The Rider, The Elephant, and The Path

How to think about making change

The Rider, The Elephant, and The Path

from the book in your brain

1 The Rider

The Rider loves to contemplate and analyze, doing so with a negative bias, almost always focusing on problems rather than solutions. The Rider is frustrated by uncertainty and easily exhausted.

is a metaphor for

The rational mind

Typified by the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain that looks for patterns, makes plans, predicts the future, monitors the self, and attempts to distinguish between and suppress animal instincts.

2 The Elephant

The elephant is easily spooked and hates doing things with no immediate benefit. It is stubborn, needs reassurance, and is quickly demoralized. But it is powerful, tireless, and difficult to actively direct.

is a metaphor for

The emotional mind

Typified by the amygdala, the root of fear and trigger of the body's stress response. Negative emotion has a narrowing effect on range of thought. Positive emotion allows the mind to wander creatively.

3 The Path

Even when the Rider and the Elephant cooperate, they must know what direction to head. Without a clear vision of the destination, change will not happen. The Elephant tends to follow the path of least resistance.

is a metaphor for

The environment

External stimuli make up the world that the mind consciously and unconsciously interprets and reacts to. Forces like convenience, distraction, and cognitive biases play a significant role in directing behavior.

The Rider, The Elephant, and The Path

shared by ptvan on May 04, 2011 in Lifestyle


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