The Periodic Table of TOPS: B is for Behavior

In chemistry, B symbolizes Boron. It has several forms. You may recognize it as a component of the cleaning solution, Borax. What you may not know, is that at low temperatures, it is a bad electrical conductor, but at high temperatures, it is a good electrical conductor. 

How can one item be both good and bad? I started refracting about this and realized that over time I have exhibited both good and bad traits. So, in the Periodic Table of TOPS, B symbolizes Behavior. 

B is for Behavior

As a rule, good Behavior (B) is rewarded and bad Behavior (B) brings on punishment. I have to consciously respond to a situation, which in turn, shows my behavior. Habits are constant actions done over time — and I continue to do them without thinking. 

Willpower, motivation, and environmental or emotional triggers effect my Behavior (B). I cannot rely on them solely, because these three things are like the tides. They come and go. It is difficult to maintain strong willpower, find the right motivation, and have the proper trigger all at the right time. 

My behavior effects my Control (C) and in turn my Health (H). There are many triggers that move my Behavior (B) up and down.  

I will confess one huge habit that has caused me grief over the years. Growing up, I was taught to “clean my plate” at meal time. If I had good Behavior (B), I was rewarded with dessert or a special snack later on in the evening. To this day, despite pushing my willpower to the limits, I am compelled to eat every thing I am served. This Behavior (B) has triggered my desire for dessert or the need to “eat something” before I go to sleep. You might say it has now become a habit.  

With the Support (S) of TOPS, I have taken the Opportunity (O) to start leaving at least one or two bites of food on my plate. I am not always successful, but when I have success, it triggers my sensation of being full. My mind is saying I must be full, otherwise, why I am I leaving good food on the table? This helps me refuse sweet temptations later on in time. It is not a habit yet, but I am working on it.  

I must take Control (C) of my Behavior (B) and not blame my parents. As a member of TOPS, I urge you to use your Individuality (I) to work on your Behavior (B) to maintain good habits and change bad ones. Remember, this is a complicated process. It is a sign of strength to ask for help in managing the tides — willpower, motivation and triggers. Work on one at a time … small steps make the journey more rewarding.  

How we handle the rewards of success is a critical element. In the next installment, I will explore the next element on our Periodic Table of TOPS: V symbolizing Victory.  


4 thoughts on “The Periodic Table of TOPS: B is for Behavior

  1. I too have always had a snack before bed. Mom’s gone but she left me her habit. Being a KOP has helped me rein it in over the years but I doubt I will ever cut it out. Even now I would feel something was missing, i.e. the dreaded deprivation if I didn’t have something. Sometimes I have a couple pieces of dried fruit, a few almonds, or a bite or two of a cookie. My TOPS pals often tease me about how they could never eat part of a cookie, but we all know a big part of being an intelligent person is just finding what works for you to keep losing or keep your status, and make peace with your (MOM’s) habit!

  2. This was my favorite letter so far. I have a heavy background in science, so I instantly was intrigued by this blog. I am working hard to change my behaviors around food and making more effort to think ahead about how I want to behave at events.

  3. I think your idea of leaving a few bites of food on your plate is smart. I love that you look at it as an Opportunity!

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