I’m offering one of the most helpful perspectives on human behavior I’ve ever learned. It impacts my coaching with pastors all the time. Called the “Universal Human Paradigm”, it was explained to me this way:

1) Human beings are “resistance machines”.

2) When life looks the way we prefer, we engage it.

3) And, when life doesn‘t look the way we prefer, we resist it.

4) The universal way that human beings resist life is by withholding their participation from it. 

Think about it…

Pick a topic: your dating situation, your finances, weight, investments, bowling average, church attendance, or blood pressure.

If you consider your situation to be “good”, you’re all about it, active, enthused, engaged, participating…

Maybe a while ago you were a ‘gold bug’.

65 goldEncouraged by the prospects of growing financial insecurity, a wobbling economy, and our government’s mindless pursuit of dollar-devastating “quantitative easing”, you pulled your savings and plowed into gold.

As prices rose, you followed it like a hawk. On the internet. In newsletters. Tracked commodity prices. Joined a gold investors club.  But with gold falling almost 30% since 2011…you’ve barely looked at it.

Resistance.

 

For thirty years I’ve run hot and cold on my weight.

65 weightMore cold than hot.

Much more.

Broken by a half-dozen steep downdrafts, my weight has pretty much continued an inexorable incline over my 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s— reaching an excruciating summit a couple years ago.

Those downdrafts were not accidental.

I started some formal weight loss regimen and, as weight came off, I focused on it more. And, as more came off I invested more of my energy and attention to it. I became more devoted, determined, disciplined. And it worked.

Then, after enjoying the benefits for a while, my weight began to creep up.

Discouraged, I paid less attention to it. The more I took my eye off my weight, the more I indulged my preference for weight-inducing foods. And, the more weight I’d gain. As I did, I ignored it all the more; checking my weight less often and exercising more infrequently.

Resistance.

 

65 elderSo, you have this incorrigible elder who—in a number of religious-sounding ways— intimidates all who disagree with him. You’ve tried befriending him, encouraging him, reasoning with him, appealing to scripture… all without effect.

This guy is not looking the way you prefer!

So you resist.  How?

By avoiding him. By pretending that the havoc he causes is less than it is.  By looking the other way when he unloads his religious judgments on people.

And the terrorism continues…

Resistance.

 

Coaching distinctions #65.doc