This past year, many more entrepreneurs, investors, executives, and world leaders have been introduced to my Four-Pillars to Success behavioral methodology. The methodology lays out the four capacities that account for individual’s abilities and motivations that help choose one career over another, start one business over another, and finally either succeed or not so much. After each of my programs and increasingly with the introduction of my new startup, I am being requested to write more about the origins of the Framework.

With this blog, I am starting a series that looks into the individuals and their actions from inside out. The question that I will explore is not WHAT but rather WHY people do what they do. In general people’s actions, albeit important and exciting, only show a response to a drive rather than a motivation in itself.

In order to expose true causes, I will travel very deep into human psyche, yet keep it as simple and as obvious as a written language will allow. I will break my introductions into manageable pieces. Expect these pieces to often have you pause and raise uneasy questions. I invite you to allow yourself to go beyond words and accepted understandings...

There are 3 resources that are fundamental and essential for human survival and for preserving and expanding life:

  1. Food
  2. Water
  3. Shelter

Currently, all of the essential resources required for survival are finite and controlled. If you want to test this premise, try not paying for your ‘abundant’ water supply and see what happens the following month. Resource limitations require competition to secure the necessary quantity forcing everyone else into an endless cycle of acquiring and securing them for themselves.

Now, a bigger question is - Why do we need to survive in the first place? Zeal for life! It appears that people are biologically wired to live. They unconsciously, subconsciously, and consciously (more about the differences of these three terms in the future blogs) fight for life. Living while surrounded by abundance of essential resources produces a physical state of harmony and mental order, whereas the opposite brings physical agony and mental chaos.  The realization of the two contrasting states is critical. We are therefore on a quest not only to live, but to live in abundance – reach and maintain a state of harmony and order.

In the pure form, loss of life is harder than living, at least not until we give the living a good try. Excluding old age and illness, people generally expire from some sort of fatal impact and not willingly - for example, we don’t find many people passing on from holding their breath or deliberate starvation. Notwithstanding, please don’t try these at home.

People do not possess a built-in tool for self-inflicted loss of life - living is technically fail-safe, because the opposite is irreversible:

  1. It is far more challenging to hold my breath than to simply take the next available breath or the one that i can put up a fight for
  2. It is more painful to starve myself than to grab the next available meal and drink or the one that i can put up a fight for
  3. It is more painful to remain in a freezing condition than to take the next available cover

The pain associated with ending life is greater than that of securing the essential resources. When the efforts (costs) of staying alive match the pains (costs) of loss of life, the person may go over and beyond what is considered as acceptable action in current society, thus become dangerous. The person may turn into a criminal - meaning - the person is able to cause harm to someone or the society when pursuing the necessary resources. At that stage, the costs of harming someone to avoid immediate personal ‘agony and chaos’ would be considered less costly than the cost of possibility of getting caught and spending time in jail.

If hungry to a point of starvation, essentially facing death, the pains associated with starvation may overweigh the costs of harming another to satisfy that immediate need as there might still be a remote exit opportunity, e.g. the law may falter, the person may escape capture, etc… This condition forces a person to act for self-interest, which may appear to the rest as an irrational action. Yet, it is at this juncture, where pain meets gains, where Harmony and Mental Order meet Physical Agony and Mental Chaos, is where a rational action is born, where a behavior can be calculated and forecasted... to be continued...

More on the state of Harmony and Order and how to maintain it in the next piece...