See, you don’t have to threaten, or restrict or dictate anyone’s choices. If you’re clever, you can just rearrange the architecture.*
That’s the truth of personality. It’s not innate but trained. It can and does change. It can and should be chosen and designed. Choosing one’s way is a primary purpose of our lives.**
How do you stop your child hanging from the school bannister three floors up above concrete?
Dave Trott decided his son wouldn’t stop if he simply told him not to do it.
Instead, he decided to show him how to safely fall downstairs at home, something his son was very much up for – Mum was out.
Wrap your arms around your head and roll into a ball:
And he fell down the stairs.*
“Ouch, that hurt.”*
Trott told his son that was because he hadn’t done it right, so he should try again.
He fell down the stairs a couple of more times.
It never became less painful, but the school reported that his son was no longer hanging from the bannister.
Trott calls this choice architecture.
Design that leads to the choice you want people to make, or not.
Here’s where my mind went when I read Trott and Benjamin Hardy:
Our lives don’t want to leave it to chance.
Or for us to miss the chances and opportunities everyone’s life includes.
Our lives constantly sends us information –
I call these whispers –
So we are enabled to make the right choice.
Not in some fixed, narrowing way, mind.
The right choice opens up more possibilities, so, more opportunities to choose.
The best part is when this happens, we’re designing ourselves.
We’re the origin of the whispers.
And on it goes.
(By the way, I’ve left the doodle for you to colour in with your choice of colours.)
*From Dave Trott’s One + One = Three;
**From Benjamin Hardy’s Personality Isn’t Permanent.