Behaviour - the expression of choice

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There's been a lot of talk about Behaviour recently, so what is it ?

'The action or reaction of something under specified circumstances'.

'The aggregate of the responses or reactions or movements made by an organism in any situation'.

'The manner of acting or conducting yourself'.

These are just three definitions I picked out randomly. However, I'd like to present you with a fourth, which is, 'The expression of choice'.

Expression ? and Choice ? I hear you ask. Two little words not exactly widely used or practiced in today's business world, but why not ?

A large part of what marks us out from every other animal species is the power of expression coupled with the opportunity of choice. Perhaps some of the answer lies in our desire to integrate into something which is conventional, comfortable and invisible.

We strive to be part of the risk-free environment, when we viewed the world as children. The world of sugar-coated sweets and candyfloss, and the belief that relief from the stresses of modern day life can only really become a reality by exorcising these demons in that Utopian world.

Retirement used to be that period between fifty and sixty when you thought about doing all those things you wanted to do in your twenties and thirties
There used to be a term for this. It was called retirement and was fuelled by something called a pension.

Retirement used to be that period between fifty and sixty when you thought about doing all those things you wanted to do in your twenties and thirties. Pensions were the eternal flame that fuelled those intentions; and Work ? Well, work was just a means to an end. The chopping of wood, the digging of coal; sufficient fuel in the store for the cold winters ahead.

So what's changed ?

Well, WE have for a start. We're healthier, and probably fitter; we've benefited from huge advances in medical science and we are generally much more aware of the world around us than ever before.

All of which poses as much of a problem for the money people as it does for the social fabric and status quo of societies' equilibrium.

We're living longer and the net result of that is that the equations on which pensions used to be structured, are now way out of kilter. So what's the answer, kill us off earlier so that the equilibrium returns ? Or re-value the old equations to cater for this prolonging of our longevity ?

The answer has been neither, because there is a simpler choice. Make us work for longer.

OH...OK then, so suddenly all of this becomes MY responsibility. My responsibility to work for longer, contribute more to the pension, stay healthier and most of all, remain employed. All of which is going to ensure that the money people can stick with their equations and financial projections and that - should I survive this prolonging of the work cycle - I'll still snuff it ten to fifteen years after retirement, but I'll probably be too old and even more knackered to go bungee-jumping, hang-gliding, mountaineering or scuba diving.

Gee thanks guys !

Only this isn't the scenario as I've predicted it because of one critical, mitigating factor. The factor of CHOICE.

People today are beginning to understand and appreciate this special gift they've been endowed with since birth, and they are now beginning to exercise it. Why? Because they are not living like the serfs of the middle ages, nor are they programmed to blindly accept the rigours and disciplines of enforced hardship in the years following the end of the second world war. Neither are they prepared to accept the traditional hierarchies of status and position passed down from generation to generation.

The liberalisation of thought and the equality of culture has led to a greater appreciation of the potential which lies within us all. The freedom and the opportunity to even consider choices, yet alone make them.

So why is it that both expression and choice are still so poorly represented in the business arena by the bulk of those who work there?

It is, perhaps, entirely a reflection which mirrors the responses of the 'money people' to the pensions dilemma.

This being, 'this is how we do things around here'; 'fit in...or else !'

And so, for the most part, we bow to more pressing needs and fit in, justifying it on the basis of the mortgage, the loans, the kids' education and so on and so forth. We make a choice; quite possibly the right choice, but most probably for the wrong reasons, and it is this choice which determines our behaviour from that moment on.

So...What is Behaviour ?

'The action or reaction of something under specified circumstances'.

'The aggregate of the responses or reactions or movements made by an organism in any situation'.

'The manner of acting or conducting yourself'.

The answer is that it matters, not a jot. It's a representation of what we are at any precise moment in time and it's only the conventions of society which will determine whether it's deemed to be good or bad.

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