[This post is part of a series on “Mental models and beliefs: an exercise to identify yours.” If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]
Answering all of life’s most important questions is a tall order, but if you’ve read this web page long, you know the value I put on the Model, my model for human motivations and emotions. The Model forms the foundation of what I consider the best way to view and live life.
A model that answers all of life’s most important questions: The Model
If you haven’t read my series on the Model, I wrote about it at length. I put a table of contents on the Model at the bottom of this page. Yes it’s a lot to read, but it will tell you more about yourself and others than anything. It will simplify your life while helping you achieve more than anything else.
Here’s the Model, illustrated. Deceptively simple, it gives structure to a lot about people and how they interact with their environments. The posts below give it more depth and explain its consequences.
When I use this belief
I use the Model all the time, every day. I use it to understand my environment and myself and what I can do about both.
What this belief replaces
This belief replaces thinking your emotional system is irrational and random with thinking it’s consistent, reliable, and predictable. It replaces misunderstanding yourself and others with understanding them. It replaces not knowing how to learn about yourself with direction and focus to do so.
Where this belief leads
This belief leads to greater self-awareness and emotional intelligence, which lead to a better life, better relationships,… better nearly everything.
Table of contents of posts on the Model
I copied the following table of contents from this page.
Introduction and overview
- The Model — introducing my model for the human emotional system
- The Model
- The Model: models in general
- The Model: why
Examples of models
- Examples of models: maps
- Examples of models: the Earth from several perspectives
- Examples of models: beliefs and mental models
- Examples of models: how a slight change in your model can create big changes in behavior
- Examples of models: why he or she didn’t call
- Examples of models: “beliefs and expectations filter your perception”
- Examples of models: “everybody does their best according to their abilities and perception of their environment”
- Examples of models: Mexico City, lack of awareness, and leadership
Models: passive and active
- Models: the passive view
- Models: why I stress that they all have flaws
- Models: flaws from experts
- Models: the active view, part 1
- Models: the active view, part 2
- Models: examples of the active view
Building the Model from first principles: environment, beliefs, perception, emotions, behavior, and reward
- The Model: environment and behavior
- The Model: adding emotions
- The Model: adding belief and perception
- The Model: adding reward
- The Model: reward, happiness, and pleasure
Now that we’ve developed the Model, let’s understand it.
Discussion and examples of the Model
- The Model: where emotional cycles come from
- The Model: examples of emotional cycles
- The Model: emotional reward differs from the emotion that brought it about
- The Model: our emotions transcend “Nature red in tooth and claw”
- The Model: your emotional system is consistent and predictable
- The Model: our emotional system is outdated
People familiar with other methods of improving your life may see similarities between my Model and the model underlying cognitive behavioral therapy. I’ll develop the comparison more later, but for now I’ll compare the two models briefly.
The Model and cognitive behavioral therapy
- The Model and cognitive behavioral therapy
- Shortcomings of cognitive behavioral therapy and remedies to them
Now that the Model has some context too, let’s understand it in more depth.
The Model in more depth
- The Model: environment in more depth
- The Model: perception and belief in more depth
- The Model: emotions in more depth
- The Model: the origins of your emotions and emotional system
- The Model: characteristics of emotions
- The Model: behavior in more depth
- The Model: reward in more depth
- The Model: how your emotional system chooses your emotions
- The Model: a single cycle is simple. Many cycles get complex.
Everything so far has been about the Model itself. Now let’s look at its implications for us in our lives.
What the Model tells us about our lives
- The Model: what are awareness, self-awareness, and emotional intelligence?
- The Model: more functional views of emotions
- The Model: more on the difference between “positive” and rewarding emotions
- The Model: the source of all meaning, value, purpose, and importance
- The Model: “what is the meaning of life?” is a needlessly and counterproductively complicated question
- The Model: bring about emotions you want and enjoy them, don’t dwell on them
- The Model: strategize, then enjoy
- The Model: what is freedom?
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