tba This will be composed from different sections, as I want to emphasize this as a model to stay away from - although it seems to be a common one, to varying degrees for most people.


Pokeyman                                                                                  LifePowerMan

Where are you on this scale? 

Near the end I lay out the underlying characteristics of each, so you can choose whether to shift into developing those characteristics and no longer being a Pokeyman in life (or much of it).


It seems us human beings are "motivated" by chemicals that are naturally emitted by the primitive brain to have us survive.  In a simplistic way, we are motivated by pleasure and pain - which evolved to have a system that would have us survive better.  However, the primitive version of this, which was evolved into our brain, is geared toward the dangers of 10,000 years ago.

Fortunately, we also evolved an addtional brain that could reason and plan and think - and learn.  It is with that higher brain that we can choose to do other than be the slave of an emotional-chemical signal.  As humans, we develop a set of meanings and values that are much more valuable to how we feel about life than a temporary passing chemical stimulation experience.

If we use the higher brain to make our decisions and then learn how to get that brain into gear when needed for better decisions, we can overcome the primitive programming and actively manage our lives to create that which is of more value to us.

If we don't apply true thinking, we get confused about what is going on, often sticking ourselves into modes of behavior that are not in fact good for what we really want.

We begin to believe that "relief from anxiety" is pleasureful.  True, it is a reducer of the pain of anxiety but the whole process involved here is pretty "unsmart".  We cause the anxiety and then we spend the time to fight it, resulting in a net zero (or a net negative), where we get nothing of value!  

Many people equate having a beer or a numbing drink to "relax" and let the pressure off as being a pleasure and the way to live in life (instead of using better strategies to relieve or stop anxiety).  Some even equate "partying" with satisfaction and getting approval from the other numbed out people, who are one's "friends" but in a non-meaningful way - they're living a charade of nothingness, based on "values" that end up having no value later in life as the people look back. 

Their lives are lived from the stimulus of the substances imbibed and other people providing stimulation.  (Examples include:  sugar, fatty foods, drugs, alcohol, caffeine....) This formula doesn't work and it never will, although that is difficult to realize when you're in the situation - just as it is hard for a child to realize that his future happiness is not based on having child's toys.

We even put a huge premium on "I'll be happy when I retire", somehow equating doing nothing and having reduced stress as 'the reward' (rather than an opportunity to have the freedom to do different activities that are rewarding - and being non-passive!).  "Waiting to be happy later", when the pressure is off, is a set up for not being happy until later which means that I'm not happy now and all the time until "then" occurs. 


He is the one seeking to be "done to", to be stimulated by some outside force.  He is often quite passive in terms of creating (and deciding) what he truly wants, though he can be "active" in terms of learning how to manipulate others to give him what he wants - he doesn't realize how inefficient it is to spend energy on trying to control others.  He could get massively more good results for himself if he just went directly to creating what he wants from his own efforts. 

He exists from a largely "victim" mentality, where the responsibility for making him feel good lies "out there" in having the right circumstances happen and/or having others give them what they want or create that for them.  He is the ultimate dependent, falling into a surefire way of producing unhappiness.

This would seem to be a workable strategy, but the cost is much too great.  The person loses his "sense of efficacy" (control over life!) and he loses the most important producer of results in life: that of "owning" that he is the one who is the producer of his life - that is called "responsibility", not as a burden but as a means to create the life one really wants. 

So, Pokeyman is waiting for something or someone to "poke" him, so that he can react, a bit like an amoeba might react if we poked it. 

He is what Erhard referred to in EST, when he gave the contrast in the choices about life.  One alternative was to put oneself in a comfort tank, lying in comfortable tepid water, floating a bit, with a top keeping out all the light and sounds, perhaps with pleasant, soft music.  That would be a version of "comfort" that someone might seek in life, but it might not be lasting, as the other name for the tank is "the deprivation chamber".  The idea, of course, is that we should choose to be active in life, risking and living on the roller coaster of life, and enjoying, being the master of "the ride" in life, enjoying both the ups and the downs - and the sense of aliveness.  (Of course, there is a "how to" necessary to achieve a philosophy that allows for the downs to be an ok part of the process!  That is provided by this site, though we build it from various aspects.  Follow the programs!)

He is run by having to get others' approval, while not generating what will create him esteeming and "loving" himself.  He is on a hopeless path based on what others think of him.


The characteristics are as follows, with the two extremes being at the extremes of having the characteristic on the positive side or not having it on the negative side.

Self-responsibility vs. victimhood  
    Non-dependency, self-dependency
Self-efficacy, being in control of one's life  
Effective thinker vs. passive believer
Life-Powerful - Able to produce results