Skip to main content

Would you steal if you wouldn't get caught?

Vandana reads all my posts. In my previous post Giving up Tennis, the last line went
"Has Vandana stopped playing Tennis. I don't even think of it. If you start wondering and thinking about it, you have started playing Tennis again. I want to give up and that is what I am focusing on."

She said it sounded holier than thou. So let me explain what I meant.

I have a strange quirk. I don't like my socks washed in a washing machine, I like them washed by hand. When Vandana and I were playing Tennis, she told me that if I wanted them washed by hand I would have to wash them myself. I used to do that for a long time. My work involves long hours and travel and sometime I would end up not washing socks for a while. After we started playing the Madison instead of Tennis, Vandana saw me struggling and helped me wash the socks by hand. It took a load of my hands and I felt very happy and grateful for this help.

Over time as I started playing the Madison instead of Tennis, Vandana also changed her behavior and started playing the Madison instead of Tennis. Occasionally both of us backslide :-) . 80% of the time both of us are playing the Madison.

The key point is that I stopped basing my behavior on hers. My behavior was not "conditional". I was focusing on playing the Madison without constantly making comparisons. I was not counting the number of times she did not play the Madison. That is a major change that happened inside my brain.

Behavior has many drivers. Mostly we let circumstance drive our behavior. This is "impulsive" behavior. If circumstances put us in a position where we can steal without getting caught, and we steal, we are being impulsive. When we are able to control our impulses, we let our ingrained values drive our behavior. That is "value" driven behavior. We don't steal because our values don't allow us to do that.

I worked very hard to make playing the Madison part of my ingrained values. So when circumstance come up, I don't give in to impulse and start playing Tennis, I control my impulses and see how I can play the Madison instead, because that is part of my values.

How do you go about making something an ingrained value. Hmm, that is definitely another post.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Giving up Tennis

In my previous post I was discussed how most people treat their marriage as a Tennis game. In Relationship Tennis you are trying to dominate your spouse and get them to behave as per your concept of the perfect spouse. If you are uncomfortable or unhappy in your relationship with your spouse, the first and most important step is to stop playing Relationship Tennis. Not easy. This post is about how you can stop playing Relationship Tennis. As I discussed in depth in my post Accepting your Wife in Marriage I decided that I want to improve my relationship with Vandana. When I talked to her about it, she thought it was one more strategy I was using in my Relationship Tennis. When I asked her what would convince her that I was serious, she threw me a challenge. The challenge was very simple, she said, "You never make the bed, for the next one year make the bed everyday and I might be willing to believe you." So the first step on the journey was that for one year I made the

Weddings - Symbols and Messages

When I got married, I spent my wedding days in a daze. My parents, my in-laws, the officiating priest gave me instructions and I blindly followed them. This is normal . During an Indian wedding there are a huge variety of rituals to be carried out. They vary based on the region you come from, the sect you belong to, and traditions followed in your family. In my opinion, they all have one thing in common, the bride and groom are totally disconnected from the entire spectacle that is playing out around them. Now my son Prahalad is getting married to Sneha and I will watch them go through an identical experience. So I started wondering how I could help them make sense of the crazy few days they are going to experience. I have a wonderful idea Me, I am an engineer and so I had this wonderful idea. Compare the wedding ceremony to F=ma. That is Newton's Second Law of Motion. If you understand the symbols and what they stand for, then it is a very useful and powerful equation. If y

Honour Bound

When you make a promise what is your attitude towards keeping the promise? I have experienced / read about three attitudes. I will not keep the promise if it inconveniences me - with no sense of dishonour and glibly tell the promisee "sorry". I call this the "Life owes me a living" attitude I will try my level best (till wet with sweat) and feel dishonoured if I don't live up to my promise. However I have the option of going up to the promisee and if the promisee releases me I can give up honourably. I call this the "Warrior" attitude. (I am a Sun Tzu fan) I will try till my blood runs dry and feel dishonored to even discuss my inability with the promisee . I call this the "Suicidal" attitude. "Life owes me a living" is quite common. "Warrior" is currently my sense of honour. When younger I was at "Life owes me a living" and I have paid a heavy price for that. Many people are not aware of the d