Risk vs Reward, a cognitive output based off of the results of some input. The outcome of a decision helps the brain learn and determine answers to probable questions we face in the future.
In my last post we went over the motivation of choices, and how the things we do now can affect the choices we will make in the future. This idea includes the concept of risk & reward.
The concept of risk & reward is quite simple really. Did the decision go badly? Risk, so we won't do that again. Did it turn out well? Reward, so we know we can do those things again in the future.
Now, the concept of reward is a tricky one to grasp. Risk is easy to comprehend: essentially something with a negative outlook. Reward however can trick our minds. Let's take the example of a kid eating candy for dinner. The kid thinks to himself that since he's getting to enjoy the delicious sweet of candy that he is having a pleasurable experience. The next morning the kid wakes up cringed in pain with a stomach ache. Was it worth it?
The same goes for when we face hardships or moments of stress and un-conformability. Our first reaction, which is a natural defense mechanism of the brain, is to avoid it, to stay away from it and neglect it. Frankly, that gets us nowhere. At the moment, we are presented with the illusion of short term gain. Yes, we managed to "escape" from the stressful environment. However, in reality all we did was avoid it, and the moment will return again.
It's better to be rewarded for positive things over long term gain. Let's take for instance going to the gym. Yes, it can seem overwhelming with the amount of people, the machines are a bit confusing, and it could be a relatively new experience. As we work out, our muscles face little tiny tears and build up with lactic acid. It's hot, and we're putting loads of stress on our body.
At the surface level, this seems like a horrible thing to do. But with the outlook of long term gain, there's a reason we're there in the first place. There's a reason we started. We start small, and with time we'll notice improvements. We feel good and we see we're getting stronger. We look good and we're gaining muscle. With discipline, this seemingly painful action provided us with results that we are rewarded from.
It's easy to avoid the idea of risk, but we shouldn't allow it to control us. Learn to face it, and accept that everything will happen with time. I'm a firm believer in facing problems head on. Start small scale and work your way up. This builds courage and the confidence to face future problems.
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