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Is sharing really multiplying? Isn’t it better to have a “me first” approach?

Healthy motivation is based on trust (cooperation) and following happiness. The popular saying is “sharing is multiplying” which sounds great. Nevertheless I come aware with clients and people I meet, that so many times “me first” or “you don’t or last” based on fear, anger are the motivators and run the show. What I read is that globally they are becoming more and more dominant in current society than happiness. Research even shows that the empathy levels on schools dropped with 30% predominantly cause by doing social media.

I think we are used to the concept that in general we as humans don’t like change and that the reason for this is that in the old days change could mean that we could be eaten by a lion. So it makes sense that we have an ingrained system of change is danger and that emotions as fear and anger are strong in us thanks to our evolution process. Although I am totally ingrained with the concept, I still get surprised when I see how we sometimes let fear or anger drive us. Our neocortex knows that there are no lions anymore that are hunting us!

This makes it worse when we add an extra ingredient of lack of communication in the mix, because that generates more hypothesis about the topic and anger/fear can increase.

I share with you a personal example I experienced during last month and that also triggered my emotions. I suddenly got the news that a person who works as a therapist was putting a lot of energy in stopping a workshop that I am delivering.

Why would she put so much effort in stopping something she actually likes?

I am running a workshop based on teachings I had earlier this year and included that in one of my programs, and by doing so my intention was promoting that person, his work and the concepts of wellbeing as I am saying this and not hiding that it is based on his work. And in some way by doing this I activated her fear and anger. I know that she admires that person a lot and I when I would do some mindreading/guessing I could assume my doings could create anger or fear in her. Maybe a fear that I would disgrace his teachings and maybe she became angry because she could have the idea I breached some unwritten rules by using what I learned. My last assumption is that her fear/anger could be coming from the idea that I steal her thunder because that she wanted to deliver these kind of workshops, as said I do not know because she did not respond on my calls and messages after I came aware of her actions.

As you see, I was not indifferent to it, my first emotion was not the happy one ;-) and many assumptions came to my mind in order to understand. This only helped me to activate also my own emotions, not knowing her thoughts and trying to make a meaning out of them.

So why do we like to protect instead of embracing and cooperate? Logically and pitifully it is all based on fear, fear that someone will use it and have benefit of it instead of us. So, keeping the analogy of the lions, we are projecting ourselves and other people are like lions who could kill us in a different way.

We can see this behaviour also in companies. An example of many is when a manager does not share but hold on their knowledge so that they get the promotion instead of helping the company to become great.

Of course this behaviour responds to a personal need.

The question is what is the impact of it?

Let me share with you some research data.

There is a research from Felix Warneken of the Max Planck Institute, Joshua Green and Jonathan Cohen (two Princeton University psychologists and Daniel Batson, a former psychologist at the University of Kansas) that proofs that cooperation and also altruism, in the long run outperforms selfishness and protection.

Since this statement “Altruism and cooperation outperforms protection” is seen as something strange,

Lindsey Browning from Leischester University did extended research on it and researched for that the iconic work of Robert Axelrod, a political scientist at the University of Michigan who worked on solving the biggest unanswered question in game theory: the optimum strategy for repeated games of the Prisoner’s Dilemma.

This particular game is the perfect vehicle for studying the nature of cooperation and succes because it revolved around the question of working together versus working alone to create success. The game is about the following : “Should the two criminals cooperate or sell each other out?” And, if you are trying to win with the highest score, why would you cooperate, which would likely mean a lower score?. Axelrod in his research invited game-theory strategists from all over the world to participate, and they sent in computerized programs that could play 200-round games of Prisoner’s Dilemma against opponents.

The winner was Anatol Rapoport, a Russian-born professor of mathematical psychology at the University of Toronto, who had a special interest in the psychology of war, peace, and nuclear disarmament. Rapoport won decisively with an ingeniously simple strategy, written in only four lines of computer code, which he’d dubbed “Tit for Tat”.

On the first move the player cooperates with his opponent.

On every subsequent move, the player simply copies the moves of his opponent in the previous game –but only for one round.

If the other side defects, the first player defects in the next round; if the other side cooperates, the first player continues to cooperate until his opponent changes tactic, at which point, so does he.

Following this strategy isn’t simply kind; cooperation always yields the highest score.

Axelrod studied and published these first results and then ran a second tournament, with many challenges to Tit for Tat.

Nevertheless, Rapoport’s strategy turned out to be unbeatable. (source: The Bond Lynne McTaggert)

Why this article?

My intention is to shake you up and hope to promote reflection about what is driving us. it is also to promote the healthy motivation and cooperation based on happiness, trust and courage, and that we all embrace the slogan: “sharing is multiplying”.

So I like to ask you: How is that for you, which strategy do you use as a default in doing your business, working with others and maybe even personal?

By the way, if you like to read more about motivation and where it is coming from, you can read my article about work addiction click here

You can also have a look to the website about how to learn to transform your life and ReMaster yourself.

Love to hear from you, and don’t forget to encourage your mind to have a good time.


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