Why you do the crazy things you do
Updated: May 28, 2019
It's easy to assume that we know what makes someone else tick. It's easy to assume that we understand their values, beliefs, priorities and what they want out of life.
But it's also easy to get it wrong in a society littered with common ideas, phrases and images of what a person's life should look like before they can be considered successful and worthy of happiness. We can easily overlook our own values and adopt the values of others, then wonder why we aren't happy.
Every person has a unique set of values and beliefs. Our highest values are organised in a subconscious priority format. my teacher explained this to me as the "Achievement box". We all have this achievement box or list of things which we value most and feel must be achieved before we can feel our life has gone well, before we can feel content.
These could also be considered a person's primary goals, the subconscious driving force behind our actions. They literally dictate how we behave on any given day.
We don't choose the items in our achievement box; these values are learned and developed over time. There is no free will at play here, and these values and their priority format are not fixed. It will continue to change as we learn and grow throughout life.
This is such a powerful thing to understand.
Realising that each person has a unique achievement box encourages understanding and communication. We will take the time to understand one another vs labelling good, bad, lazy etc.
We realise that a person's behaviour is a reflection of their current achievement box and highest priorities. Change in behaviour is a result of the changing of values, not a result of free will.
Achievement box example
Someone may have the following values in their achievement box:
To be a good parent and provider for my family
To be earning more than 100K per year
To be fit and healthy by exercising regularly
If the above person was offered a work promotion that offered them the chance to travel and earn more than $100K per year, they may take the opportunity. It relates to two of their top 4 values. However, if this opportunity required them to be away from home for large periods of time and limit the time spent with family (their primary value), they may decline the opportunity.
We all have an achievement box. A subconscious list of values and beliefs that dictate our behaviour. If you want to understand yourself and others you care about, it is wise to talk, to look at their behaviour and figure out their highest values. Then you can relate on a much higher level. You can appreciate their perspective and unique nature.