Psychological Triggers and Survival

Is comfort the enemy?  I mean people seem to be getting lazier as we advance further technologically and otherwise.  What else could it be?  I truly believe that comfort can be a hindrance, in many regards, to personal and societal achievement.

Take this political season, for instance.  A bit further out, candidates were focusing on a variety of issues and their respective takes and proposed plans…la-di-da.  Within the past month or so, we’ve seen the focus shift towards one thing: The Economy.  Why?  Well, the mortgage companies provided tremendous fodder for this huge shift, but Bill Clinton did the same thing when he ran against Bush 41 in ’93 – “It’s the economy, stupid!”

Of course the economy is important, especially in the midst of a global financial meltdown.  But, the real reason it’s effective for politicians to talk about the economy is because it can be used to induce psychological triggers that either a) remove pain and increase pleasure (i.e. promises of a brighter future, turn the economy around, take care of the working class, etc.) OR triggers can be used to anchor the politicians opponent to the opposite b) increase pain and remove pleasure (i.e. suggesting that opponent will raise taxes, get the country into costly and dangerous conflicts, spend on unnecessary programs).  Effectively moving voters either closer to comfort or away from comfort.

Pain vs. Pleasure – It comes down to emotion.

Human instinct is based on emotion.  That’s why pain and pleasure is so important to us.  We either want to move away from pain, or towards pleasure.  And most of the time, we’d be more proactive in staying away from pain than from getting pleasure, especially if getting involves some work!

But the bottom line is that we all, at a very core level, think the same way.  We make decisions based on emotion, then justify them with reason.  Comfort can often be a crutch, an excuse, so you have to tread carefully.

To me, this is what makes the study of psychology, marketing, influence and persuasion all so interesting.  There really are formulas to tap into that work like clockwork once you understand how to apply them.

I’ll leave it at that for now, but let’s just say that part 2 of this post is coming soon – the piece that any one of us can implement to help break these triggers, break out of their comfort zone and get so much more done in a day.  We’ll discuss this success principle can make you a bundle, done correctly, and how, if not followed, the same principle can break you…especially in the world of web 2.0 marketing where there’s a ton of busy work at any given time that can be done.