Why behavior change can fail
loved this one Nate. Thanks.
I still more or less believe in Rat Park, but
If the rat is severely traumatised then even a beautiful park will not save them from becoming an addict. The work of Gabor Maté shows that the primary cause of addiction is trauma, not immediate environment. Obviously a great environment helps, but they also need help healing the original trauma.
Interesting article, Nat. What comes to mind for me is purpose. Viktor Frankl endured his ordeal by not focusing on self and immediate needs/desires, but committing to a purpose outside of himself. I personally believe humans are uniquely designed to capture negative thoughts (I'm trapped inside a rat cage) and transform their thinking, unlike any other created being. Just listened to the Huberman podcast today explaining how human brains have exponentially more ability than apes (also elephants, whales) to "trick" our bodies and minds into different reactions and thought. Thanks for a thought-provoking read and a reminder to use the right lens when I'm looking at my environment, and also how privileged I am to be able to change my park. :)
Nat, you may want to read “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones” by James Clear