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Chapter 2: Self-control is an illusion

While the Thinking Brain rests within the synaptic circuits in your skull, the Feeling Brain is the wisdom and stupidity of the entire body.

To generate hope, the first thing that we need is to feel as though we have control over our lives. Yet, many of us struggle with the inability to control ourselves. Usually, when we fail to do the things we should, we assume it’s because we can’t sufficiently control our emotions. We think we’re too undisciplined or we lack knowledge.

This is the Classic Assumption—the belief that logic and facts dominate feelings.

However, willpower isn’t critical in making decisions and taking action. Emotions matter the most. We have two brains: the Thinking Brain and the Feeling Brain. The Thinking Brain can calculations, to reason, and to express ideas through language. The Feeling Brain represents emotions, impulses, intuition, and instincts.

Neither brain communicates well, but both participate in decision-making by “drive[ing] the Consciousness car.” The Feeling Brain is the real driver; it decides where to go. We are moved to action only by emotion. The Thinking Brain can only navigate and slightly modify the route.

Principles to follow