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How do You Know What Action to Take?

Behaviors are classified into 4 classes.

Why is this important? Well if you are looking to take action in a way that benefits you and your goals you have to ask yourself which type of behavior are you about to engage in.

Class One Behavior

Class One behavior is typically characterized by actions that lead to both short and long-term pleasure concurrently. These behaviors:

  • Feel good.
  • Are good for you.
  • Are good for others.
  • Serve the greater good.

Self-sacrifice and the act of giving love to another person both fall into a Class One type of behavior.

There is no pain associated with this kind of behavior. Instead, you are rewarded with short and long-term pleasure as a result of your actions. The behavior therefore feels good, it is good for you, it’s good for others because you are helping add value to their life, and it serves the greater good of all concerned.

This is essentially where we would typically want to spend most of our time, however, unfortunately life doesn’t work that way. We are not living within a Utopian society. As such we will need to also work through the remaining three classes of behavior.

Class Two Behavior

Class Two behavior is typically characterized by short-term pain leading to long-term pleasure. These behaviors:

  • Don’t feel good.
  • Are good for you.
  • Are good for others.
  • Serve the greater good.

Working hard on a project in order to gain long-term rewards is an example of a Class Two behavior. Also exercise is another example of a Class Two behavior. When you exercise you experience short-term pain, however the exercise seems worthwhile because you will inevitably experience long-term pleasure resulting in weight-loss.

Class Two behavior doesn’t feel good in the short-term. In fact, you will experience a lot of pain. However, the pain is always worthwhile because it serves the greater good and helps you gain long-term pleasure. It’s therefore good for you (at least in the long-run). It’s also good for others because it doesn’t hurt them directly, and it also serves the greater good of all concerned.

Class Three Behavior

Class Three behavior is typically characterized by short-term pleasure that often results in long-term pain. This is a self-sabotaging behavior that:

  • Feels good.
  • Is not good for you.
  • Is not good for others.
  • Does not serve the greater good.

Overeating, binge drinking, excessive television watching, and procrastination all fall into this category of behavior. These things all feel good and pleasurable in the short-term while you’re indulging in them, however they have painful long-term consequences that you are likely to experience in the future.

When you’re overeating you are seeking to gain short-term pleasure. However, overeating can make you feel sick, can lead to weight gain, and possibly result in future health concerns. This behavior might feel good, however, it’s certainly not good for you, not good for others, and does not serve the greater good. In the future you will experience so much pain, that it just won’t seem worthwhile overeating in the first place. You were seduced by short-term pleasure, and now you must suffer the consequences of long-term pain.

Class Four Behavior

Class Four behavior is typically characterized by short and long-term pain. This is a self-sabotaging behavior that:

  • Does not feel good.
  • Is not good for you.
  • Is not good for others.
  • Does not serve the greater good.

The emotions of stress, worry and anger are all typical examples that fall into this category. Also staying in a bad relationship or career are two decisions that also fall into this class of behavior. All of these examples do not feel good, they are not good for you, they are not good for others, and they certainly don’t serve the greater good of all concerned.

Indulging in a Class Four behavior means that you are choosing to experience short-term pain in order to experience even more long-term pain in the future. Does this make any sense?

For example, when you’re angry, you are hurting yourself by losing your temper. Not only does this put you on-edge emotionally, but it can also damage your relationships with other people and also hurt your health in the long-term. You are therefore choosing short-term pain in order to experience more pain in the future. This obviously doesn’t make any rational sense, however it’s a typical behavior that we tend to indulge in more times than we care to admit.

 

As is always the case….what is the best way to ensure you are engaging in class 1 behavior? Get happy!! When you feel good, your action is naturally lined up with that. If you notice that you are about to engage in class 3 or 4 behavior…stop and ask yourself if this is really what you want to be doing. Will it take you where you want to go? Is there a better solution? Could you take the time to feel better, and then act?

You can do this!

Dana

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