made to your personal narrative, even if you just made them . Part of becoming sapient is the ability to override such automatic internal conflict resolution, and actually focus on the conflicting beliefs to subject them to rational analysis. This is initially unpleasant to humans, but it’s key to creating a rational agenda for your lives and future, and you can come to enjoy the process and immensely benefit from the results. Hacking the “gene agenda” will always be initially uncomfortable, because that’s the agenda which programmed your deep- brain “feel good/feel bad” circuits. But you can fairly quickly learn to “feel good” about stuff which makes se nse to feel good about.
The Bottom Line: We quickly resolve conflicting internal beliefs based on how they fit with our personal narratives, sunk costs and daily goals.
Summary: The scientific synthesis in this book may initially seem to paint a different – and much less optimistic - picture than media and polite company would usually acknowledge or even discuss. As individuals, we have a tendency to be overly optimistic. We’re taught from an early age to “look at the bri ght side” and believe “every cloud has a silver lining,” so it’s natural the majority of people
discount “negative” -seeming viewpoints and worldviews. Adults are also particularly vulnerable to self-deception when comparing their own intelligence and attractiveness to others. Research has shown that we systematically exaggerate our chances of success, believing that we are more competent and more in control than we really are. Eighty- eight percent of people think they are better drivers than average 52 . Ninety-four percent of professors believe they are better at their jobs than the average professor 53 , etc.
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