Inner Governance or Outer Control

DR JOHN DEMARTINI   -   Updated 1 year ago

Dr John Demartini explains why the need for extrinsic motivation is a symptom and not a solution. Instead, he advises that it’s wise to learn how to achieve inner governance and mastery.

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DR JOHN DEMARTINI - Updated 1 year ago

Every individual on this planet, regardless of their gender spectrum, age, sexual identity or cultural background, lives moment by moment with a unique set of values, priorities or things that are most to least important in their life.

That hierarchy of values is fingerprint-specific and completely unique to that individual.

In that hierarchy, whatever’s highest on the list, the thing that’s most important, most valuable, most meaningful and most fulfilling, is what they’re spontaneously inspired from within to act on.

They will also be unlikely to need extrinsic motivation in the form of reward or punishment to complete it, nor will they tend to need reminders or prompting to get the task done.

Think of a young child who loves online gaming and will find every opportunity to play for hours. The child is intrinsically driven to focus on it and spend time doing it. It doesn’t require extrinsic motivation, it’s self-driven to do it.

In my case, my highest value is teaching. I don’t need outer (extrinsic) motivation to do it.

However, as I go down the list of my values to cooking or driving, I am likely to require greater degrees of extrinsic motivation to get me to do them, which is why I delegate the activities that are lower on my values (what’s least important to me) to others.

So if you think back to the young child we mentioned earlier who had a value on gaming, now you’re waning the child to clean their room but this is a low-value activity for the child. Now it needs the threat of punishment or promise of reward to clean the room or finish the chores because those tasks are not important to them.

If you’re going through life with a brake on, procrastinating, hesitating, and frustrating, instead of being inspired, disciplined, reliable and focused, you’re unlikely to live in a world of excellence and mastery and more likely to live a quiet life of desperation.

I’m sure this is not the life you envision for yourself. So determining what’s most important to you is the place to start if you wish to build your life around that which inspires you.


Click below for the video of this article.





Extrinsic motivation is a symptom, never a solution, for human beings


Your unique set of values or priorities determine how you PERCEIVE the world, how you DECIDE in the world, and what you ACT on in the world.

In fact, every decision you make is based on what you believe will give you the greatest advantage over disadvantage at any moment.

The moment you set a goal or objective and take actions that are truly  highest in priority and most important, your self-worth goes up, and you increase the probability of achievement.

The blood, glucose, and oxygen, measured by functional MRIs, move into the brain’s frontal area, the forebrain, and go into a region called the medial prefrontal cortex.

The prefrontal cortex is the most advanced part of the brain, where you are most self-governed, masterful, integrated, objective and authentic.

That area of the brain also allows you to see an inspired vision.

As I often say, those with a vision flourish and those without a vision perish.

Activating the forebrain or executive center of your brain allows you to strategically plan and see in your mind’s eye what you want to achieve, the possible obstacles, and what steps you can take to mitigate those obstacles or risks in advance.

This part of the brain also allows you to activate the associative motor cortex for spontaneous action. For this reason, you are most likely to spontaneously act on the thing that’s really inspiring and meaningful to you that you see clearly in your mind’s eye.

Your vitality in life is directly proportional to the vividness of that vision.

So the congruency between your goals or objectives and your values gives rise to the clarity of your vision which invokes a spontaneous action, you tend not to have friction or need extrinsic motivation. Instead, you’ll tend to act with inspiration towards your balanced objectives.



The prefrontal cortex or executive center, is also referred to as the gratitude center. For this reason, when you’re living by priority and congruently with your highest values, you tend to experience the most gratitude sometimes called grace.

On the other hand, when you don’t fill your days with high-priority actions that inspire you and instead fill them with low-priority actions that “despire” you, you activate the subcortical area of your brain known as the amygdala.

In all likelihood, you can think of a day where you accomplished your high-priority actions and felt inspired, energized, confident, resilient, and expanded.

Perhaps you can think of a day where you put out fires and were busy, yet felt as if the world controlled your day instead of you managing your day. You may have felt aggravated, irritable, and impulsive, perhaps even wanting a quick fix to make you feel temporarily better.

That’s a clear sign that you’re functioning more from the amygdala portion of your brain – the animalistic, primitive fight-or-flight part of the brain instead of your higher functioning executive center, where you have more self-governance.


The reactive amygdala in the subcortical region of your brain


When you don’t live congruently with your highest values, you are most likely to activate the amygdala.

The amygdala is a center in the subcortical area of your brain that functions when you try to avoid predator and seek prey.

In other words, it wants food and doesn’t want to be eaten.

