From the December 2011 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

November 28, 2011

Transcending the Zoo Within You

Krishna Pendyala, in your new book, "Beyond the PIG and the APE," you talk about three levels of awareness as part of one's progress toward happiness and success. What are these levels?

I define Level 1 Awareness as the level where the PIG and the APE are calling all the shots.

In that first level, we are on automatic pilot in making decisions, motivated by impulses that ultimately are not trustworthy or good for us.

Exactly. For example, most quick financial decisions are made based on greed or fear. This ties in squarely with the power of the PIG and the APE.

In Level 2 Awareness, you think over the choice, analyze the situation carefully, look at pros and cons and take a longer view of the consequences. Typically, you think you are in control and making rational decisions–although often it is your Ego that's in charge.

When people research investments, the result can be misleading if they only do a logical analysis. This reminds me of a talk I had not long ago with Jason Apollo Voss, who emphasizes the importance of integrating both sides of the brain so intuition becomes part of decision making.

I agree with that. In my view of Level 3 Awareness, choices are made by accessing a higher level of intelligence that goes beyond the PIG, the APE and the Ego. Your choices may have far-reaching impact, but the notion of "control" no longer applies because you have transcended control. You don't need it. You are no longer feeding or protecting your Ego. You are driven by a much larger vision for the greater good of all. This is the source of intuition, inspiration and insight.

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