Desire Is Learned

May 26, 2016

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Wait. What?

I taught myself to want wine.

I taught myself the pattern of wanting it and drinking it.

Then, I taught myself too well.

I taught myself to want it more than really worked for me.

It wasn’t hard to do this.

The easiest way to teach my brain is to give it positive reinforcement.

So if I want to teach my brain the habit of exercise, I need to exercise repeatedly for long enough that I get the endorphin reinforcement.

But if I want to teach it faster, I just need a more concentrated reward.

Concentrated rewards are man-made brain problems.

The brain sees alcohol, sugar, and drugs as very important because they are so reinforcing.

In fact, your brain will think anything that provides such a reward is more important than almost anything.

It doesn’t know. It hasn’t evolved to see that the activity/reinforcement pattern could actually be harmful.

So it super-learns the pattern and the more you practice it, the more unconscious it gets.

That is by design.

The brain likes to be efficient. It likes to make things easy.

Alcohol = Lots of reinforcement.

So alcohol must be very important. Repeat often.

This is only a problem if you don’t understand what has happened.

You have a pre-frontal cortex that can see what is going on.

It’s your human brain that can understand what is happening in the lower brain.

So we just need to unlearn by extinguishing the reinforcement.

It’s a skill you learn, not a character flaw you have.

I can show you.