THE BLOG
10/31/2016 11:25 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Choice 2016: Is It Really Just Between A Donkey and An Elephant?

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While we are familiar with the donkey and elephant mascots representative of the democrats and republicans -- I suggest getting to know the PIG and the APE for Choice 2016. And, I am not referring to Trump or Clinton.

In this election, we need to take a hard look at what's driving us in terms of how we elect our next president. It might surprise you.

In my book, Beyond the PIG and the APE: Realizing Success and true Happiness, I explain that the PIG and the APE are symbols for the mental drives that are present in each of us.

The PIG is the ever-present drive to Pursue Instant Gratification; and the APE is the drive to Avoid Painful Experiences.

These drives were once essential to human survival. Yet, in modern times they tend to get us into trouble because the PIG and the APE focus mainly on short-term happiness.

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Over the ages, we have been conditioned to care for our short-term needs for survival. However, these drives tend not to serve our long-term goals.

As the outcome of this election affects more than just the next four years, our choice and judgment are more important than ever before. Therefore, we need to challenge ourselves to look beyond the wishes of our PIG and APE and make informed choices for the long-term global needs as well as our own self preservation.

Our brains are wired for small short-term gains instead of big long-term wins. Issues such as taxes, social security, and healthcare create dilemmas that feel seemingly good in the short-term, but can drain us economically in the long-term.

The act of voting blindly is commonplace because most people are either operating in autopilot or trying to feed the PIG and protect the APE. They strive for pleasure and avoid any pain-- such as paying any more taxes.

Becoming aware of your PIG and APE is the only antidote for this political plague. Having the presence of mind to know that you need to reach beyond your PIG and APE and make your choice consciously will be critical.

Political candidates throughout history have used fear to their advantage. Check in with yourself and see if it's your fear that's driving you to reach your conclusions. If fear is seeping in, the only thing that can stop it is your acknowledgment of it. You cannot let the negative energy of fear guide you.

Here's why-- if someone wants you to lose your sense of reason, they just have to make you angry and mobilize your primitive brain into its fight, flight or freeze state. When you are upset and stressed you make decisions driven by fear and anger, decisions that do not serve you over the long haul. These are the faces of your PIG and your APE.

The populous is being controlled by fear. Take, for example, the third debate. Neither candidate really provided any details about how they will accomplish their goals. It is not being demanded of them because the majority of folks are too upset, and therefore, not being guided by their reason.

This is frightening. The best action you can take is to acknowledge how your PIG and APE might be driving you and then rethink your position. What would your opinions look like if you were focused on the long-term results? What might you be willing to give up in the short-term if they painted a clear path to the long-term benefits?

Your vote for Choice 2016 will be decided based on what is driving you. And, not based on what you think of the television personality of each candidate or those disenchanted by disgust or fear.

Do not buy into the propaganda. Instead, take time to reflect and determine what you really want in 10, 20, or 50 years from now.

This year, don't settle for a default option, exercise your awareness and make a conscious choice. For Choice 2016, don't let the PIG and APE determine the donkey or the elephant.

God help America!