I wanted to “ring in” the NEW YEAR with a challenge for myself and anyone who is reading this. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have recently (now “fairly recently!”) moved and I am still putting things away and simultaneously finding things I forgot I even had. One of these things is this little book / journal I picked up quite some time ago called “Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You.” I know I have had this book / journal for some time because I remember taking it to me at a former “therapist” session and that was several years ago; I suppose I had forgotten about it after that because although my therapist was interested by the general idea of this little book, she wasn’t really interested in delving into its contents. WELL I AM! SO LET’S GO!
This book presents a quote followed by an “exercise” for you to write about, thus the “journal” part of all of this. I am skipping around a bit because some of the quotes are about topics I have already discussed at length here. This is the one I want to start on: it is a “Nepalese Proverb;”
“WHEN TWO PATHS OPEN BEFORE YOU, TAKE THE HARDER ONE.”
There are two “journal entry” spaces in which to write “the harder path today …” for two days (they do not have to be consecutive). I believe this is the “Third Entry” in this book, but I was drawn to it because I think it is a perfect “opener” for 2020. People like to make “resolutions” – I am no exception to this – and the “new year” is a perfect opportunity to turn the page and try to “start fresh.” I will not go into the “science” behind why we really aren’t very good at following through with our resolutions for any new year, but over a certain amount of time, we are more or less psychologically programmed to “fail.” I really like this quote because it takes a much more “succinct” and shorter approach to that – i.e., WHEN YOU HAVE TO MAKE A CHOICE AND YOU ARE UNCERTAIN WHICH YOU SHOULD CHOOSE OR YOU KNOW IN YOUR HEART/GUT WHICH YOU SHOULD CHOOSE BUT ARE AFRAID, ALWAYS TAKE THE MORE DIFFICULT ROUTE. This can be as simple as making one single decision. For example, the “resolution” of going on a diet and losing 50 lbs (or whatever your goal is – that is too much for me!) tends to fade into oblivion after so many days and weeks. HOWEVER, if every time you go grocery shopping or sit down to eat and you WANT to make the “easy choice” (we’ll say something like fast food), DON’T. Then just continue doing this, one single decision at a time. The cumulative effect of making many small “positive” changes in your life is much greater than making some grandiose promise to yourself that you ultimately cannot or will not keep. I really like and believe in the idea of tackling things – whatever things they might be – one at a time (it could be tackling your debt, it could be tackling a bad habit, it could be tackling your poor diet, it could be tackling some personal trait you feel you need to change, &c. &c. &c).
So I say let’s start 2020 with a TRUE “BANG!” and “take the difficult path,” one path at a time. It might take some time to see where that path ultimately leads, but I know from experience and from watching certain others that consistently choosing the “more difficult path” does result in success in some shape or form after a given period of time. I would love to hear from you all – if you would like to do so, please let me know what “difficult path” you have chosen when you could have chosen an easy one; and for all of us, let’s just work on the ACTION of taking that more “difficult path,” one “path” and one decision at a time.
I really hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day and I hope you all (and WE all!) have a year filled with good health, happiness, and success.
❤ Always, Beth