It’s a survival mentality instead of the executive center, where you tend to have a thrival mentality.

The amygdala is also the brain region partly responsible for subjectively bias where you are likely to distort your perceptions.

Your prejudices, discriminations, wars, and conflicts tend to be generated from that area.

The same is true of your immediate gratifying fantasies. For example, thinking that you can eat sugar without consequences, overeating without consequences, or over shopping without the consequences of credit card debt or having more month at the end of your money instead of money at the end of your month.

This impulsive and instinctual center is where you tend to feel that you are just surviving, that there is little growth, self-worth, self-governance or self-actualization.

Instead of governing your life, other people tend to govern it, and you are more likely to require extrinsic motivation to get anything done.

You may also seek anything that makes you feel good or gives you immediate gratification – eating, spending, drinking, smoking, or watching TV.

You may also find that you have trouble sleeping because of the “noise” in your brain.

As I often say, if you don’t prioritize your actions in life, you likely add to your sleep problems, impulsive behaviors, compulsive behaviors, and may even become polarized and unstable.

You are also likely to let the world on the outside dictate what goes on in your life, becoming part of the herd instead of leading the herd.

If you don’t live congruently with your highest values and priorities, you are unlikely to awaken your executive center and discover how to bring order to your life. As such, you will tend to experience disorder.

Claude Shannon speaks about disorder or entropy as “missing information”.

When you’re functioning down in your amygdala, you are highly likely to have a subjective bias.

The subjective bias aims to cause acceleration and adrenaline to capture the prey that you impulsively seek and avoid that predator that you’re avoiding.

As I said earlier, this is when you tend to operate in survival mode.

You will tend to skew your perception of your reality when in survival mode.

In this state, you have false attribution biases, where you have in-crowd and out-crowd biases and divide yourself and others instead of integrating and empowering yourself and serving others.

Any area of your life that you don’t empower - your inspired spiritual quest, intellectual mental genius and innovation quest, business quest, relationship quest, social leadership quest, physical health and vitality – other people are likely to OVERPOWER.



In other words, if you don’t govern and take control of those areas, other people are likely to do it for you.

  • If you don’t empower yourself intellectually, you’ll be told what to think.
  • If you don’t empower yourself in business, you’ll be told what to do and will likely work for others instead of being an entrepreneur and having the greatest profits.
  • If you don’t empower yourself financially, you’ll be told what you’re worth.
  • If you don’t empower yourself in relationships, you might be going around doing things that people in the family tell you to do because you’re fearful of losing them or their approval.
  • If you don’t empower yourself socially, you’ll be told what propaganda to believe.
  • If you don’t empower yourself physically, you may take unnecessary medication or have unnecessary surgery.
  • If you don’t empower yourself spiritually, you may subordinate yourself to those selling you a dogmatic anthropomorphic deity.


It is wise to empower your life – here’s how


If you are unclear about your most meaningful purpose, know that your purpose is waiting to be revealed by identifying your unique hierarchy of values.

Like thousands of other people I have worked with, taught, and consulted for over the years, you may be surprised to hear that your life already demonstrates your purpose, and that’s through the pattern of expression of your highest value(s).

You don’t have to look anywhere else but your life demonstration to determine what’s most important to you or what you value most.

If you would love to find your purpose, it is wise to determine what is most important to you, which you can do by taking the FREE Online Demartini Value Determination Process on my website.

The Demartini Value Determination Process has 13 questions that will help you look closely at:

  • How you fill your intimate and personal space most.
  • How you spend your time most.
  • What energizes you most.
  • What you spend your money on most.
  • Where you are most organized and ordered
  • Where you are most disciplined and reliable.
  • What you think about, visualize, and internally dialogue with yourself about how you would love your life to be – things that already show evidence of coming true.
  • What you would love to and frequently converse with other people about most in social settings.
  • What inspires you, and what’s common to the people who inspire you.
  • The consistent and persistent goals you have that you’re relentlessly making come true.
  • What you can’t wait to learn, read about and study most.

If you look closely and objectively, there’s a pattern that will begin to emerge and something you can’t miss.

In the Breakthrough Experience, the signature program that I run almost every week, I teach the powerful Demartini Method technique – a series of questions to help you balance the mathematical equations involving your perceptions.

You can transform your perception of an event by asking quality questions to bring full conscious balance to your awareness.

As I mentioned earlier, you have complete control of only three things in your life: your  perceptions decisions, and  actions.

Taking accountability for your perceptions is a decisive step towards mastering and actively running or directing your life instead of allowing your life and emotions to run you.

