We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore is not an act, but a habit.
Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
-George Bernard Shaw
I made what I thought was a relatively small New Years Resolution. It doesn’t take will power, just a little change in how I talk to and about people. Or so I thought. It is January 4th and I have broken this resolution dozens of times.
That I have broken this resolution, usually automatically with no real thought, so many times has shown me how deeply this particular behavior is ingrained in me. How much it is a part of who I am. That is more than a little disturbing.
But, I find hope in the two quotes above. In theory, with persistence, I should be able to change this habit, this way of being. And that changes me in a rather significant way. And that is powerful. Amazingly powerful. We can recreate ourselves.
Really it isn’t that much different than using behavior modification to extinguish a disruptive behavior in a child. Yet, we so rarely try to extinguish negative behaviors in ourselves. As if being adults makes us unable to change. “That’s just who I am.”
People always say to be yourself. But how much of ourselves is just a bunch of learned behaviors? And does it make sense to continue to play the same record over and over, when we could choose to sing a new and better song?