NLP Presupposition #7 - Person and behavior describe different phenomena. We are more than our behavior.
Aristotle said that we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.
There’s a some truth to that, but I think we’re missing a few things when we look at behavior as a whole.
Later in this series, we’ll talk about the positive underlying motivations below all of our behavior, but for now we can look at the dichotomy between WHO we are, and WHAT we do.
Obviously, these concepts are interconnected. Identifying myself as a gym rat will make me more likely to reinforce that identity with gymrat behaviors.
That identity may shape my social circle and, as a result, put me in more environments that nurture gymrat behavior. But is that who I am? No, There’s a developer, a pickup artist, a friend, a coach, a lover, a fighter, and a blogger in there too.
To look at one aspect of my behavior is not to identify me, to pidgeonhole and limit myself to a subset of things. We as human beings are nearly infinite in our potential, and a fraction of that infinite composes our present. There’s no way one label can define me.
I ate half a pizza on saturday. Not the good kind of pizza, the Little Ceasar’s $5 shit tons of sugar kind. Is that behavior that is conducive to rapidly achieving my fitness and weght loss goals? Fuck no.
Does that make me a fatass? No. Doing that 3-5 times per week plus soda makes me a fatass.
I put up 500 pounds on the squat machine last week. 6 times. Does that make me a bodybuilder? No. Doing that (and other exercises) 3-5 times per week does.
If excellence is a habit, then so is mediocrity.
Who I am is malleable, and is not defined by my behaviors. Behaviors, stacked up over time form habits, and those can have a massive impact on identity. One badass thing about this is that isolated mistakes don’t define us, and to define ourselves better, we just need to define what an effective behavior is, then wash, rinse, repeat.