Pursuit vs. Retreat
The power of choice is a central theme in enhancing wellbeing and performance. How a person chooses to respond to their environment or what they choose to attend to can be a solid predictor of future outcomes. The choices we make fall into many categories but one of the more interesting breakdowns of choice comes from Will and Auriel Durant's The Lessons of History .
In updating their model we can think of choice in terms of Pursuit or Retreat. Pursuit choices includes our instincts for action, fight, acquisition, and association. Retreat choices include our instincts for sleep, flight, avoidance, and privacy, Each of these instincts as the Durant's labeled them produce habits and subsequent feelings.
The habits that we choose to enlist become at times indistinguishable from our true selves. Habits of acquisition for example include eating, purchasing, or stealing. These habits lead to formulated emotions and thoughts which impact almost every future event in our lives.
The power of choice can only be effective with self-awareness. Without self awareness it is difficult to see the influence of our natural tendencies. We succumb to our default patterns and routines. Living without full engagement.
This pursuit or retreat model offers a mental model to view our actions and begin to challenge some of our tendencies.
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