“Success, remember , is the reward of toil” Sophocles
In our last newsletter we began talking about why people do what they do (click here to read that newsletter), in particular why do inconsistent, self defeating or self destructive behaviours ever persist in our lives? This is a topic that I have spent literally thousands of hours researching over the past 15 years. When you understand the drives behind human behaviour you have ability to have a great influence over your life and perhaps also over live’s of the people you care for. Imagine for instance if you where able to effortlessly create the habits for consistent exercise, a healthy diet or following through on all your commitments.
Last wee I introduced you to author Tom Morris’s simple framework called the 3 I’s that brings great light upon why we do what we do. We spoke about the impact of ignorance (the first of the I’s) and this week we’ll explore the impact that indifference has on our behaviour.
Ignorance has often been described as “I don’t know” and indifference as “I don’t care”. Indifference exists everywhere around us. Social scientists are continually baffled about why people make bad decisions even when they clearly understand the negative impact of them. Personally I am yet to meet a smoker who doesn’t know the habit is slowly killing them, yet even with this information they still don’t stop.
In his book Tom says that when a goal or commitment isn’t rooted in our heart then indifference is often the by product. I think what Tom is talking about here is that for change to happen you must have a “big enough why”
Unfortunately without a big enough why the how is irrelevant.
Over the years I have had many clients who haven’t been able to give up smoking until… they became pregnant and then the process was instant and often painless. Their smoking no longer became about only their health it was also about the health of their unborn child – the why changed!
Becoming conscious about the real impact of our behaviours not only on our lives but also on the lives of those around us can be tremendous fuel for great change.
This week take some time to investigate the real costs of your behaviours – not just on you but also on the people you love. Here are some questions to direct you:
How are my poor health (or any other) behaviours impacting my relationships?
How are my poor health behaviours impacting my work?
How are my poor health behaviours impacting my life enjoyment?
For this process to have an impact it requires honesty and self responsibility. Being prepared to look at the real impact of our behaviours though is a powerful step towards creating change.
For some of us though we are aware of and deeply want to change our inconsistent and self defeating behaviours yet they still persist. So if it’s not ignorance or indifference what else could possibly be at the source of the problems in my life? In our next newsletter we will dive deep into the final of the 3 I’s – inertia.