What really drives HUMAN BEHAVIOR?

I have always been fascinated by human behavior. More importantly, to understand what drives human behavior

In the real world, human behavior is reflected in: 
* Why do you do what you do?
* Why do you say what you say?
* Why do you say things which you never intended to?
* Why do you not speak up when you are given an opportunity?
* Why do you sometimes do things which you never imagined you could / would ever do?
* Why do you sometimes not do things when you are given an opportunity even though you badly wanted to do it?

In the online world, human behavior translates into
* Do you even have a digital / social media presence?
* What digital / social media channels do you actively use? (Twitter, FaceBook, Pinterest, Blog, LinkedIn, etc.)
* What do you say about yourself? – The tone, content, messaging, articulations, expressions.
* How much do you share about yourself? – i.e. How personal do you get?
* What kind of social network have you built online? Is it an extension of your offline network?
* What kind of information do you share in your online network?
* How much time and effort do you invest in your online network?

If you take a minute to ponder more deeply about all these questions, you will realize that they are all examples of human behaviors and usually there are one / many drivers which govern human behavior!

During one random online browsing activity I can across a profound quote from Plato (Refer note on Plato below) which gave a compelling answer to this question “Human behavior flows from three main sources: DESIRE, EMOTION and KNOWLEDGE”.

The answer made me think more.. Are there only three main sources which drives human behavior?.. If yes and if everyone understood this, life would be a lot easier. But therein lies the problem – Not everyone knows this, appreciates this and not everyone understands this in entirety

And as I mulled more, I couldn’t agree more! At the basic level, Human behavior is indeed governed by
DESIRE – Desire for health, wellness, wealth, fame, power, knowledge, success, an ideal life, glory, name, love, happiness, information, peace of mind, fulfilling relationships, meaningful life, bliss, completeness, well balanced life, harmony, learning, new experiences, diverse friends, pursuit of hobbies, living different cultures, travel … to leave a legacy you’re proud of
EMOTION – Key Emotions which drive human behaviors are love, hatred, anger, hurt, sadness, grief, joy, bitterness, sorrow, jealousy, guilt, repentance, revenge or fear
KNOWLEDGE – About yourself, about others, about the past – your past and the past of the world, the present – your present and the present of the world, of one / more subjects of interest and expertise ranging from politics to economics to human anatomy to science to math to innovation to business to cooking to parenting to medicine to technology etc etc etc.

And then of course, there are combinations of the above which drive human behavior:
DESIRE and EMOTION
EMOTION and KNOWLEDGE
DESIRE and KNOWLEDGE
Lastly, DESIRE EMOTION and KNOWLEDGE

I think the most powerful combination is one in which human behavior is driven by DESIRE, EMOTION and KNOWLEDGE simply because it means that your behavior is driven by the compelling and compounding power of awareness and understanding of one / more subjects, focused thought, deep passion, power of intellect and the force of human emotions – which is a usually a recipe for deep profound and long lasting impact – provided the intent is right and positive!

I truly believe that understanding of human behavior is a very important dimension in life (personal / professional and online) – One which can immensely help everyone in their everyday life. What I’ve also realized is that anyone who has some degree of interest in human behavior is usually a very keen “observer” of human behavior. So in any given situation (if you pay attention) you will find one / two people being very “keen observers”. Many at time they are silent and make their observations, but if you take the trouble to talk to them – you will learn something about human behavior and more importantly about life!

So do you have any views on what drives human behaviors – online / offline? Leave a comment to let me know…

About Plato : Plato was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science.

Plato was one of the most important Western philosophers, exerting influence on virtually every figure in philosophy after him. His dialogue The Republic was known as the first comprehensive work on political philosophy. Plato also had enormous contribution on ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology. His student, Aristotle, was also an extremely influential philosopher and the tutor of Alexander the Great of Macedonia (Src: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/879.Plato )

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Posted on October 4, 2012, in Blogging, Business, Communication, Consulting, Education, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Leadership, Life, Marketing, Social Media and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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