Wouldn’t it be nice if by implementing five habits all your problems would be solved? This article ain’t that.
However, I wanted to boil down, if only for myself, practices that are multi-taskers or just can’t be avoided in improving or maintaining a good life.
This second article focuses on inner practices while the previous article dealt with physical habits.
This is definitely not a complete list but I think you’ll agree they should at least be part of the top 10! And here we go….
Don’t Dig Up the Dead Cat
Let me tell you a story. There once was a man and his neighbor who got on pretty well but it unfortunately happened the neighbor ran over the mans cat.
The neighbor apologized profusely. The man gravely accepted his apology and buried his cat in the backyard.
Weeks later, the man was talking to another neighbor who began complaining about the first neighbor.
“Well! Let me tell YOU something,” the man said, motioning his neighbor to wait. He returned with a dirty box.
“Just a couple weeks ago that guy ran over my cat! Look at it!” He said, holding up the stinking specimen.
Even years later the man not infrequently reached into his bag and what did he pull out? That same old stinking, dusty box with his dead, but not yet gone, cat.
Thinking, “I would never do that”?
Well, every time we reach back in time to pull out a grievance or wrong done to us, we dig up a dead cat one would expect to be left dead and buried.
Stuff happens that’s unfair and painful but carrying it around makes us neither happy nor healthy.
Studies show resentment and rumination are a cancer to happiness and a physical stress that drags the body down.
If one can’t bring the cat back to life (i.e. do anything to help the situation), grieve and bury the cat. Maybe the experience can be used to mobilize a movement (pet safety?)
but there’s no reason to carry the carcass around with you.
Engage in Something Greater
We must cultivate engagement in something greater than ourself or even our family; that’s what animals are limited to.
Some people call it the “search for the sacred”. Sacred seems a nebulous term but by it I mean knowledge that answers the questions, “Where am I from?”, “Why am I here?”, and “Am I alone?”
Just as one person to another, I think the Bible is the way to go. I’m not talking about most of “Christianity” with its fascinating mix of pagan and biblical teachings but the Bible itself. Outside Bible study aids CAN be helpful; just make sure there’s scriptural backing.
Many of us live in reactive mode. We are tired with what we’re already doing and contemplating setting up a proactive new goal sends us screaming to the ice cream bars. However, setting a goal doesn’t always mean adding stress but rather focus and optimizes efforts so we can progress.
On the other hand if life is Dulls-ville, setting a goal to do or learn something new is fantastic for adding zest and growth in our life. A new skill helps in learning to think and act outside of our box thus giving us a bigger world. It might even open additional opportunities to learn supporting skills expanding it even more.
For example when my friend took up cycling, he also learned about how to deal with the pressure of competition and bike mechanics.
Whatever the goal in creating a goal, goals are necessary. If we don’t have one, we are already falling behind.
What are your must do’s?