The Happy Chemicals

On 16 August 2002, in Afganistan are two A-10 Warthogs flying above the clouds over a valley. An A-10 is a heavily armored low-flying slow aircraft designed to provide ground cover for troops on the ground. It is a very cloudy night and there are storms in the area and these two planes flying above are waiting in case anybody on the ground needs help. up in the sky, it looks great, the moon is clearly visible and bright, the stars, and the clouds look like if there was fresh snow on the ground. However, on the ground, there were 22 Special Operation Forces in the valley trying to make their way through the country.

There was an uneasy feeling in the group, they could feel there was something wrong. One of the pilots up above, Callsign Johnny Bravo could feel the men on the ground were unease listening to them over the radio. Johnny Bravo decided to go down below the clouds just to have a look. He tells his wingman to keep above the clouds, and he points his plane down into the sky. While he is going through the clouds a call comes over the radio: “Troops in contact”. This is what the say when they’re under effective fire it means they’re in trouble. So Johnny Bravo flies straight down getting thrashed about in the turbulence. He comes out below the clouds less than a 1000 feet (304.8 meters) of the ground. Cliffs on both sides now this is only in 2002 and the planes were not yet equipped with ground-hugging radar and they were using old Russian maps. That’s all they had at the time which made everything even worse.

The site where Johnny Brave is met with is something he’s never seen before, not in training or even in any movie. He sees tracer fire coming from all sides of the valley which were pointed right at the middle where the American forces are. Johnny picks a point and starts to lay down suppressing fire, in danger of hitting the cliff. He knows his speed, he knows his distance from the map and counted out loud while he lays down the suppressing fire: “one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand, four one thousand, five one thousand” he pulls hard on the stick and pulls back up into the clouds. He comes down around it again: “one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand, four one thousand, five one thousand”, “good hits, good hits” it says over his radio and again he comes around: “one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand, four one thousand, five one thousand” he runs out of ammunition, fuel is fine. he flies back up above to the top clouds, tells his wingman: “you need to get down there” his wingman isn’t sure about the condition so the two of them fly back down together. His wingman lays down suppressing fire and Johnny Bravo counts as they fly 3 feet (1 meter) apart wing to wing: “one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand, four one thousand, five one thousand” up and around again: “one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand, four one thousand, five one thousand”. That night 22 Americans went home alive with zero casualties. My question is where do people like Johnny Bravo come from? Who are they? and who would risk their lives for others so that they may survive? If you would ask Johnny Bravo: ‘why would you do it, why would you risk your life that others may survive?’. He will give you the same answer that everybody in his position gives: “Because they would have done it for me”. – Simon Sinek

If you think about it in the military they give bonuses for people who are willing to risk their lives so that others may gain. In business, we give bonuses to people who are willing to sacrifice others so that we may gain. We have it backwards, wouldn’t you like to work in an organization in which you have the absolute confidence, the absolute knowledge, that other people that may or may not know you who work in the same organization as you would be willing to sacrifice themselves so that you may survive. We’re not talking about giving you’re live, I mean we don’t even like to give up credit.

So where do people like Johnny Brave come from? It’s an age-old question, they’re not born. they’re actually made. If you look at the human animal, the human animal is like a machine. There are systems in our body’s that are trying to get us to do things that are in the interests of the survival of the human animal. Inside our body’s are chemicals that are trying to get us to do things that are in the best interests of us. if you ever had the feeling of happiness, pride, joy, love, fulfillment, all of these feelings that we have, are chemically produced feelings and they are produced by four chemicals predominantly.

  1. Endorphins
  2. Dopamine
  3. Serotonin
  4. Oxytocin

The first two chemicals Endorphins and Dopamine are the selfish chemicals because you don’t really need anybody’s help to get these chemicals. The last two are the social chemicals and theu are there to keep the first two chemicals in balance.

Endorphins are designed to do one thing and one thing only to mask physical pain, that’s it.

Dopamine gives the feeling that if you found something you where looking for, or when you accomplished something on your to-do list. The whole purpose of dopamine is to make sure that we get stuff done. But dopamine comes with a warning because it is highly addictive. here are some things that release dopamine: Alcohol, nicotine, gambling, your cellphone and more.

Serotonin is the leadership chemical, is responsible for the feelings of pride and status.

Oxytocin is the feeling of love, trust, friendship, safety, it’s all the good stuff. Oxytocin also exhibits the overproduction of dopamine, so you become less addictive.

The coming days I would like to go deeper into these four happy chemicals all in a separate post each day.

May we meet again!

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