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Why Don't More People Want to Change the World?

Healthcare is critical. But healthcare will never be fixed to a point where we can say that it's done. Instead, it's about looking at things in new ways, exploring new ideas for changing behaviour to improve outcomes. For everyone. So, why don't more people try to do different?

Am I living well? I feel pretty content, but honestly, how do I know? Should I be breezing through life or bouncing off challenges with glee? Does it matter? Frankly, I can’t see the joy of going through life without challenge or conflict. Surely no one plans for a ‘life of easy’, where nothing happens. But, does it matter?

Don’t we all need to be able to change something? 

It’s presumably why people choose to go it alone and run their own ventures. As well as being unemployable, it’s why I did. The thought of very little happening in a day fills me with about as much joy as peddling my tricycle around the Overlook Hotel only to be confronted by the Grady twins.

Apparently everyone does need a challenge. Evidence shows that the act of trying itself, is key to satisfaction. Of the seven core instincts (anger, fear, panic-grief, maternal care, pleasure, play, and seeking), seeking has its own reward mechanism. Rat experiments reveal a dopamine overload for simply exploring your surroundings. Hopefully, the scientists involved appreciate my extension to the rat race.

So why don’t more people try? 

Do they not want the super high that comes with it? Or maybe they need to experience it first to know what it feels like. And do those who do, ever achieve a status of feeling fully satisfied? Probably not. The desire to seek, explains why awesome achievements (like winning the lottery) fail to lead to a long-term improvement in happiness. We just love the chase as an end in itself.

If you’re in the healthcare industry, there are always new ways of doing things, new things to create and communicate. Health isn’t fixed, arguably, right now it’s fundamentally broken, or at least upside down. Why are we focused more on repair than protect in the first place? And given that we are, why are patients not the genuine focus of our efforts more often?

None of us thinks that this will ever get fixed to a point where we can say health is done. Healthcare is about looking at things in new ways, exploring new ideas for changing behaviour on prescribing habits and health habits in general.

The innate desire to challenge the status quo means that many of us can never rest. We will never be done. But we might just get high trying.


The Mysterious Motivational Functions of Mesolimbic Dopamine

Dopamine regulates the motivation to act, study shows

Dopaminergic reward system: a short integrative review

Frontera Group.

Got a challenge? Want to change something? Get in touch.

6th January 2021



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