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Conditioning Is King - Grasshopper

I had the good fortune of attending two family reunions over the weekend. What fun and what insight. It’s absolutely amazing to see the role conditioning has played in forming whom we’ve come to be.

Not only do you see physical resemblances, but also all sorts of mannerisms, verbal expressions and gestures that you all have in common. It also extends to attitudes, prejudices, and productive and not so productive learned patterns of behavior.

 

I call this conditioning the “Hatfield and McCoy Water Down Effect.”

 

The handoff of behavior from one generation to the next is mostly how we become who we are.

 

There is a phrase in the broadcasting business that signifies how radio advertising works best. The phrase is: “Frequency is King.” That means the more the commercial runs, the more it’s likely to produce results.

 

The more another’s behavior is observed in the first seven years of life, the more likely it is to be in your collection of behaviors. Conditioning is King.

 

This weekend served as a reminder of where many of my behaviors came from, but it also served as a reminder to be mindful of my behaviors. That means to notice a behavior while it’s running rather than have it go on unnoticed.

 

There are so many behaviors that we have on autopilot that don’t serve us well. It’s a gift when we spot them in another similarly conditioned person and begin to notice how ineffective that behavior is. The "ah-ha" is “I do that too.”

 

Then it’s time to notice it the next time you run that behavior so that you can interrupt it and choose some other response in its place. That’s when you begin to start outgrowing the behavior. Continually interrupting that behavior will cause a new response to form – one that doesn’t lead you back to your conditioning.

 

Conditioning is how we got to where we are. Noticing and interrupting is how we get to where we want to go.

 

All the best,

John



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