YOUR GOALS OF LONGEVITY AND HEALTH AND NEGATIVE AND POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT
I found out a long time ago that there were two kinds of ways to teach and to learn, one was positive reinforcement and the other negative. Sometime either one works but I believe positive reinforcement works best.
Negative reinforcement is when you scream and yell at someone and call them a bunch of dirty names in a loud, abusive tone and sort of attempt to scare them into changing. Kind of like scaring the ‘dickens’ out of them, which means the worst of their behavior out of them. The military does these kinds of negative reinforcements to gain total domination over the recruit, and guys in the gym working out in small groups do it too.
Frankly, I don’t like this behavior and avoid working out with groupies who yell and scream abusive crap at you and try to drive you to lift in the manner they do or extend your comfort zone in working out just to accommodate their beliefs about what a big tough lifter, covered with tatts and blown-up n steroids should do. It’s one of the worst ways to work out and it can lead to severe tears especially to the pectoral muscles when doing bench presses.
Avoid that kind of reinforcement if you value your well-being, because it’s pretty much doomed to injury and even health. They’ll have you puking and acting a fool, and believe me, it will negative effect the quality and duration of your goals.
Positive reinforcement, on the other hand, is when you tel those you wish to influence good things about themselves that make them feel like by doing these things, they’ll get plenty of appreciation, admiration and praise from their peers. This makes them feel loved and wanted, so it is easy to adopt these traits, since they pay off in dividends.
One caveat though because there’s a shadow level lurking here, a thorn among the berries. I’m alluding to those unscrupulous people who exploit these qualities under the guise of friendship, when, in fact, they aren’t really trying to help you at all. I’ m talking about mind-hacks who exploit friendly behavior to satisfy their own secret ambitions to undermine your success. In a nutshell, it’s that tendency for your very closest friends, (or at least those that claim to be your best) and how they either negatively or positively reinforce your old bad habits, rather than reinforce your new goals.
Of course, the remarks we want to hear form those we consider to be our friends, are the memes that reinforce our beliefs that in turn feed into our healthy, positive ways we think and act in extending our lives.
I think most of you automatically will know what I mean when I say this, because I’m sure you all have so-called friends who reinforce your best beliefs about health and longevity; even though they may have some lingering problems with bad health habits that keep getting foisted off on you when you least expect it. I’m talking about those remarks, requests, encouragement to oh, say, go ahead and get wasted every once in a while, cause a little isn’t bad, but a lot is.
It’s kind of like that ‘little devil’ our grandparents used to talk abut that set on your shoulders when you were a child telling you go ahead and eat those cookies, lick that icing off the cake, or pilfer Granma’s secret stash of chocolates, because she won’t notice it.
What got you caught is you couldn’t quit. You got hooked on the habit and before you knew it, bam! Down came the trap and you got caught with your fingers in the cookie jar, just like the mouse that couldn’t resist the limburger cheese trap. Old habits die hard, eh?
Enticement is a difficult thing to resist from so-called ‘friends ‘and even family members, who in a somewhat sentimental replay of the ‘old days’ theme, strive to encourage you to give up your silly obsessions with working out, eating right and staying away from bars, pot smokers and other bad habits reinforcement places.
I know it’s tough, because we all need friends, at least that’s what we’ve been taught. We got to have them — that’s the meme that gets us the worst. Oh, what am I going to do without them?
I like to djembe drum, so I go to a drum circle. You wouldn’t believe how many times I’m offered a joint or pipe of marijuana to smoke. And what’s worse, is these days everyone is parroting that belief that pot is just an herb, that it’s good for you. Why they’re making tinctures out of it to help sick people recover! How could it be bad? Just smoke a little dope and get with the program — your way behind times.
That’s what you’re going to encounter at these gatherings. It’s enough to discourage joining them because, the fact is, you can’t hardly play without inhaling it, the smoke is so thick in the air. And let’s face it — when you get up and walk out because you can’t stand it anymore — guess who the bad guy is? Right — nuff said?
Sure, it’s all in the spirit of the rhythms and the mystique of the drum circle. But stop for a moment a look into the eyes of the guy offering the pipe and you are pushed back by the hacking cough as he explains, with some embarrassment, that he has COPD, but … has his inhaler handy just in case!
Come on now, you know where this is going. Let’s talk reality. Even your closest friends will give you au blank stare, while they praise your physique and radiant health, when you push their requests to get stoned, have a beer or ‘what’s wrong with a glass o whiskey?”
Of course, this the hard stuff, obvious negative reinforcements through ‘friendship’ enticement. It comes with a friendly swig of ‘good ole boy’ kindness, that very subtly is meant to eat into your success at overcoming the social myths that lead to a breakdown in physical well-being. But don’t let them do it — you’re much stronger now, so stay with the positive program!
Like I said, this is the subtleties of in the reality of negative reinforcement through mode; some people just simply outright make fun of you. They make a joke out of your good habits and call you a wimp, church boy or even imply that you aren’t man enough in some way, if you don’t get in with the bad social program their touting.
But the subtleties become even more insidious and refined when it comes to family. For instance, my brother and his wife (two horribly out-of-shape people) used word bait, like making a joke out of me — putting down my trim body and suggesting in a covert way, that I was sort of a smaller, weaker, little guy when compared to them — since both of them had bought into the idea that a big, over-sized body was a mark of power and authority. Personally, I saw it as a cover-up for the fact that they were too lazy to do something positive about changing it.
Frankly, they were the victims of their mental habits, not me. I say this because they couldn’t or wouldn’t see the positive in what I’d done and led that reinforce better habits. To offset this unconscious conflictual interrelationship, they played down my success at radiant health and longevity and made it an irritating familial joke. Even their children played into it. You can get an ideal what kind of talk went on behind my back. Without realizing it, I became the bad guy for who I was and what I professed.
And the upshot or blowback of all that inter-tribal warfare over size, well-being, body function and image, was that they eventually blew me off. When they saw they couldn’t influence me in what they thought was a clever little tete-a-tete mind game, they, believe it or not created a big scene over my remarks about healthy eating, exercise and getting up off the sofa and doing something about it into a big, negative bomb. Inadvertently, my good intent had precipitated bad results. So, you see there are subtleties going on here. Good intent ending up with bad results. Therefore, stay aware in how you give advice, even the best wishes can be seen as reason for creating the worst outcome.
Of course, I was promptly shut out because they did all this at a distance. They stopped calling, talking and the old “I love yo” B.S. faded into lingering memories with overtones of insincerity. I was pushed out of the family nest and given the old heave ho not to come back. So, you see, even the best intent can get screwed up when it conflicts with the status quo.
Why did this happen? It occurred, as it did with so-called friends everywhere — simply because they wanted to reinforce our friendship with negative habits and because I was so focused on health and wellbeing, I didn’t play into it, but rebuffed it. So along with the baby went the bath water!
Moral of this story: don’t expect everyone to see your good news as positive. Be careful how you come across with your healthy positive longevity results. And most of all, strive to reinforce people very carefully if you want to have the most positive results in the long term. Finally, expect your journey to be somewhat isolated and hopefully not lonely, because the results are wonderful on so many levels.
A votre santé @ -Nahu (%o your health!)
Author of 22 books. Last book: How I’m Beating the Aging Myths.