Choices and Consequences
I was asked recently how I write my blog each Sunday. I replied that it is usually something that has happened during the week, or a thought that I had and decided to explore further. Some weeks seem to bring about more content than others and I have to say this week was a busy one, so I will jump right in.
I have been thinking how every day we are presented with scenarios and these scenarios require us to make choices. Every one of these choices has a subsequent consequence. Sometimes it’s completely insignificant and we don’t give it a second thought, like brushing our teeth. We don’t consciously think about whether it is good for our health and well-being
every time we brush, we just do it. The benefits are almost an unconscious consequence of our action.
Other choices we need to make are a lot more deliberate. These decisions can sometimes seem unbelievably difficult and a lot more important. The consequences can sometimes have life changing outcomes taking us down a whole new path. Occasionally this is where we ignore our gut instinct hoping we can prove a different outcome. It doesn’t happen often and I have learned our gut (or our soul feeling) is usually (always) right.
I read a fantastic book years ago called the Power of Habit. It talked about how everything we do revolves around our habits. Each habit has a structure and works in a 3-step loop. Cue – Routine - Reward. The key to achieving success in our lives is understanding how our habits work. The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, more successful, a better version of ourselves, whatever it is, all comes down to the habits we have currently and those we will create in the future. The good news is, we can change any of the habits that don’t serve us… but only if and when we really decide to.
Sounds fairly straight forward? I think this is where part of the challenge begins. Most of us don’t want to change our ‘non serving’ habits and so things continue to happen in our lives that we don’t really want. For example, if I want to lose weight I know one simple way is to give up sugar (or at least junk food). The problem is, I might really like sugar and a part of me may not want to give it up. On a minor level this is fine but if I go to the Dr and they say “you are at risk of diabetes, you need to make changes to your life NOW and one option is to give up sugar. It is your choice, but it will have massive consequences on your future”. Now I am listening, now I am more inclined to change my habit. The stakes are much higher.
So, if we are to change our habits with a view to maybe changing our lives then we must understand why we do what we do to prompt the ‘cue’ that triggers the ‘routine’ and so on. This is where I have come unstuck at times. It’s sounds easier than it is, but as time goes by, I realise it is also more important than it seems.
Einstein said “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that created them.” And perhaps herein lies a hint. We can become so conditioned over time to a certain way of thinking that we just keep repeating the same habits. It is uncomfortable and sometimes very painful to break an old habit. I read that a crucial step is to create a new one in its place that better serves us. Yes, this is challenging but I have to believe it is worth it.
The alternative is that we could wake up in 10 years time and our lives are exactly the same as they are today. To some of us this is a far scarier concept than the challenge a change in habit presents.
So as always, my gratitude begins with and closes with my gorgeous Ben. Thank you for being with us (me) this week. Thank you for being with us (me) this coming week and thank you for reminding us (me) we are always stronger than we think.