Choice Theory Problem Solving- Living the Life You Want- Article 3
WDEP from Wubbolding
needs satisfaction and how to see things from a lens of perception. When one understands the importance of appreciating differences, life becomes a little easier to navigate. What happens when we are confronted by a decision and we feel stuck? We may have decided that action is the only way forward, but which action? Maybe we have decided that the way we are looking at things is not bringing us closer to the life we really want. What to do next?
Bob Wubbolding, one of Glasser’s close associates has developed a problem solving system of questions called WDEP. Essentially, what do you want? W are you doing to get what you want? Is it working? Planning for the future.
Following is an explanation of how one might use this system. Big Jim is a middle aged man who has a strong desire to lose weight. The emotions he experiences are shame and guilt around the fact that he is over the doctors prescribed weight. He feels weakness because he can’t seem to get unstuck around the motivation of eating what he wants regarding food and living the way he wants regarding health. He has attempted to regain the health he had but still binge eats whenever he angers or depresses.
A question Jim might ask himself is “What do I want? Anything I want to eat whenever I want to eat it? In the amounts I want to eat it in?” He may ask “Is being overweight getting me to the goals I have for health?” A different way to approach the topic might be “Can I do the things I like to do with 50 extra pounds around my mid section?”
Notice that each of these questions deals with the situation in the now. There is nothing in the questioning relating to “Why, how come or what if”.
As Jim processes these questions, he might continue and ask himself “Is my present organized behavior getting me what I want?” At this point it is understandable if a reader would ask, “Why bother with these questions if Jim already knows that he does want to lose weight?” Upon rereading Jim’s first questions, it is not clear as to whether he really wants to get in shape or if he wants to continue eating and living the way he currently does. It is entirely possible that Jim has organized behavior responses that lead him to say the right things when anyone asks him about getting in healthy shape. If this is the case, and Jim will know that, then this subject is actually living under the external control of the people who are concerned about what Jim looks like.
It is possible that the people who want Jim to be healthy are well meaning, but Jim is the only one who controls his own behavior. If he is performing behaviors to please anyone else, then he is not living his own life. He is doing what other people want him to do. That response may work for a time, but eventually, Jim will revert back to his old organized behaviors because we all, Jim included, behave in our own self interest in order to meet some perceived need.
If Jim decides that his behavior is not actually his best attempt at getting him what he wants, health, then he has a choice to make. The question is not “Why are you behaving this way? It is rather, “Is you present behavior getting you what you want?” The real thesis is “present behavior, not behavior that will be done in the future”. The present eating behavior may include cookies and cakes today, not next week. As he eats the items, Jim needs to ask himself about that particular behavior he is performing presently.
Behaviors that are working to obtain the desired result will be continued if they bring needs satisfaction. If they do not bring needs satisfaction, they will be changed to something that brings more satisfactory results. In real world terms- we do something and we like it or don’t like it. If we like it, we have a better chance of continuing to do it.
If Jim decides that his present organized eating behavior does not fit with his Quality World image of his body, or his health, he may decide to change something. This means that his perceptual filters are working in such a way as to unbalance his scales to the point where he will decide to act differently. Now sometimes, a heart attack is the motivation that helps the decision along. In this case, what is happening is that the real world is providing information that moves Jim to behave differently.
As Jim decides that his present behavior could use a different direction, he begins to make a plan. He has already evaluated his behavior. He has decided that his health related acting needs change because it is not bringing him the results he wants. He is still overweight. Here is where choices again come into play. Jim has a variety of ways to lose weight. Those are all up to him.
In review, a middle aged man decides that his perceptual filters and real world informational filters do not jibe. His scales become unbalanced and he decides to act. He changes his organized behavior based on the knowledge that his Quality World picture and his real world picture are very different. The process of doing this involves asking what I want. Health. Is my behavior getting me what I want? No. What am I willing to do to get what I want? Work out, eat appropriately. What will I use to make the change?
W: What do I want?
D: What am I doing to get what I want?
E. Is it working?
P: Am I willing to make a plan?
Keep dreaming dreams and you will see miracles.
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