BIG

Day 273 Week 40 Q4 Sunday, October 1, 2023

Behavior derived from Identity to achieve Goals is a very powerful insight. Mastery is essentially Goalless, and there is a clear reason because most people do not achieve most goals, or at least they do not achieve them unless they first spend a good deal of time learning and focusing on the right behaviors or actions. These are presumably transmitted by a teacher, mentor, parents, or society, but if a person is an extreme outlier, it is much more difficult for this to occur. And if the person is an extremely creative outlier, then it is unlikely to happen at all, which is necessarily described in the name itself. 

If someone is creative, this is not much of a problem for society as socialization generally beats these behaviors and orientations out of those exhibiting this seemingly desirable attribute, which society is somewhat hypocritical about. You would think most parents would be delighted to have a creative child, and most bosses would be equally happy about hiring a creative employee, but this is often not the case because these individuals can be difficult to deal with. And the more creative they are, the more difficult they may be. Therefore, an extremely creative outlier may be quite a handful to cope with unless, of course, the parents or the boss are also extremely creative outliers themselves. Then, there can be a wonderful match, resulting in excellent outcomes.

This brings us back to BIG, the relationship between behavior identity and goals. This can be a way out of the usual suboptimal developmental dance between normals and creatives if understood and acted upon. Before elaborating on this, consider the issue of health and longevity. Doctors have a dirty little secret which they do communicate if pressed. They know that their patient’s genetic predisposition tends to dominate over what they eat and how much they exercise regarding health and longevity. This is also true of creativity, which does not come about primarily through reading books and being given positive reinforcement as much as through the raw materials the person is born with. 

Of course, proper exercise, nutrition, encouragement and knowledge can be extremely beneficial and life-altering, but the underlying genetics a person is born with is still a stronger contributor. This is not something I can scientifically verify, and some will disagree, but some children are born with more capability. They are sometimes called gifted, which by no means guarantees they will have an excellent life. It just means they have more chance of doing wonderful things if dealt with optimally, being born into circumstances with excellent understanding and subsequent support.

Suppose a person with creative outlier genetics was not dealt with optimally but instead was constrained. In that case, they can still prevail by taking control of their development themselves, and fortunately, many do and being creative outliers, they do it in many different ways. They often may have to because it is far easier for parents, bosses and society to say no than to say yes.

A huge difference in outcome can occur when a creative outlier has an extremely clear desired identity from which they can derive appropriate behaviors consistent with this identity. Suppose a person tries to engage in behaviors inconsistent with their identity. In that case, they will have difficulty engaging in these behaviors, whether desired or already manifested. 

Suppose they have tremendous discipline either from within or applied from without. In that case, they can habituate these behaviors bundled into routines to the point they are so automatic as to be called habits. When this occurs, it is more difficult to avoid these behaviors than to perform them; that is the true path to mastery, not goal setting. Goal setting is more ephemeral than behavioral habit setting. It is easy to state a goal and hard to stick to it long enough to get there when it is a large goal. It isn’t easy to automate the types of behaviors into habits that not only permit reaching goals but are necessary to achieve the degree of mastery necessary to achieve major goals.

The steps are simple: Clarify the desired identity, derive the appropriate habituated behaviors, more for them every day to automate these behaviors as habits, and then unswervingly move steadily toward achieving goals. Until the behaviors are in place, the goal setting does not have much meaning.