So, during your time with me in the Breakthrough Experience, I will give you the tools, help you determine your unique set of values, structure your life congruently with those values and priorities, and show you how to dissolve any impulses and instincts that may be distracting you from being present, empowered and governing your life from within.



Don’t expect to live an inspired life if you’re not governing your own behavior

If you don’t fill your day with high-priority actions that inspire you, it will likely fill up with low-priority distractions that don’t.

If you don’t decide what challenges inspire you that you want to solve, you’re likely to have challenges you don’t want.

For this reason, I love sharing information on mastering your life with inner governance vs being outwardly controlled.

The prefrontal cortex is designed for foresight, and the amygdala and the other centers beneath it are for survival and hindsight.

If you live by hindsight, you live by trial and error, which is the lowest heuristic way of handling life.

You will likely reinvent the wheel all the time instead of making progress.

However, if you have foresight, you will be far more likely to be innovative because people who do what they love and tackle challenges they love are most likely to create innovative ideas that lead the pack. In other words, become leaders.

Some scientists believe there are two primary systems of thinking:

Systems 1 thinking is an emotional reaction before thinking (the amygdala or survival center), and Systems 2 thinking is thinking before reacting (the executive center)

What would you love to do?

  • Emotionally react, have the world distract you, blame things on the outside, and look for something on the outside to rescue you - a magic bullet, a magic pill?
  • Or realize that no matter what happens outside of you, you can transform it, integrate it, bring meaning out of it, think it through, act according to what inspires you, prioritize your life, expand your space and time horizons, and permit yourself to do something more profound?




Delegation is an essential component in self-actualization and in living an inspired life.

If you’re not doing what you love and loving what you do daily, then it is wise to learn the art of delegation.

Delegation liberates you from the bondage of weighing yourself down by doing uninspiring lower priority actions, living by duty, living by what you think you should do and ought to do because you haven’t permitted yourself to do something deeply meaningful, more inspiring and productive.


To sum up:


I believe that deep inside you is a desire to break free from anything that’s stopping you from living an inspired, vitalized and extraordinary life.

The average person functions more from their amygdala and is run by the world around them, TV, the news, social media, religion, friends, parents, and the desire for instant gratification.

The self-actualized individual is the one who does not follow the herd but who goes out and is heard because they have a mission and a message. They are most likely to blaze a new trail and become an unborrowed visionary.

If you would love to become a master of your destiny, thrive in life, be inspired, live your dreams, and live by foresight instead of hindsight, then that all takes place in the executive center of your brain.

Activating your executive functioning skills takes practice, in the same way that exercising any muscles takes practice.

A wise place to start is the FREE, confidential online Demartini Value Determination Process  so you can identify what is truly most important to you (and not what should be or ought to be important to you.)

Consider coming to the Breakthrough Experience, where I will give you the tools, methods, and principles to help you break through the things you may perceive as being “in the way” to show you how to perceive them as being “on the way”. It’s all about perception.

I can show you how to see a hidden order in your life so you’re freed from distractions and can begin to prioritize your life, which can give you a tremendous amount of incremental momentum and energy. I truly believe you deserve to have the energy to accomplish what you would love to do.

The executive center is the one that’s an inspiring center, a gratitude center, and an achieving center. It’s the one that sets you apart from the average and the masses who tend to live with an animal survival mentality.

Suppose you would love to take command of your life, be the governor of your destiny, have the voice and the vision on the inside to be louder than all the opinions on the outside, and thrive instead of just survive. In that case, it is wise to learn to have the mastery of the forebrain running your life with foresight instead of hindsight.


Are you ready for the NEXT STEP?

Step #1: Book Your FREE Discovery Call

If you’re seriously committed to your own growth, if you’re ready to make a change now and you’d love some help doing so, then book a FREE Discovery call with a member of the Demartini Team so we can take you through your mini power assessment session. 

You’ll come away with a 3-step action plan and the foundation to empower your life.  

Click HERE to book your FREE Discovery Call


Step #2: Book Your TICKET for Dr Demartini's Breakthrough Experience

If you’re ready to go inwards and do the work that will clear your blockages, clarify your vision and balance your mind, then you’ve found the perfect place to start with Dr Demartini at the Breakthrough Experience.

In 2 days you’ll learn how to solve any issue you are facing, transform any emotion and reset the course of your life for greater achievement and fulfillment.

You’ll unlock your true potential and lay the groundwork to empower all 7 areas of your life.

Get ready to take your life to a whole new level of meaning and purpose.

Today is the day you step into your power and value yourself by investing in your inspired life when you sign up for Dr Demartini’s signature seminar the Breakthrough Experience:

Click HERE to book your TICKET on the Breakthrough Experience