The Problem With Free Will

Only humans have it, but here’s the problem with free will

The Problem With Free Will video thumbnail imageHuman beings have free will. We have the ability to reason, to decide whether or not to do something. So what’s the problem with free will? The problem is that often times when we’re working toward a goal it will become difficult. And it usually gets hard at the beginning.

Animals driven by instinct will persist. An ant will continue to work regardless of what’s put in front of it. The ant will go over or around – or simply move – any obstacle in order to complete its task.

Human beings, however, have free will that allows them to decide if something is worth doing. The human mind is complex. It processes hundreds of thousands of pieces of information on a daily basis, filtering out what is unimportant and assigning meaning to the remaining pieces of information.

The problem is that we often assign meaning to things without “all the facts.” We make subconscious judgments about what’s good and what’s bad. What’s possible and what’s impossible. What’s fun and what’s not fun. We’re constantly in a state of categorizing and defining our world, based on our mind’s ultimate goal: our survival. And most of the time we get it wrong.

Some of the meanings we assign to something are based on evolution. Tens of thousands of years ago, a certain sound meant a predator was nearby. Back when “fight or flight” literally meant the difference between our physical survival or destruction, this was okay. But the same fight or flight response now happens when we think about doing things that simply make us slightly uncomfortable. Making a sales call, speaking to a group of people from the stage, or asking an attractive person out on a date.

Simon Sinek talks about this very succinctly in his presentation titled Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe. This video is well worth the time to view.

Through years of evolution we’ve been conditioned to respond to non-life-threatening situations with panic, heart palpitations, and a desire to flee. As a species, we are pain-aversive. That is, we are predisposed to avoid discomfort. Any discomfort. So when things get hard most people give up.

Watch my video to find out what else I have to say about the problem with free will.

I hope you got value from this video. If you did, please comment below, and Like and Share it.

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