Joris Voet asks why we don't behave in accord with our values -
> This problem has been stated in different ways already during the
> discussions on "values and behaviour" in this group. What strikes me is
> that the following question is never being asked : "How does it come?"
> that behavior differs from what one wants (=values)? ( Or it may be that I
> have overlooked that part of the discussion).
> I have no answers, and I think that here we have a very important field to
> learn about : why do we human beings do the other thing than the one we
> want to do? In my eyes, saying that this is "caused by a lack of
> motivation" is not an answer. Saying that is nothing more than saying
> that one does not "really" want it. My question concerns things that we
> "really want" to do, but still do not do. I may feel really very much
> motivated to stick to the diet which must make a much lighter person out
> of me, and still... You may feel very motivated not to quarrel with your
> kids again, and still...
> I would like to hear about other explanations, theories, refinements, and
> suggestions. I think that, if behavioral practitioners succeed one day in
> finding an efficient way to educate people towards higher degrees of
> consistency in words and deeds, the world will be a little bit better for
One explanation which makes some sense is that we developed most of our
behavior before being able to understand values, if we ever really do. We
have no behavior when born and develop most of it by copying from others.
Often, a particular behavior is a combination of what we took from several
other people. Since the behavior we are copying probably does not meet
normally acceptable value standards, there is little chance that our copy
will do so.
By the time we understand our own values, our behaviors have become habits
over which we have little control, habits carried out by our subconcious
brain rather than by our much slower concious brain. Besides, we don't
normally judge ourselves against our behavior, rather by our values and
they are all good. We know that we are good because our values are good.
We do not believe that we are our behavior.
As I see it, this is just one of the many hazards of growing up.
Unfortunately, few of us are taught about this hazard and thus we don't
realize that we have many behaviors to fix or at least adjust. I have
found that people are far more amenable to examining and changing their
own behavior once they understand this possibility, especially if one can
articulate the benefits to self from really living by our values, at least
the ones we don't want others to violate in interacting with us.
Hope this helps, Joan
Joan Pomo The Finest Tools for Managing People
Simonton Associates Based on the book
email@example.com "How to Unleash the Power of People"
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <firstname.lastname@example.org> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>