“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.” ~Mike Murdock
What do we call something we do daily? A habit.
Part of the work of becoming a conscious human being is looking at our habits and patterns and seeing whether they serve us . . . or hold us back.
Sometimes we do things without even knowing why.
I love the story about a mother teaching her ten year-old how to cook a roast. As part of the preparation, the mother cut the ends off the roast before putting it in the pan.
The daughter asked why and the mother replied, “Well, honey, that’s how my mother taught me to do it.”
“But why?” asked the daughter.
“Let’s call up grandma and ask her.”
So they called grandma who replied, “Well, that’s how my mother taught me to do it.”
Next they called great-grandma who gave them her reason: “So it would fit in the pan.”
That isn’t a habit that will hold that family back [other than wasting a good piece of meat].
But it’s an example of things we do without even thinking about it. Perhaps the reason for it has long passed.
I recently heard a Chinese saying about Western culture: “People in the West are always getting ready to live.”
That made me stop and reflect on how much time I have spent “getting ready” for the next direction I want to go in my life.
A fair amount of time, actually. And much of it was wasted time.
In fact, much of it was merely procrastination.
That is why I’ve taken to heart a phrase I heard last year by Steven Pressfield: “Start before you’re ready.”
Do you rush around “getting ready” to find the perfect mate, find the perfect job or house or car?
Or start that creative project?
Do you wait for conditions to be just right to start something new? I used to think I had to create the perfect office environment before I could start writing.
There’s no such thing!
Do you delay taking vacation time until you can afford to go to Paris? When there are perfectly interesting cities and places nearby?
Don’t let excuses hold you back!
Encouraging a child to earn their own money does more than teach them responsibility. It gives them the confidence to tackle anything. In this lovely excerpt from “The Wind Is My Mother,” Bear Heart tells the story of his first job: earning money planting cotton.
My dad taught me to hitch a team of horses to a wagon and a plow when I was eight years old and when I was ten he gave me two acres of land, saying, “If you want to plant something, go ahead. If you don’t plant anything, let it grow wild. Maybe some rabbits will come, feed upon the plant life and you can kill a rabbit to have something to eat. It’s your choice.”
Don’t let it sit idle, let it yield something — that’s what he was teaching me.
So I planted two acres of cotton — it was good cotton, my very own, but I had to work it and do all the plowing. I knew which plowshare to use if I wanted to plow deeper and I knew how to plow between each row to lessen the weeds from coming up.
I tied the lines to the horses behind my back — when I hit a root or a rock under the ground it would pull me forward and I’d hit the cross bar on the handles of the plow. Often I’d fall but I’d dust myself off and keep going on.
When the cotton grew up, I’d check each boll to see if there were any boll weevils in there and, if there were, we didn’t have any spray, but at least we could pray.
I just watched former President Jimmy Carter’s May 2015 TED talk entitled, “Why I believe the mistreatment of women is the number one human rights abuse.”
It’s riveting and enlightening [in a dark sort of way]. And it’s something we all need to know about if we are to eliminate such major abuses around the world. Just 16 minutes long, it’s well worth a watch.
The U.S. Constitution outlines the government of the United States, but very few know it’s actual origins. This post originally appeared on this blog July 2, 2012. It seems worth re-posting every year.
If you’re like me, I learned in grade school that the U.S. Constitution was based on ancient Greek democracy. Which was a creative stretch of the truth, since ancient Greece was not a democracy.
My research as to what children are taught today about the origin of our government is also disappointing.
Apparently the Founding Fathers simply created it out of thin air, or were influenced by European governments even though there was no democracy anywhere in Europe at that time.
The True History of our Constitution
The truth is that the U.S. Constitution is modeled in both principle and form on the Great Law of Peace of the Native American tribe known as the Iroquois.
This is absolutely, unequivocally historical fact.