Sunday, December 31, 2006

Three Important Outcome Effects of What You Do

Yesterday afternoon while riding my Harley along an idyllic beach road on the west coast of Florida, I looked out on the Gulf and reflected on what I had suggested in a recent Post. In my conclusion, I had urged that in the process of making any New Years resolutions, “Don’t sell out on your values, don’t settle, and don’t betray the most important person in the world – you,” and “If your goal is to have a Happy New Year, make sure your resolutions are in keeping with your values.”

While having a cold one and again enjoying the gun blue water of the Gulf, I also realized that I still had not yet identified any New Years resolutions – not even one. Nonetheless, I did revisit an important aspect of life – appreciating the outcome effects of what we do.

My conclusion for myself – and I welcome you to consider this for yourself – was that in addition to any other outcomes of my behavior (activities and non-activities), whatever I do or don’t do should result in three outcome effects for me:
to be happy;
to be joyous; and
to be free.

As you may know, most twelve step programs emphasize these three critically important goals in life. Nonetheless, these are not just excellent goals for people in recovery – these are excellent outcome goals for anyone who wants to live a good, meaningful and healthy life.

Pax vobiscum, Bill

3 comments:

happy and blue 2 said...

Hope you achieve your goals for 2007..
Have a Happy New Year..

KIP said...

I've been doing some research on how people make long lasting changes and I think you've got it right. The trouble is, most of the research is done on how people who are struggling (with addition, negative behaviors, etc). There really isn't much out there on how the AVERAGE person can make effective changes to make life better (get up one hour earlier each day, exercise more, etc). Would love to hear more on that!

Happy New Year Bill!

Dr. Bill Emener said...

Hi Kat,
You've identified one of the bigger research issues in psychology -- the majority of research findings is based on data from troubled people. It's akin to many of the primate studies -- for years researchers studied animals in zoos, and zoo animals, compared to animals in the wild, are neurotic at best. Nonetheless, maybe you surfaced one of the attributes of a healthy person -- he or she is always trying to improve and be better (e.g., like Carl Rogers' notion of "on the process of becoming...).
Thanks -- and a Happy New Year to you and your family as well,
Bill