All difficulties in this life, every moment of difficulty, come from the distance between what is and what we want to be. Why is this? Choice Theory explains that when we are born, we begin to create and recreate, throughout life, specific pictures that make up our “quality world.” Our quality world is made of pictures that fall into three categories: 1) the people we most want to be with, 2) the things we want to own or experience, and 3) the ideas or beliefs that govern much of our behavior. Anytime we are able to succeed in satisfying a picture in this world, it is enjoyable; anytime we fail, it is always painful. In other words, anytime we feel very good, we are choosing to behave so that someone, something, or some belief in the real world has come close to matching a picture of that person, thing, or belief in our quality world. Choice Theory teaches us that my quality world is the core of my life. It drives the choices we make. Almost all the things we choose to put into our quality world are attached in some way to people because this attachment provides much of the good feeling we all want. Because of this, we try to convince other people to have the same ideas or beliefs as we do. We ultimately put the people in our quality world that align with our quality world. When you get right down to it, our life choices are all about how we feel about ourselves, and how we feel about ourselves in relationship to other people.
So what does this have to do with disabilities? For one, we have pictures in our quality world that don’t match the changes we may be experiencing in our life because we have acquired a disability. We experience a “loss of dreams”. We are not satisfying the pictures we have in our world regarding the people we most want to be with, the things we want to own or experience, and/or our ideas and beliefs that are not getting fulfilled. If you find that this is happening to you, I hope you consider making a call to Freedom Resource Center and asking for help in finding ways to reorganize your picture albums that make up your quality world.
(image description: A Model of Behavior chart beginning with the a filter that says, Sensory System, then a filter saying Knowledge filter, then a filter that says Valuing Filter. There is an arrow that points to a circle the has the words, Perceived World, Everything we know. Then an arrow points to another circle that is yellow and says Quality World, What we want the most. Following that circle are 5 boxes with the title, Basic Needs. The Basic needs are Belonging (Loving, cooperating); Power (Competing, gaining importance); Fun (Learning, playing); Freedom (Moving, choosing); and Survival. Then there is a scale called the Comparing Place with the words Frustration Signal (urge) followed by a box with the words Behavioral System. The last part of the chart shows a yellow car with the words Total Behavior. There are four black tires on each corner of the yellow car. The right front tire says Thinking. The left front time says Acting. The back right tire says Feeling, and the back left tire says Physiology. At the bottom of the chart says, “All any living creature can do is behave and all behaviors are total. All behaviors are internally motivated, purposeful, flexible and creative. In our constant attempt to gain more effective control, we behave in the world to get the picture that we want at the time.”)