Thursday, February 5, 2009

New Years Revolution

It's a new year and a new trip around the solar system. The earth is tilting back toward the sun (from our point of view in the Northern Hemisphere anyway) and it's time to take stock and try to make changes in the way we do things. For me that means continuing a personal revolution that started over a year ago when I realized that my life needed some deep reshaping.

Since that time a lot of things have changed quite a bit but the question remains how do you fundamentally change your life?

That brings up the question what affects your life? How do you define your life?

Let's say we define the experience of life as three things. Environment, Action and Thought. Environment covers a lot of things all at once but I think we can say that it is everything that you can't control including the weather, the economy, other people, traffic, culture, politics, media and anything else outside of your body really. Perhaps it includes things inside your body as well like germs, age and genes because it really is the world you live in. Actions include speech and movement. If you were being observed by camera crew what they recorded would be your actions. Thought is all the stuff you control that the camera crew cannot see including your emotions, prayers and inner dialogues.

It seems obvious that you can't really control your Environment except in so much as you can control your location via action so lets just take that off the table. Lets say you can only change your actions and your thoughts.

Now there are actions that are the result of environment like sneezing or pulling your hand away from something hot or leaving the office because you've been fired that are very difficult to change without controlling the environment. Also there are thoughts that seem to be outside of conscious control. These are the thoughts that fall into a big category of responses to past environments. Your childhood defenses that still affect current action. Yaknowwhatimean?

If you don't I recommend that you do.

So lets take all that off the table for now. All the actions and thoughts caused by uncontrolled reflexes.

What's left?

In most people almost nothing.

So to make change you have to expand what is actually under your control. To do that you have to get a handle on what is actually not under conscious control. You have to explore what is reflexive thinking. I would suggest that reflexive thinking is all based on decisions we made as children to survive perceived traumatic events or injuries. We have anxiety around red heads, for example, because a red headed bully made fun of us in 2nd grade.

(The familial relationships have been changed to protect the guilty). Bad example but you get the picture.

So change seems to require some self examination and may require outside assistance.

Ok so thats why you haven't stuck to your resolutions and why this took more than a month to post.

1 comment:

  1. Hi John,

    So, I liked your analysis about change and some of it put me in the mind of a book my Mom passed on to me called "As a Man Thinketh" by James Allen. I just read a book entitled "Spark" about the extremely positive effects of exercise on the brain and I hope I can embrace change from sloth to consistent exerciser. The jury is still out. Another fun read just popped into my head too. It's "My Stroke of Insight". It's not the best written book, but the story is interesting and her insights are fun about choice of thoughts.

    Keep up the good writing...