Where you are today is the result of the choices you’ve made, the experiences you’ve felt, the associations you’ve cultivated, the words you’ve spoken, the ideas you’ve had, the beliefs you’ve clung to, and the habits you’ve created. You are more in control than you give yourself credit because 99 percent of the time, your attitude determines the choices you make, and your attitude is the only thing you really control.
You respond to rewards, incentives, fear, and pain, very similarly to the other 6 billion of us on this earth. Whatever your goals are, whether they’re communicated verbally, on paper, or whether you’re even conscious of them, you seek to meet those goals. Learn what motivates YOU. Learn what you’re afraid of and logically think it though. You’re only born with two fears: falling and loud noises. All other fears are learned.
Once your basic needs of food, water, and shelter are met, you will seek to fulfill your needs for accomplishment, for relationships, and for control in your own life. Humans are most depressed when they experience feelings of failure, loneliness, and a lack of control. Overcome these feelings by getting out there pursuing your passion and taking care of your responsibilities to the best of your ability. Respons-ibility = your ability to respond. You are responsible for you.
You seek consistency in your life and you value it in others: consistency of purpose, consistency of actions, consistency of attitudes, and consistency of how your needs are met. Sometimes you will even follow through with an action that is detrimental to you personally, if it means appearing consistent to others.
You have an innate and deep desire to know and understand. The act of acquiring knowledge and systematizing your known universe is a technique for the construction of a basic safety net. You’ll use this safety net as a fall back position when you don’t know what to do. An example: you probably think “you get what you pay for” so when all information isn’t available, you reason that the most expensive item is the best quality. Most of the time a safety net works. Patterns are good. A growling dog, or rattles coming from a bush usually DO mean bad things! But sometimes patterns of thought don’t work and you let your need for consistency dictate whether you reevaluate your system of thinking.
Now that these are laid out for you, how will you use them? How will you use what you know about yourself and about human motivation to help you achieve your highest goals and your highest purpose?
1. Make wise choices. Take a little extra time and think things through.
2. Incentivize yourself to make those choices. Put your own carrot in front of you.
3. Place yourself into a position to achieve great things, associate with great people, and control your own life and attitude.
4. Use consistency to your advantage. Consistently do the right thing.
5. As Covey puts it, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Seek knowledge, but don’t let a system of thought prevent you from learning even more.
photo credit: minds-eye