A few years ago my wife and I enjoyed a day at Walt Disney World with one of our sons, daughter-in-law, and our two young grandkids. I especially remember riding the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel with our two grandkids.
We all got situated on the ride, and when that merry-go-round started, those kids cracked a really big smile. And that smile lasted until… the merry-go-round stopped, and it was time for us to dismount our magnificent horses. Then the crying started, their bottom lips pushed outward and we had to carry them off the merry-go-round.
Aren’t we at times like my grandkids when we become addicted to short-term pleasure and gratification? And when it stops we not only want it again, but want it to come quickly, and more powerfully than before! Then when we don’t get what we want, we cry out and blame someone or something else?
People who behave expediently do what’s easiest and quickest, or what makes them the happiest in the short-run. They tend to make emotional decisions that are reactive in nature.
People who behave in an expedient way find it more convenient to react to the urgent things in life and in business. They are often guided by emotion and choose to make popular decisions that are rooted in unhealthy fears.
At the same time, they worry about protecting their rights. Emotional decisions made in haste lead to poor outcomes.
Observation: People who behave expediently pour so much energy and effort into their short-term emotions that they tend to lose sight of the long-term – where they are going – their vision.
Would you like to get off this life that has been like a merry-go-round?
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
– Albert Einstein
You can stop going around in circles by changing how you think.
In his classic book As a Man Thinketh, James Allen states, “A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.” That can either be a good thing or a bad thing.
One of the reasons people don’t achieve their dreams is that they desire to change their results (in an expedient way) without changing their thinking.
You can begin making principled, pro-active, and character-driven decisions to determine where you are going – your vision – when you change your thinking.
As you begin the “thinking for a change” process, it is important to understand that…
“We make choices, and our choices make us.”
– Bobby Albert
- You are responsible for your own choices, and you have the freedom to choose how you respond to what you experience in life.
- You can change (if you are willing and have the desire) how you think about making choices that lead to more right decisions.
- You can change where you spend your time and energy – focusing more on what you CAN control and less on what you cannot control.
Principled behavior leads us to understand that we are responsible for our own lives. We do not blame people, circumstances, or environments.
This behavior is a product of our choices driven by our core values and purpose rather than on conditions driven by feelings.
People begin to work on the things they CAN do something about. By working on themselves instead of worrying about conditions, they are able to even influence the conditions.
In other words if you really what to improve your situation, the most positive way you can influence your situation is to work on the one thing over which you have control – YOU.
Many people (with expedient behaviors) wait for something to happen or someone to take care of them. But the people (with principled behaviors) achieve success by creating pro-active solutions to their problems.
They seize opportunities to do whatever it takes in a principled way to get the job done.
Expedient behaviors have a paradigm that is “outside-in”. And they tell themselves that what’s out there has to change before I can change.
Principled behaviors have a paradigm that is “inside-out”. And they tell themselves they can have an effective positive change in what’s out there by working on being – who they are (living-out their core values).
Those who are principled think about what is right in the long-run. They are self-disciplined to do what is right even though it might NOT be the easiest, or the quickest, or the most enjoyable thing to do!
In short, character-driven people are willing to do things emotion-driven people will not bother to do! Character-driven people enjoy long-term success, while emotion-driven people usually wind up on the road to failure.
Stop going in circles
Every person can get off the merry-go-round and know where they are going – their vision – by understanding the differences between emotional and character-driven thinking.
People who behave in a principled way make better decisions as they seek what is right and then hold to those convictions. They are pro-active and focus on what is important vs. the urgent things in life and business.
Has your life been like riding a merry-go-round? Is there one decision that you’re considering today that you can approach in a more principled way? How so? Please share your thoughts <here> and share this blog post with friend, family, and co-workers.