What is that drives us to do things that we do in our daily lives? Our immediate response to this is that is desire or want. But what is behind desire? A little thought to this will make clear the fact that is memory. Memory is the faculty that drives us to do different things.
The Pavlovian experiment of conditioned reflexes is a fine example. In this experiment a dog is given a tidbit after a bell is rung. This repeated over several days. After a few days the animal is conditioned that it salivates merely on hearing the ringing of the bell. The reason clearly is that it has memory of a juicy morsel immediately following the ringing of the bell. Hence it is this memory that causes an involuntary reaction.
Human memory is far more complex and much more subtle. We have long term and short term memories. Our memories are not just a storehouse of facts but can store even more complex things like feeling, emotion, taste etc. If somebody insulted we are able to recollect the humiliation many years later. Similarly if we succeed in some activity, then we can still feel the glow of success anytime we recall the event.
We store our experiences in life as memories. Memories are the raw material for our thoughts. In other words thoughts are the product of our memories. For example when we desire to buy a new car, or buy a new house the motivation behind this is the memory of the comfort and envious looks we may get from our friends. When we angry with someone it because the words or actions of the other person rankle in our memories.
Unfortunately we cannot rid ourselves of our memories. The more we try to forget something the more it tends to stay with us. What we really need to do is to focus our minds on our memories, and understand what is behind all those memories and reason out with it.
We need to essentially store new memories bases on our reasoning and judgement on what is right. This way we will always be on the right track