Where is Your M.O.?


In police dramas you will often hear a detective ask about a suspect, “What’s the M.O.?”  M.O. stands for the Latin phrase Modus Operandi, which is loosely translated as “method of operation.” Meaning how does this person operate?  Why do they do what they do?  What motivates them? 

On television the M.O. is usually obvious.  A suspect feels wronged by someone and seeks revenge. They were treated badly by their parents so they take it out on their spouse.  Or the character feels superior and above the law and thinks that they can do whatever they want.  But what if our M.O. is not only a “what” or a “why”, but also a “where?”  There are places/states of being in which we habitually live that influence or drive our behavior.

Fear is a very common M.O.; fear of death, pain, lack of success, actual success, not being acknowledged, disappointing others, etc.  Or maybe you operate from a different place like regret, jealously, abandonment, pride (hubris), insecurity, or a combination thereof.   Your M.O. may motivate you to do things or not do things, because it’s where you live.   You can’t live in a place if your behavior doesn’t support it. 

You cannot operate from peace if you live in fear.  You cannot operate from love if you live in anger.  You cannot operate in gratitude if you live in shame. What if you chose to operate from places of  faith, kindness, joy, fellowship, hope, or all of the above?  How different would things be if you navigated life from a positive place versus a negative place?

However, being postive is not enough! We need affirmative thinking and actions.  Remember change happens through us, not to us. We have to think our thoughts on purpose, so we need to know where we are forming our thoughts. Figuring out your M.O. may be difficult, but worth it in the end.  Ask yourself why you behave (or don’t behave) in certain ways and try to answer with one word.  If you find that you are coming up with the same word over and over, then this is where you “live.”   If this is not a “place” in which you would like to reside, it’s time to move!


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