Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.— George Santayana

We must realize that this planet is not bad, people are not bad, government is not bad,… our thinking and actions are flawed. If we do not like our situation, we must simply change it. If the outcome is inappropriate then change your actions and attitude. Not everything requires a total reversal or some monk like existence. It requires subtle, subtle, adjustments. Think of driving a car. Only minor actions result in changes of direction. If you took a radical action, such as turning the car 90 degrees, it may end up in an inappropriate result. Even navigating an ocean vessel or an airborne vehicle require minute adjustments that end up with vastly different end results. So rather than focusing on consistency and change of a long periods of time, we think of radical change like quick weight loss, get rich schemes and buying lotto tickets. Everyone wants to be an overnight success although the “overnight success” often takes a lifetime.

The most powerful tool at hand is journaling. Literally recording what you do, seeing where you have been, understanding where you want to go and making adjustments along the way is an immeasurably powerful tool that costs you a few bucks for a pen and notebook. It’s remarkable that we live in a time of smartphones where people take photos of meals, weather and endless social occasions. They “check in” or “give updates” by the minute, yet they don’t have record of their bank balance, their diet, their task list or ideas. It’s more about ego & exhibition than growth and inspiration. In my own business of consulting fitness clients, their primary responsibility is to keep a diet and training  journal. Either do it or I fire you. I dump your ass. That is how important it is. Success in fat loss is totally about measurement and the more precise the measurement, the more specific the results.

Another area of flawed action is to rationalize or reward bad behavior. Simply don’t make excuses for addiction or bad actions. If you don’t use a seat belt or dental floss, admit you are stupid and move on. At least be man or woman enough to own your stupidity. Of course it’s one thing to rationalize your own choices, but don’t reward others for their bad choices. I worked in the film/theater industry for many years. It is/was a union situation where largely unskilled, addicted and uneducated people, with quite often a criminal past, could earn a decent to good living. On top of the living was the aura of show business. They could be in a room of engineers, surgeons and fighter pilots and yet have the most romantic, exciting, career. This business ended up this way because there was an abundance of work during certain times in the economy which required manpower. The union supplied it under contracts it negotiated. The labor was often substandard, drunk or inept. Yet you could screw up and be rewarded even more work. This created a monster, a cancer, which grew so large it began to feast on the host. So at this point in history, the labor is managed by a stricter rule base and more stringent standards. The gravy train is gone and all it took was to stop rewarding bad behavior. We can apply this to any segment of our lives. To our friends, sexual partners, children, co workers, employees or service personnel. Even our restaurants. If any situation is uncomfortable or not up to your standard, don’t return or give them your business. If you want to change how you are treated, simply manage how people treat you. Here’s a hint from the martial arts.. the deadliest punch is a punch to the wallet.

Rather than read endless books on management, read a book on dog training. With new or young, impressionable, individuals, use the inductive method. Reward good behavior. Every time someone or something ends up with a positive outcome, be positive in voice and action. This new, impressionable, individual will run towards pleasure and comfort.

With more stubborn, incorrigible, individuals, we need to use the compulsive method. That would be commpelling by a “corrections” or yank on the collar or chain. It needn’t be dramatic, but must be specific and within microseconds of their action, since memory is weak and not accurate. The whole idea of finding pet urine on your carpet and rubbing your dog’s nose in it is flawed if there is a gap of more than a few seconds between action and compulsion. This is the same with people. They will only get a correct association if the correction follows the action. For example, if a man threatens a woman, the restraining order must be on his door the next day. I hope you are getting the picture.

The most ideal situation is to grasp the broader use of these tools by rewarding good, [running towards pleasure] and punishing the bad [running away from pain]. This lends us to the idea that we lead by example rather than words. The young must be led by a reward system rather than beatings. However in my opinion, too many adults, to use that word loosely, get away with both figurative and actual murder in this society.

Let me bottom line this for you. People will treat you the way you allow them to. Remember, conflict is not cured, it is managed. You must remain vigilant of social interaction and the results of those interactions. The operative component here is you. “They” are not responsible for your success, failures or outcomes, ‘You” are. If “They” have the power, “You” are truly up the creek without a paddle. If “You” have the power then use it. Don’t debate, ponder, rationalize, question or fall asleep at the wheel. Take the reins and direct the stallions of “Emotion” and “Logic” [I refer to them as “Kirk” and “Spock”] and DECIDE. Remember, Decide, at it’s root, means, “to cut”.