What exactly am I doing here?
That is the question I seem to be asking myself all the time these days. I am caught in a loop. Why am I doing what I am doing? For that matter, what exactly AM I doing? And why do I keep doing it if I don’t know why I am doing it in the first place?
Every life is a series of habits. Sometimes the habits become so ingrained that we dont’ even recognize them as habits … they are simply the way things are. Have you ever seen someone do something like brush their teeth and wonder why they are doing it THAT way? It is different then the way I do it so it is wrong.
Habits can be comforting. Habits can make the day go by smoothly. Habits can take the tedium out of the tedious; ensure that the daily needs are met.
And habits can be dangerous.
I am not necessarily referring to things like drug habits … though that is an obvious example of their potential danger. But sometimes the everyday habits we all slip into have their own kind of danger. Habits have a way of numbing us; of convincing us that there is only one way to do things. They often fill us with a pseudo comfort level that is very seductive, making change very difficult. And when the habits become so ingrained that we lose sight of the fact that they are habits … when they become simply the way things are … we may not even recognize what might be holding us back from change … if change is desired.
So many I have crossed paths with recently (including myself), especially in the blogging world, have expressed the desire to change their lives. Yet so many (again including myself) don’t seem to know how to do it. We all search for that amazing job; the lottery ticket; the great piece of inspiration; in short some big path altering event to take us wherever we want to be.
I think maybe part of the problem is we are aiming to high.
Maybe the key to changing the big things is to start with the small things. We need to watch ourselves closely. See what we are doing on an every moment level. Identify the habits that have become ingrained. And then change them.
For instance how DO we brush our teeth? What pattern do we use in the shower (I guarantee there is one). Which shoe do we put on first? Once we have identified these, try consciously doing it differently. Repeatedly until it becomes a new habit. And then change it again.
The key to change is a willingness to be uncomfortable for a bit. But if we try to do wholesale change all at once the discomfort threatens to be overwhelming. Painful even. And this frightens the comfort level we have … even if it is an uncomfortable comfort. Maybe the trick is to ease ourselves into it.
The true irony is I know this will work. I have lived it. Sadly I forgot.
I picked up some bad habits.