Last week, my 5 year old daughter was having a little trouble with one of the big kids at school. She had teased her about a cold sore on her lip, as if kids don't have enough to worry about, Sienna has unfortunately inherited my dodgy DNA when it comes to cold sores (seriously can someone please find a cure?), I digress. I asked her if she had made sure that this kid was feeling ok, sometimes people lash out when they have unmet needs or aren't feeling well, she said she had asked if they were ok, and then said... "Mum, maybe she just picked up the bad behaviour from someone else at school or in her family, but she needs to make a choice about her own behaviour".... mike drop, yep, she's 5.
It is true, we pick up behaviours from people around us. From the moment we are conceived the recipe of our DNA is starting to determine who we are and who we could be, then from the second we are born, we are picking up further code or recipes, algorithms from those around us.
While we may have no choice around some recipes (like our nose shape, height or eye colour) It is also true that we can make choices about our behaviour... We can choose which recipes to follow.
So why don't we?
Why is re-coding our own behaviour SO very hard?
The problem with the world today as I see it is that we are all a little too smart for our own good and we haven’t quite mastered the art of our own systems. We marvel at the technology we hold in our hands but forget to tune into our own capability, our own thinking and our own hearts. We are quick to judge and quick to think we know. But how much do we really know and how conscious are we in understanding self and understanding what we REALLY think (and feel).
Years ago on my quest to understand intelligence, how people learn, complex problem solving and thinking – I came across a lot of amazing resources to understand logical, creative and abstract thinking.
One of my absolute favourite authors on the power of logical thinking, is Marilyn Vos Savant – Marilyn is an American magazine columnist, author, lecturer, and playwright. She was listed as having the highest recorded intelligence quotient in the Guinness Book of Records, she isn’t just benchmark smart however... she is wise. She took the time to understand that:
“To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe. Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent. Success is achieved by developing our strengths, not by eliminating our weaknesses.”
– Marilyn Vos Savant
The trick to re-coding our behaviour, is about not giving up. It is about focussing on developing our strengths and becoming so strong that our weaknesses do not matter.
But what if you want to eliminate a weakness? Smoking, drinking, eating sugar, reacting to things in an unwanted way? Well, the trick is about bouncing back when we are defeated, not giving up until the change sticks...
Human coding is all about identifying the recipe at play and finding a new recipe to replace it with. A simple shift in our thinking around this can be incredibly powerful.
You have the tools, you have the capability... where will you start?