Habits

Change is scary. We humans become accustomed to our comfort zone. We are used to living with a limited worldview that informs us of how to behave and interact with our fellow humans. Taking a step away from that position, out of our box, requires fortitude.

Taking that step also requires us to modify our habits. For children, the number of times to repeat a behavior to form a new habit is small. For adults, that number is a multiplier of ten over children.

Once we have formed our worldview, we live in it comfortably. To form a new habit, we must challenge that worldview, growing it, stretching it, evolving it, to allow room for that new behavior.

The process of finding Your MaD Thing requires new habits. Upon discovery, more new habits will be adopted. You will be challenged to evolve, and to grow the walls of your comfort zone.

What if your comfort zone was a balloon that could not break? The rubber of the balloon handles the amount of air inside itself to form the shape of your comfort zone. Pushing your face into the balloon skin from the inside will cause the rubber to stretch over your face, causing discomfort. As you get used to these new contours of your comfort zone, the discomfort will ease, and your comfort zone will have a new shape.

I tried to develop a new habit to see how the process worked. You can try something like this, too.

I moved my trash bin from beside the fridge to beside my microwave oven – a distance of less than three meters. I lost count of the number of times I headed towards the fridge to drop my trash, before the new habit formed, although it was closer to 200 times than single digits. Even then, in maybe one in a hundred times, I might have headed towards the fridge – it has been some time, and this is no longer an issue.

What was clear within this process was the concept of awareness. If I put some trash in my hand, and I considered what I was doing with it, then I would recognize where the trash bin was located and head there. If I was doing this by rote – the definition of a habit – I would head towards the fridge, then make a turn when I arrived, so I could head to the right location.

This example showed me clearly that the key to changing a habit is awareness. Once the new habit is formed, it will be time to test yourself and move on to the next habit to change.

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