LISTEN: Use the Reinforcement Principle, Part 6 (Get Things Done! #50 with Daniel Whyte III)

Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

Proverbs 16:3 says: “Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.”

Our quote for today is from Dwayne Johnson. He said: “Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success.”

Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 6 of Step 8: “Use the Reinforcement Principle”.

We left off talking how we should use positive reinforcers to reward ourselves when we reach our goals. Now, Edwin Bliss answers the question about the other side of the coin. Can’t punishments be as useful as rewards in a self-administered program of behavior change?

A: As a general rule, no. There must be penalties, of course, in the sense of withholding the reward if the desired behavior doesn’t occur; but to inflict pain or discomfort on yourself deliberately as punishment for having failed to measure up is generally ineffective.

Q: But what about the analogy of using both the carrot and the stick to get the mule to move? Shouldn’t the same principle work with people? Can’t we motivate ourselves with both the carrot and the stick?

A: Most psychologists caution that this is unwise, especially in a self-administered program. Your punishment should be simply depriving yourself of the carrot. Forget about the stick.

Psychologists have a term for the stick. They call it “aversive conditioning,” and it is sometimes used in treatment of certain behavior disorders—but usually with someone else enforcing the punishment.

Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

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