PCB007 Magazine

PCB-Apr2014

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58 The PCB Magazine • April 2014 I said in my DAM books, "work is social, our behaviors lead results, and our behaviors are governed by our thinking." There is a myth that what motivates us is purely self interest. In fact, this myth seems to be the operating principle behind capitalism. But is it true? Simon Sinek explains in this vid- eo on YouTube that our brains aren't wired like that. He also explains anthropologically, how the chemicals described in Table 1 are part of a system that has been essential to our survival for the last 50,000 years. Sinek explains that part of our brain is wired for selfish interests (utilizing endorphins and dopamine), and part of us is wired for social interests (utilizing se- rotonin and oxytocin). Finally, another part of our brain is wired to respond quickly and sud- denly to danger (cortisol). When these chemi- cals are properly balanced, we are in balance, and we are healthier and have a greater chance to live longer. Unfortunately, in our industry, most of us work in an environment that is extreme- ly competitive, judgmental, and harsh. This stresses us out and we respond in very un- healthy ways to avoid the stress and the pain. In order to understand what is happening, so that we can fix it, we need to understand the chemical substances that are at the root of our behavior. Chemical Type What it Does endorphin selfish masks pain. allows us to run prey down without feeling the pain. think of a runner's high. dopamine selfish creates pleasure. we feel good about completing stuff. we will eat even if we aren't hungry (because we get a hit of dopamine), which was good for survival, but problematic today. dopamine is highly addictive. serotonin social a natural mood regulator that curbs cravings (such as overeating). it is also our "status" chemical that helps us feel good about our place in the social hierarchy. we enjoy the success of those that we feel a close connection, as if it was our own. we can artificially trick serotonin with unearned social status. oxytocin social the "love" or "trust hormone." when we hug someone we feel close to, we get a boost in oxytocin. this is why we feel a sense of safety in numbers when we are within a group we trust. it is why a social conversation is often better than an email when you need to be understood or influence another to action. cortisol stress "run Forest, run…" cortisol is the stress hormone. it causes hyper vigilance and awareness in the face of danger (real or perceived). in fact, if one person in our group is fearful and their cortisol levels spikes, we too will become fearful and our cortisol will spike. if the fear is chronic we will have chronically high levels of cortisol in our body, which depletes our immune system, leave us open to heart disease, certain cancers, and so on. chronically high levels of cortisol can kill us. table 1. IS YOUR DAM JOB KILLING YOU? continues

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