While I’m on my trip across Europe I’ve come across something that’s really powerful. In order to change your life you’re going to have to give yourself rewards for the right behaviour.
Take dogs for example. If we want dogs to stop doing something, we punish them. If we want the dog to do something more we reward him. So if he sits you give him a treat but if he sits and begs at the dinner table you chase him away.
Humans are exactly the same. When we want to change a behaviour we need to reward the right kind of behaviour and punish the wrong kind.
I was with a family in England and their two dogs were the epitome of a lack of training. They would come and stand at the dinner table while we were eating. The husband kept giving them food so of course the dogs were going to keep coming back.
In Europe, they have this thing called social housing and benefits. The government gives them rent & money for food so nobody goes hungry or homeless. It’s an admirable system, but it rewards the wrong behaviour. The problem is some people are earning more in benefits than in their job, so what they do is tell government some excuse about why they can’t work and they get allocated benefits. People capable of working go get benefits because why work hard when you can earn more doing nothing?
The wife in this family was on the social benefit program. I could see she didn’t feel like she had a purpose. I’m not saying work should be your purpose, but work should make you feel productive. She had nothing to look forward to during the day so she turned to addictions. If people don’t feel productive, they find ways to distract themselves.
Like we do with dogs, we can reward and punish our behaviours to create habits that empower our lives.
This week, think about what behaviours you want to stop, and then think about how you are going to reward yourself when you make progress.
Use reward and punishment so that you too can change the game.
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