Each of us makes thousands of voluntary decisions each and every day of our lives. We make them in our professional lives and we make them in our personal lives. If you are a spouse you make them for your marriage and your family. If you are a single parent you make them for your children. What I am noticing in our society today is that we are making these life altering decisions in a very cavalier manner without thought to the consequences of our choices. Do you know what your “default mode” is?
We seem to have taken the old adage of “drawing our line in the sand” to a level of just “kicking up the sand” and not taking a stand and the boundaries that we once held as absolutes are no longer there. If you push back at these first two short paragraphs, then my friend you are exactly in the throws of this sand storm. Have you ever been in a real sand storm? Probably not. We as Americans do not venture out to the wilds where this happens, however, I know you have experienced high blustery wind with dust flying around. You can’t see, your eyes get irritated, you sneeze and cough and if you have any propensity toward an illness you reach for your aspirator, done your goggles, and put on a mask. This is exactly what we do when we make decisions which have a “storm of emotion” attached to them. What is your default mode?
We make decisions to affect change. Do you really know what that means? Here’s a basic example that you participate in some 3 to 6 times a day. You get up you are hungry, your decision is to feed the gnawing flesh or to get to work on time. Which do you choose? At about 10 am here comes the gnawing stomach again to say: “….hey, did you forget about me?…”. You make another voluntary decision. What is your default mode? Here comes 12 Noon and there’s that annoying stomach again screaming at you for nourishment. What is your default decision? The afternoon wears on and its 4 pm and now you have a headache and your hands are a little shaky. You must make a voluntary decision again. The work day is finished and now it’s 6:00 pm. What do you reach for? What is your default mode?
In order to affect change in our lives (and change here is referring to a habit, a course change, or goal), we must each “pay the price” for the change or the decisions that we choose. I find it interesting that this phrase “pay the price” is an interesting choice of words. We are for the most part not actually exchanging money, but rather working a process of painful change through rigid discipline which is required of our flesh (meaning, our minds, bodies, and so on) to make the decisions which lead to the change. This is followed by our attitude to bring about the benefits. We as humans hate to be forced to do anything. We push back. We especially push back when we think anyone is trying to change us. This is a default mode for most of us. We think we are perfect and happy exactly the way we are. Even when we know we need to change something, we resist and push back at the mere suggestions of it. It is our default mode.
On the other hand, when we make a decision for ourselves to walk the days, weeks, months or even years it may take to make a course change and to follow for ourselves: then and only then do we experience the following steps:
1) The “lacking of “IT”” fades…this requires a voluntary decision
2) The “yearning for IT” fades….this requires a voluntary decision
3) The self-talk of “no thank you” is able to come from your mouth…this requires a voluntary decision
4) The memory of the “old IT” begins to fade…this happens over time with one voluntary decision at a time
5) As the fog begins to lift so that the dream or goal can begin to come into focus, a new “IT” comes forward…the voluntary decisions begin to show signs of working
6) Peace comes over us like a calm that we can make it and that we do have the strength now to achieve the “IT”…we tend to ignore this largely and this is the point where we are vulnerable to back sliding….our mind begins to play games with us and our self talk becomes even more critical
7) Seeing this process and walking it daily is what quickens our stride and life and the pursuit of “IT” becomes exhilarating!
Yes, the process feels long and laborious, because it is, but this is exactly what has to happen in order to see, feel and appreciate the results!
What is your default mode?