When did you last eat because of hunger?
Most of us eat from habit, don’t we? We eat because it’s breakfast time, or lunchtime, or snack time, and most of those times have little or nothing to do with hunger.
We live conditioned lives. In some regards that’s fine. It means we live in a state of order, civility, and the necessary conformity for society to function. It means we behave in a way that supports our environment.
But that conditioning has other aspects. We become conditioned to ideas that express themselves in habits. Habits can be good. Or they can be disastrous. And as the financial icon Warren Buffett observed, ‘because the chains of habit are so weak at the outset, we’re unaware of them till they’re too strong to break.’
We can condition ourselves to anything. Nelson Mandela conditioned Himself to a means of survival when he could have succumbed to an occasion of defeat. He was acutely aware of how important it was to shape his mind and his feelings to his ultimate achievement.
We get flashes of that in our lives; we take a decision to lose weight, do a course, implement a project, and all too frequently find that the habits of living overtake our efforts, and after a brief battle, we revert to the old ways and our unwanted condition.
We’ve even become conditioned to giving up.
How often do you hear “I’ll start okay but I know I’ll drop off after a short while”? We’ve even become conditioned to the notion that we’ll never do anything worthwhile because we’ll drop out or get distracted or change our minds.
When we start any project with this expectation we are creating our own self -fulfilling prophecy.
So, what can we do about that?
A lot. We can use two well-proven strategies to make immediate and lasting change in our lives. We’ve probably used them before unconsciously, and achieved what we set out to do.
We will find, on reflection, that for whatever reason we performed in a way that achieved our aims at any time in life, that either one or both of these strategies was strongly to the fore.
Stay tuned. We’ll talk about them and show how to use them next time...