LISTEN: Use the Reinforcement Principle, Part 7 (Get Things Done! #51 with Daniel Whyte III)

Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

1 Corinthians 10:31 says: “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

Our quote for today is from Alexander Graham Bell. He said: “Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.”

Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 7 of Step 8: “Use the Reinforcement Principle” from “Doing It Now: A Twelve Step Program for Curing Procrastination and Achieving Your Goals” by Edwin C. Bliss.

In our last podcast, we left off talking about using rewards as reinforcements. Now, Edwin Bliss answers the question, When the reinforcement process fails, what is usually the reason?

It’s usually because of making the reward contingent on reaching a distant or overambitious goal, rather than an immediate and modest one.

For example, suppose you are procrastinating putting your garden in, which you figure is about a five-hour job. Don’t say to yourself, “If I finish the garden today I’ll reward myself tonight with a steak dinner.” Instead, say, “As soon as I get my work clothes on and haul that bag of peat moss to the garden, I’ll give permission to pause and eat that apple I’m in the mood for.”

That apple may be the only reinforcer you’ll need, because once you get started your momentum will probably carry you through—in which case you won’t have to worry about rewarding yourself for subsequent phases of your gardening project. In other words, the apple, used this way, can be a more powerful reinforcer than the steak dinner!

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.