Conscious and voluntary behaviors are what we are and clearly indicate the DIRECTION we have chosen to take.
But what is a behavior? The philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson identified spontaneous behavior with the person’s soul: behavior is the way of making confessions of who one really is. Human behavior, like that of other organisms, can be common, unusual, acceptable or unacceptable. Men evaluate the acceptability of a given behavior using social norms and regulating behavior by means of social control.
Behavior is the way of acting and reacting of an object or an organism related to or interacting with other objects, organisms or, more generally, with the environment.
We can also define it as an adaptive system that allows us to produce ACTIONS. Human behavior can be conscious (connected to the personality or character type) or unconscious (connected to temperament), voluntary or involuntary.
- Conscious behavior is foundational on awareness. In psychology, the term awareness means the perception and cognitive reaction of an animal when a certain condition or event occurs. Awareness does not necessarily imply understanding.
- The unconscious behavior represents that psychic dimension containing thoughts, emotions, instincts, representations, behavioral models, often at the base of human action, but of which the subject is not aware (temperament).
With the term unconscious Freud meant a complex of processes, contents and impulses that do not surface the subject’s consciousness and therefore are not rationally controllable (by temperament we mean the set of innate tendencies, that is genetically determined, of the individual reacting to environmental stimuli with certain modalities instead of others).
Voluntary, conscious behaviors can be “trained” and therefore their intensity improved. This simple concept is the teaching of the Stoics. Stoicism was born in Athens where Zeno di Cizio gave his lessons, in the area of the frescoed portico of the agora. In the Stoic ideal is dominion over passions which allows the spirit to attain wisdom. Succeeding is an individual task, and stems from the ability of the essay to get rid of the ideas and conditionings that the society in which he has lived, using his own reason and checking what he can, starting from the voluntary behavior and therefore actions.
Actions produce results and therefore we can say that the achievement of our objectives is the evidence of our conscious and voluntary behaviors, representing our character. Sport, work, relationships, society do not form our character but reveal it.
The real journey does not consist in seeking new lands, but in having new eyes. If we have a goal we will be guided and anything we can find before complicating our journey, our journey, we will overwhelm it.
To train means to suffer. Suffering is a test, nothing more! Greatness is not winning a race, greatness is not having a flaming and expensive car, controlling or exercising power over others. Greatness is controlling our conscious behaviors, improving them, increasing their intensity. Greatness is discipline. Greatness is knowing how to create a vision in our mind, it is to have a direction because only with the vision and direction in our mind we will question ourselves and we will realize something great: CHANGE.