Discipline to Success:
The Components of Well-Roundness
So they committed themselves to the will of God and resolved to proceed.
William Bradford of Plymouth Plantation, 1620.
Our character has five distinct attributes or disciplines: physical, physical temperance, education, social and spiritual. These attributes make up our individual personality. We continue our question and answer session.
Q: Why can’t I develop several character attributes at the same time?
You may decide to develop and strengthen all five character attributes simultaneously. However, it is best to develop and strengthen one character attribute at a time when beginning a character development program. Trying to tackle several character attributes simultaneously can become a heavy load to maintain, and can lead to discouragement and failure. You can better manage your character development program by building each character attribute in sequence — much like stacking one building block upon another.
Q: Which attribute should I develop first?
The first character attribute to develop is your call. You might want to develop the attribute that is your weakest. Remember that your objective is to shape a well-rounded character. This requires that you develop and strengthen all five attributes.
To accomplish this, you will need to maximize the forces of energy and motivation. Allow me to introduce a methodology that manages the forces of energy and motivation so that you can shape a well-rounded individual.
THE INVERSE PYRAMID MODEL
The Inverse Pyramid Model measures two forces:
i) total energy and,
ii) the impact on motivation and self-confidence.
Total energy is defined as the amount of energy that will be required to make a character change. Energy is a force that supports an action. Much like gasoline that operates as a force to run an engine, energy supports the action that you perform to achieve certain tasks like changing your character.
Motivation is defined as a psychological force that prompts us to continue the action we are undertaking. For example, if you choose to lose weight to shape your physical attribute, you will become motivated as you watch your weight come off. Being motivated prompts you to continue your weight loss program. When making character changes such as losing weight, it is important that you become quickly motivated so that you will be encouraged to continue your development program.
Each character attribute carries equal weight — meaning that each attribute is equally important and must be equally developed to shape a well-rounded character. But the levels of energy and motivation will vary for each attribute. One attribute may require less energy to develop than another. And a second attribute will have a greater impact on motivation than another. These are important concepts to remember.
We turn to the Inverse Pyramid Model to demonstrate these concepts. The model uses the X,Y coordinate axis to measure energy and motivation among the five character attributes. Let’s begin measuring energy using the X-coordinate illustrated below.
There are two types of energy forces: internal energy and external energy. Internal energy are the forces (or actions) that you control or manage — such as the self-when, self-where, and self-how. External energy, on the opposite end of the scale, are the forces (or actions) that are controlled or managed by outside influences — such as other people or external factors. I’ll use several examples to explain these concepts further.
Let’s say that you have a character development goal to become more friendly. The internal energy (or action) to achieve this goal requires you to say hello, to invite people into your life and to become a supporting person. These actions are social tactics that you control and manage. The external energy to achieve this goal requires your obtaining a positive response from people who you are being friendly with. These actions are social tactics where you have little control. You may influence these people by your actions but you don’t control them. They may respond negatively to your tactics, thus averting your attempt to be more friendly. Your control and influence over external forces are much harder to control and manage than internal forces.
We can approximate the amount of total energy required to make a character change on the horizontal X-coordinate using two segments: internal and external energy (measured in units). Any character change will require both internal and external energy. The combination of these two energy forces equals total energy required to make a character change.
Next time, we dig deeper into energy forces: both internal and external.
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