Changing Behavior (2) - Causes

Continuing from Changing Behavior (1) Mine

Depending on our personality types, some like changes while some like stability. Some are unhappy with the status quo and want changes. Some are happy with what they are and have and fight changes. But growth involves change. The greatest enemy of excellence is good or more specifically 'good enough already'.

Our change in behavior can be caused by external forces and events or internally by our change of mind of change of heart. See the diagram below:

The typical way of changing behavior is the application of external force or rewards. That is the easiest to start and with some persistent monitoring and application of restrain, we can force a trained-behavior. A popular illustration is the training of an elephant. When young, the elephant's foot is tied to a big tree trunk. It learned quickly that when its foot is tied, there is no way it can break free from it. As it grows older a chain tied to a stick is enough to keep the elephant at fixed location. The elephant mindset is trained or brain-washed. Similar thing happened to the Jewish Slaves in Egypt in Moses time. You can get them out of Egypt and you cannot get the Slaves Mentality out of them. Application of such restrain created personality type that is passive, withdrawn and depressed.

Often, with teenagers, with much exposures to outside world, unlike the elephants, they can behave well when staying at home with their parents (where the parents can keep an eye on them) they behave well. But when they go overseas for study, they break free and do things that could upset their parents. Forced behavior without a true change internally is not lasting. When the force is removed, the old behavior comes back.

The better ways to change is internal changes - change in MIND and change in Heart.

A change in heart or identity begins with knowing and receiving Jesus Christ .... a rebirth experience. Once rebirth with a new identity, we have a different desire and motivation. With proper study of the Word and communication with the Holy Spirit, we have new values and transformed mind. Because we are made up of different personalities, what touches our hearts could be very different for different people. Jesus treated people according to their made-ups and have different ways of touching the innermost hearts. We should do the same.

We shall cover the change of mind in the next posting Changing Behavior (3) - Changing Mindset

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