Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Changing Minds – Getting Used to Your “New” Mind

“Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any [person], but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.”

~Mark Twain.

You’ve perhaps decided in your own wisdom and certainly your own learning has brought you to this point—the point of change. You’ve decided to give something up, take something up or otherwise change your mind and the way you think and act in life. And, you’re deadly serious about it.

Then when you approach, and indeed reach, the point of no return it begins to feel excruciatingly uncomfortable—even untenable. (You were never promised this when you considered change!) In your heart, you begin to give up on your goal, thinking it’s too hard and the old way is better, easier, and so much more comfortable. Then, and only then, a sort of disparaging dissonance rocks your world for the first time—it’s a veritable no-person’s land, for neither way is the slightest bit “delightful.” Both ways involve the pain of sacrifice. And we so want delight, and none of this pain.

Reality has set in.

It’s a horrible, unglamorous truth: the changing of habits requires from us great tenacity over the longer haul. But, the Twain quote captures a very cool genius even in this confounding mindset we’re betwixt with.

We necessarily need to respect our nemesis habit; the one we’re changing.

What if you began to see your steps as those of the initial part of the journey only i.e. for what they are, right now. What if you saw yourself involved in a process with yourself—a process that truly takes a year or two in many cases.

Eek! Surely not?

Some contrastive truth: what’s the hurry anyway? We too often want to “incorporate” our newfound habits and changes-of-life-circumstance overnight. Yet they’re so rarely achieved this way.

Truly changing our minds takes longer than we think or like. It’s about being realistic with ourselves. If we can get used to the idea of being consistent over a long period of time, there’s no longer any problem and certainly less pressure. This is when we’ve more fully adjusted to the reality of our ‘new minds.’

Changing our minds for the better is not only possible—it’s our destiny!

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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