I want to be able to be proud of what I’ve done instead of seeing all the ways it could have been better if I had just tried harder.
We miss so much when we go through life needing the approval of others. We grow up learning to please our parents, our teachers, our friends. We learn that pleasing others gives us feedback that gives us pleasure so it becomes circular. The lines blur and we find that we have morphed into those we associate with. Soon we lose our individual identity and then feel the need to ‘discover’ ourselves. Many times the person we find is very different and that person doesn’t really have anything in common with those we had spent so much time with and previously considered to be ‘like us’. In reality we sacrificed our true selves on the alter of conformity.
Lifestyles are remodeled one habit at a time. The urge to take on too much, too fast can be so overwhelming that the whole process is soon abandoned entirely. Most patterns are actually comprised of various components that have a domino effect. If we attempt to eliminate the pattern without examining how it is constructed we might miss something. Deconstructing a pattern begins with the last domino that fell and ends with the main trigger. Working our way back to the starting point and discovering the trigger is the only way to create a lasting change.
A trigger is born of the senses, so it can be visual, auditory or kinesthetic, but some people are literally lead by their noses. Have you ever suddenly caught the scent of pit smoked barbeque and found yourself sitting at a table, up to your ears in sauce? If the impulse was intense enough you might not even remember how you got there.
The Stanford marshmallow experiment was a real eye opener, in that when asked, the children that delayed immediate gratification and held off devouring the marshmallow replied that they didn’t look at it. They distracted themselves in various ways until the 20 minutes were up and they were rewarded with a second marshmallow. That concept has saved me from the compulsion to react to impulses on many occasions. Having the ability to delay gratification is the key.
Once we excavate and discover the root cause, we can find a way to distract ourselves and stop automatically reacting by reinforcing a habit that has become an ingrained pattern. Start with one pattern, one habit and one change. Keep at it and you will have that newly renovated lifestyle.
Healthy habits take root in a fertile mind and will feed you for a very long life time.
If you wanna look like you live like that…you’ve gotta live like that. No one gets buff sitting on their duff.
But, in reality, it is SO big. Today, just for today…let’s do one thing that will move us in the direction of a goal. We’ll write it down, because a goal that is not put to paper, is just a fantasy. Then we will accomplish it…and…wait for it….CELEBRATE. We might enjoy the process SO much that we will want to do it again tomorrow…and the day after that…and the day after that…OH DE JOY!!!
What is it that we never hear often enough, but seldom do? “I’m so proud of you!!!”. Take the time to say it to yourself. “I’m proud of myself for….” If you get the chance, say it out loud, but if that’s uncomfortable, saying it mentally will be just as wonderful as long as you mean it. You can’t over do it, especially if it’s long over due.