The Good and the Bad

You’d think that feeling good was good for you, but alas, that isn’t always the case. You’d think that the quality world is, in fact, about quality, however again, that may not be so.

I started drinking in ninth grade. My friends were doing it and it was a way to feel like I was a part of the group. I was a bit shy and quieter than the others, but I came out of my shell after a few drinks. Kind of without realizing it I came to depend on alcohol for feeling normal, at least I viewed it as feeling normal. I was an alcoholic by the time I should have been entering college.    Mark

Every human being wants his/her unique set of personal needs to be met. Choice theory explains that when we discover someone or something that is need-satisfying, we place a specific picture of that person or thing or idea or activity in our quality world. As much as possible we want the real world around us to match these pictures in our head. This description of the quality world may sound acceptable and even appropriate, however there is a catch. The catch is this — the quality world is good at storing the need-satisfying pictures that will ultimately guide our lives, but it is not necessarily a good judge of quality. Put simply, it is an amoral storage center.

When I  get home from work after a long day of managing employees and dealing with unhappy customers, I am more than ready for some comfort. Even though I never get home before 6:00 PM, part of my evening ritual includes eating a lot of food that isn’t that good for me. I haven’t even been on this job for a year, yet I am starting to deal with some serious health challenges, not the least of which is a significant weight increase.  Marla

The quality world doesn’t decide what’s good for us. Instead, it identifies the people and things that satisfy one or more of our needs. I have thought about referring to it as the MNM world, which stands for My Needs Met, but the monicker lacks a certain ring. In any case, we put people, things, and behaviors we value, for whatever reason, into our quality world.

I just started high school. My family moved across the country over the summer and everything is new to me. Things still feel unsettled, boxes still to unpack, a community to get to know, and new people to meet. I miss close friends from my old school. My parents seem aware of what I am going through and check in with me every day to see how I am doing. Instead of resenting what some kids would call nosiness, I appreciate my parents interest. I like knowing they’re available if I need them.  Jake

Mark placed alcohol into his quality world. He felt it helped him belong to the group and feel more confident. Instead of really helping him, though, it turned into an addiction that he wrestled with for years. Marla valued food and television in the evening after a day at work. These things didn’t serve her well in the long run, but she very much wanted them every evening when she got home. Jake’s parents are in his quality world, which is great. Apparently, they have stayed connected to Jake without trying to control him. Being there to help without forcing it has led Jake to want their advice. These scenarios are small examples of how Mark, Marla, and Jake are living through their quality worlds.

We decide what pictures go into our quality world. As you can tell, these pictures set the course of our life. It is hard to overstate the significance of these pictures. Fortunately, we can also take pictures out of our quality world. Taking a picture out, especially the picture of someone we love, is not easy, but it can be done. Ultimately, our quality world pictures represent what we want in life.


The phrase – We Want to Feel Good – sounds simple enough, straight-forward, yet it represents a process that is deeper than first meets the eye. We, all of us, every person on the planet is striving to feel good, to feel, as much as possible, like we are in control, even if its only a little bit of control, even if it is merely feeding an addiction. We have a great deal to do with creating an all we want world. In fact, we have very specific pictures of how we want the world around us to look and feel. Speaking of feeling — remember that feelings are the gauge of how we monitor the events in our lives. For some, the feeling mechanism takes on more significance than it deserves, which creates imbalance and unhappiness. We want to feel good, but good doesn’t always mean good. We just want to feel that our needs are being met and sometimes we come up with unhealthy ways to do that.


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