If our mind has reached a point of identifying an extraordinary behavior — good or bad — we should recognize something remarkable has happened.
Most of us will move immediately into action. We want the next thing in the chain and we want it now.
But we might be overlooking a very critical moment for learning and celebration.
Two things are simultaneously happening when an extraordinary behavior is mindfully realized. We are both capturing the definition of that behavior and deciding we want to act to either change that behavior or amplify it for greater effect.
We we are not doing is fully understanding the context, nor do most of us sufficiently celebrate this moment.
Understanding the context simply means asking a couple questions.
1) What was I doing in the moments leading up to or recently that made this behavior become known?
2) What effect was this behavior causing in my life?
The second questions works itself out pretty quickly. The first usually takes some work.
Did your routine change that day? Did somebody say something today, yesterday, last week, last month? What’s your emotional or mental state? Were there any big changes in your life recently.
If the behavior you identify is positive, then your success of repeating that behavior may have less to do with committed action but environmental modifications to support the behavior.
If the behavior you identify is negative, then the causal relationship can provide insight into the actions you create to change the behavior.
Another fundamental element to that process of understanding is the reward mechanism.
Science tells us that positive reinforcement or reward helps build good behaviors. What if you rewarded yourself for simply identifying the issue behavior and decision to do something about it?
This sets a reward tone. Adding a reward is also a behavior. If we pause to celebrate the decision to change or modify a behavior, we start to build the reward muscle. Reward is a valuable part of the behavior change process.
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