An Integrated Systems Approach

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All living organisms have two fundamental goals: survival and reproduction.

The body is our vehicle for the journey of life.  It includes:

  • The physical structure and functioning of our Central Nervous System (CNS), which produce sensory input systems and motor output systems
  • Our physical sexual organs and associated hormones

When we use our body, we utilize: 

  • Our mind, the functioning of our brain:
  • Cognition: our information coding, storage, and processing systems. Note that information is also stored in the body, not just the CNS
  • Emotions: our signal system telling us whether we are getting our needs met or not.  Emotional Intelligence is demonstrated by self-awareness, self-management, and self-motivation
  • Our spirit: our motivational fuels – needs, wants, and expectations that give direction and intensity to our thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and physiological responses.
  • Our behaviors: 1) reflexes and instincts (nature); 2) habits (nurture), learned from experience (direct or vicarious). These habits run on auto pilot without thought; and 3) conscious choices.

Some 95-98% of what we do results primarily from habits, with some behavior resulting from reflexes and instincts.  Habits are hard to break, even if we don’t like the results.  Since the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect different results, we are all insane.  However, it is the genius and creativity of the 2-5% of our brain that is making choices that allows us to make changes. We have the ability to consciously make changes in our habits. It is not easy, but with motivation and perspiration, we can move mountains. We can address and heal the systemic wounds that we each have in our individual histories.  Our likelihood of surviving and reproducing may very well depend on healing our wounds and changing our habits.

What do you do on “automatic pilot” that does not help you thrive?  What emotions do you associate with that behavior?