They like me!

“I can’t deny the fact that you like me; right now, you like me!”
Sally Field babbled those words during her Oscar acceptance speech in 1984.
She was delusional.
The Academy didn’t “like” her.
They “wanted” her to win.
For her role as Edna Spalding in Places of the Heart.
I empathize with Sally.
I want to be liked.
You probably do, too.
We all do.
It’s how we’re wired.
And that wiring has us short-circuiting.
Especially in the marketplace.
Where we often conflate what people like with what they want.
For the record (and I’ve said this over and over for years):
People don’t choose what they like.
(That’s your delusional mind talking to you).
They choose what they want.
What makes them feel good about themselves and their decisions.
In fact, what we like and what we want are controlled by different brain circuits.
We can like things without wanting them.
And we may want things without liking them.
It sounds illogical.
And that’s why scientists were surprised by the discovery.
They performed an experiment on rats.
Cutting off their “want” circuits.
Figuring that the rats wouldn’t be attracted to cheese.
They were wrong.
The rats scurried to the cheese like Vegas gamblers to a free buffet.
But then they just stood there.
They didn’t eat.
So the researchers double-checked those “want” circuits.
And sure enough, the circuits were turned “off.”
But another circuit was lit up.
One that terminates at the same area of the brain.
They refer to it as the “like” circuit.
The mice liked the cheese, but they didn’t want it.
Most times, the two circuits light up simultaneously.
When we’re hungry, we eat what we like.
But just because we like something, doesn’t mean we want it.
Do you like your local bookstore?
Me too!
Is that where you buy your books?
Me either.
Being likable, as a business strategy, is severely flawed.
Instead, you should work to be liked and wanted.
Both circuits firing together creates the greatest impact.
The same applies to success with any pursuit.
Simply liking the idea of achieving it won’t get you very far.
You must deeply want that achievement, as well.
Yes, liking is the lubricant that makes the world go round.
But wanting is the force that keeps it growing.