Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Maze

“My ordinary days are spent inside the maze of never changing ways ” from Extraordinary Thing, by k.d. lang

There are three worrisome words and phrases in lang’s songline. Too often we don’t take control of our destinies in order to create extra(more than)ordinary days, so each 24-hour period becomes “Ordinary days.” And one ordinary day connects with the next and the next thing you know you have an ordinary life.

A “maze” is a confusing network of passages or pathways; a labyrinth. In the Greek myth, The Minotaur, the hero Theseus encounters the monster Minotaur in the labyrinth. In the mazes of our ordinary days we encounter monsters (ex. Failure, boredom, negative stress) too numerous to mention.

“Never changing ways” refers to habits. Habit is a powerful force. Our habits create the maze of ordinary days. Habits of thinking, acting, speaking…assumptions we make…relationships we are in…even the fact that many of us park in the same parking space every day whether it has our name on it or not…habits, habits…habits.

Here’s the question of the day: What habits are slowing you down?

I have a bad habit of letting myself get distracted each time the phone rings, or email comes in, or I have a new thought. Need to be more focused. I’m working on it and finding strategies that help. For instance, I’ve turned off the little alarm that tells me when emails have arrived and I don’t see it on my screen.

Some habits are good, some are bad. Some started out good but have become obstacles to our success and happiness.

What habit—if you could change it—would have a dramatically positive effect on your life? (and don’t say smoking, eating too much, or texting while driving…those are knee-jerk reactions…find something else)

Mark Twain said, “Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.”

Can you start coaxing your habit downstairs today?

PS. Parking in a new space every day creates new neural pathways in your brain. The newness makes you smarter and fights the onset of Alzheimer’s.

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