“Habits are actions or behavior patterns that become automatic over time, through frequent repetition and consistency. Good habits are those which induce positive cycles of good health, proper rest, a balanced diet, regular exercise and right thinking. By developing good habits, you establish a harmonic relationship with all that’s good for you.” ~Herbert Harris
The other day a friend of mine pointed me to an article about the myth of discipline. This got me to thinking about what the author said and while I at first thought he might be on to something have since changed my mind. He makes some good points but I think he misses out on what discipline is.
To me, discipline is a process composed of a goal, a motivator for achieving the goal that will instill the will to carry through the repetition of a task needed to turn the task into a habit that will result in achieving the goal. What appears to most to be discipline is actually habit or the process of making a habit.
I will agree with a big part of the article, though, it’s the motivator that is important. The motivator sets your will and your will is what gets you through the beginning of developing the habit. So if you want to build a good habit find an appropriate motivator.
Of course habits are more easily broken than one might think. I had a habit last summer of riding my bicycle at least three nights a week. As winter approached and a few health issues arose that habit has been busted. Hopefully the last of the health issues are out of the way and I can work on building that habit again. The motivator? I’ve gained fifteen pounds and my calves are no longer rock hard as they were this past October. I don’t like that at all.
This weekend I’m venturing back out on the bike and easing back into the routine by riding at least three times a week but on shorter rides at first. I figure that by the end of June I’ll be back to a couple of 20 to 30 mile rides during the week with one long 50ish mile ride on the weekend. I’m also looking at adding a fourth ride by the end of June that will be a ride into work.
We’ll see how fast I can build back my habit.
“When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.”
Yesterday I talked about new beginnings. Today I want to talk about forgiveness. They go hand in hand, you know.
Let me explain. There are going to be people out there who will not accept my new start. They will burden me, in their estimation, with my past and part of that may well be due to my still holding their past against them. A new beginning can’t be just for me but also in my relationship with others. While I can’t make others forgive me of my past I can forgive them of theirs. In doing so I break what ever hold that person had on my soul and make it easier for them to accept my new beginning and make a new beginning of their own.
The past is gone and can’t be changed. The future is only a promise. What we have is the now and that now is too fleeting to be bound by any grudges. Shake off the binds and forgive. Not for their sake but for your own new start.
“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an
end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”
I mentioned last week about Harold Campings prediction of the world ending this past Saturday at 6:00 pm. I spent Saturday doing chores around the house, getting a haircut and spending some time with my wife at the neighborhood pool. I figured that was as good a way as any to end things.
I dozed off about 5:30 PM in my chair. I guess it was from the sun I got at the pool. I woke up a little before 7:00 PM and noticed my wife was still here. Now I figured I might not have been virtuous enough to have made the list but I knew if anyone had been raptured my wife would have been among them. So, Campings was wrong.
Or was he? I got to thinking and we have every morning as a new beginning so every evening must therefore be a new end. Why not look at this as an opportunity to take on life as though all our past indiscretions, all our past mistakes, have been wiped clean. We have all been given a new start.
With this attitude each moment in our lives can become a new beginning. With each moment we can concentrate on success rather than dwell on a failure. We can celebrate the end with knowing it is actually a new beginning.
Harold Camping says the end of the world will be here on 21-May-2011. There are others who say he’s crazy and are planning a bunch of pranks, like leaving piles of clothes laying around to give the appearance of the rapture occurring. They doubt him. I guess I do too but I’m not going to predict he’s wrong. My prediction would be just as crazy as his.
See, I have no idea when the end of the world is coming so 21-May-2011 is just as plausible to me as any other day. I don’t even know that the end of the world is relevant to me. I’ll die some day and the day before will be my last full day of living. That day could well be today or tomorrow or …., well you get my point. So I need to live today like it is my last day on earth.
That means I have to seek out the joy in the mundane of every day living because it just isn’t practical to do something extraordinary every day. I must learn to find joy in pain just as I do in ecstasy. Even during the winter when SAD raises it’s ugly head that’s what I’ve been dealt so I still must find joy even while every chemical in my body wants me to be depressed.
I know that family and friends that deal with depression much more than I do are going to tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about, and I agree, I’ve not experienced the depths of depression that they have but still, you have to play the hand your dealt. To me, seeking joy when I’m at my lowest would seem much preferable to giving up and sinking lower. You do what you have to do and working toward a positive outcome sure beats working against it.
Regardless, live every day like it might be your last because one day it will.