Life Law #3

Life Law #3- People do what works.

Strategy: Identify the payoffs that drive your behavior and that of others.

People, and horse, do what works…be that good or bad behavior. A child may cry to get help that is truly needed or may cry in protest or to get her own way. But at some point as that child grows we hope she learns to use a different means to get her goals accomplished.

A true, but sad, example of this law at work can be found in a lady that I encountered over a decade ago in the horse industry. Wealthy and eccentric she owned reining horses but she had one strange behavior that she consistently exhibited. She abused her horses. Nope, not in the ‘normal’ way-instead she abused them with food. An all you could eat buffet of hay, grain, carrots and more. Oh, and there was one other consistent thing…horses foundering. Not just one or two. Enough that one vet stopped working for her.

Why? Because on some level it worked for her. She got something out of doing it.

It is often easier to see the faults in others but we learn, and grow, the most when we explore our own issues.

Before I leave you on that completely sad note, keep this in mind, you often have the power to change the way things work. For example at the school my kids go to you are frequently sent to the principals office…for doing GOOD things and given praise. Now that is different. Maybe kids wanting more attention will do….good deeds? Hey, if it works….

What things are you doing because they ‘work’?


  1. Elizabeth on December 31, 2011 at 10:46 am

    yes, being kind always helps, but sometimes you just got to fight back, and that is how it is!
    what to do if one constantly reaches out to a person only to always be pushed away, what do you do then?

  2. patricia woodruff on December 23, 2011 at 7:07 am

    Yes, Stacy, that IS true about being kinder to people, I notice that when I am treated bad at work, I respond with kind words and other acts of kindness and then it changes the attitude of the person that is treating me in a negative way for the better. This will work with most people but some might need more kindness to get through their hard heart.

  3. Elaine Gray on December 23, 2011 at 6:15 am

    Lovely thought Stacy. Keep em coming!

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