Wanting VS Liking


“If you only do what you “want”, you’ll miss out on a lot of things that you’d “like” and “love”

There’s a profound distinction between “wanting” (reward anticipation/desire) and “liking” (reward actualization/delight). We tend to think “desire” implies “delight” but the two are neurologically mutually exclusive.

Just because you desire, it doesn’t follow there’ll be delight. Conversely just because you don’t desire, it doesn’t follow that there won’t be delight.

Interestingly enough though, at a subconscious level, we don’t care whether the motivation is extrinsic vs intrinsic, self-regarding or other regarding. In fact, we don’t care about even the actual reward. We only care about its value (pleasure) or detriment (displeasure). This is why I believe the brain is wired for hedonism.