Structure Demands Behavior in Everything

Structure demands behavior from everyone in everything! The principle of structure is extremely powerful and impacts you physically and mentally.  But what is structure? Don't worry, structure is very practical and useful once you learn more about it.

Winston Churchill said, "We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us." That tells you about the power of structure - structure demands behavior!

The information here is part of what you can learn under Robert Fritz. Purchase his books to capture all of his excellent insight. This information is not comprehensive, but enough to help you understand how structure works in your life as well as in the THP Charts that we use.

We adapted Robert's principle about structure and state it this way…

Structure demands behavior

Structure Demands Behavior in Everything

Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?  Romans 6:16

Path of Least Resistance

Structure demands behavior, because it creates the “path of least resistance”.

Colloquially, this phrase means the easy way out. But what we mean is that energy moves where it is easiest for it to go. - Robert Fritz

It is easiest to understand structure when you apply it to something you can see. For example, the structure of a room creates a path of least resistance to the way you enter that room. The structure of a car determines how you will interact with it. The steering wheel and pedals demand that you sit in or very close to the driver’s seat to drive. Your shoes demand that you put the right one on the right foot and the left one on the left foot, otherwise it will be uncomfortable. Even the way you sit in your chair is determined by how it is made.

All of those examples illustrate the power of structure as well as the path of least resistance.


The path of least resistance is created because of structure. Here is an easy way to use the power of structure - THP!

  • THERE: where you want to be or go
  • HERE: where you are now
  • PATH: steps or actions to get from HERE to THERE

The path of least resistance forms only when THERE and HERE are clear. What I find in my life and working with people and organizations, THERE is often unclear, HERE is unclear, and you end up with a PATH of uncoordinated actions, very busy, because the THERE and HERE aren’t clear.

If you think about it, the lack of clarity about THERE and HERE demands a PATH of uncoordinated and unfocused actions.

Consider driving a car as a simple example of what happens with the THP structure.

  1. THERE – you want to drive a car.
  2. HERE – you have a car and its keys and a valid driver’s license.
  3. PATH – unlock the car, open the driver’s door, sit in the driver’s seat, and start the car.
Structure Demands Behavior

The PATH would be different if either THERE or HERE are changed. If you weren’t focused on THERE – driving a car – you have no need of a path of actions leading to do that. But, if you do want to drive the car (THERE) and do not have a car or keys – your HERE has changed which alters the types of actions you will take. Consider those times when you can’t find the keys, the PATH starts with finding the keys. When you clearly define your HERE (your current reality, where you are), it will determine different actions to take.

When THERE and HERE are clear, energy is created. It is like some external force starts pulling you toward the end result (THERE).

Where You Look...

Additionally, this simple principle is critical to the path of least resistance:

Where you look, you tend to go

That applies to walking, driving, riding, goals, and practically anything where you want to get some results. When I walk, it is easier to look at the path in front of me rather than looking at something to the side, tight?

When driving, the same is true. I had the privilege to drive a high-performance car on a race track with a professional driver sitting in the passenger’s seat. They set up orange traffic cones on the turns to help you focus on where you wanted to end up rather than keeping your eyes directly on the road in front of the car. The professional driver even made a statement that is very similar to the principle stated above. They also use another statement when driving on oval tracks, "Don't look at the wall!" Why? Because that is where you will end up! "See the wall, be the wall!"

Louie rides horses and learned from her instructors that where you look changes your body position which influences the horse and your actions. When you look at where you want to go, it helps integrate where you are with where you want to be. That helps create the path to get where you want to be.

You influence your current and future actions by having a clear THERE in view.

Most Powerful Structures

It is easy to picture physical structures, but the most powerful structures are in your mind. Those structures demand and determine your behavior. If you break a hole in the wall of a room to get into the room when there was an open door, you most likely will need to override the structure of your values first. So, since you probably do not value tearing up property just to enter a different way then you will enter through the door.

That illustrates the power of mental structures. Unfortunately, ignoring good thinking and good values create different actions and behaviors, right? The physical structures around you demand behavior, but not as much as your THINKING, BELIEFS, VALUES, and CONVICTIONS!

Finally, consider this. What type of inappropriate behavior are your thoughts creating? When you align your thoughts with God's Word, that demands not only appropriate behavior, but also righteous behavior. Why? Because structure demands behavior and God's Word provides a perfect structure to becoming like our perfect Savior, Jesus Christ!

GR8 Relationships—Pursuing the BEST in work, in life, in love.

Right Thinking—Right Relationships—Right NOW!!

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