what not to do next. Our emotions are not meant to go against our journey to success but rather they are there to help us make a better sense of the external environment. Rather than mindlessly following our emotions, as better people, we use emotions to better guide our rational minds in making better decisions.

I hope these 3 points help! Human behavior will still continue to be a mystery to me but armed with these new information, I think I am much more capable than before in dealing with the intricate human behavior. All I hope now is that I won't be overthinking it all.

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