Spilled M&Ms© 8 – Character, Integrity, Behavior II [FPs]

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, how much is a sketch worth?  Or, after long thought over my last post that was rather “salted” with strange, alien and rune-like musings, how many words is an “equation” (the e-word) worth?

Humbly suspecting that some visual help might go a long way into understanding my earlier 3:00 am adventures, I submit this follow-up post.

Self versus Values

I myself have experienced the “either/or” state in attitude in which I have been either focused on my own agenda, or focused on the bigger picture, in which I am only a small part among many, many “others.”

This leads me to another useful, if not embarrassing, consequence of Fundamental Principles 13 and 14:

“Self” happens, even if you’re working hard to avoid it,

which is supported by other observations, but more on that later.

Seeing the same attitudes and behaviors unfold in countless others led me to construct a few simple heuristics* over the years.

(*Heuristic: a mental rule of thumb or strategy for decision-making or problem solving that uses readily accessible general rules built upon acquired experience.  Used by both human beings and machines alike.)

The first heuristic, posted earlier, is that we all have “sleeper” Values (mostly self-oriented) that will displace our more generally professed “other-oriented” Values (those more socially or culturally acceptable) under duress and show up as a change in attitude and behavior.

The second, evolving from the above, is that only a handful of all of our Values can actually affect our attitude and control our actions at a given moment.  This is the root behind Professed Behaviors as opposed to Practiced Behaviors.

The concept that this “handful” of Values and their respective importance seems to be a relative constant for each of us individually (Conservation of ValuesFundamental Principle 13) came out as an “e-word” at 3:00 am in the last post.  It seems best now to substitute a visual (ala Jessica Hagy, a blogger whose work and posts on visual truths are remarkably enjoyable) to help put this in perspective.  I figured that the easiest representation would be that Self and Values together would add to 100% of this “handful” (the Conserved total) so the importance of Self would range from 0% to 100% while Values would range from 100% to 0%.  In other words,

“As external “other-oriented” Values increase, focus on Self decreases.”


Now, on to Integrity.

(more cute sketches follow on page 2, below)


About Jim Edmonds

I am a husband, father, mentor, who once was a chemist turned physicist turned marketer turned executive turned missionary turned professor. And survived it all.
This entry was posted in 13: Values & Self, 14: Behavior and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Spilled M&Ms© 8 – Character, Integrity, Behavior II [FPs]

  1. Jennifer says:

    “As external “other-oriented” Values increase, focus on Self decreases.” This principle makes me think of a tool my mother used on me and one I now use on my kids when they are complaining about their “lack-of” _____ (fill in the blank, but they’re really not lacking anything). Often I refer them to considering others who are less fortunate; hopefully after I’ve given them a compassionate remark! My what perspective is gained when we stop to consider others!!


  2. Pingback: Thoughts On Conflict Resolution | Road Signs and Blind Spots

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