Creating A New Habit

Tuesday 1 May, 2018

How easy is it to create a new habit? That depends on the habit. Bad ones are a breeze and can develop without us noticing. Good ones, on the other hand, always seem to involve some discipline, effort or sacrifice – those not-so-magic words which can immediately put people off. This and subsequent posts will follow my own attempts to create a new habit, offering insights into the process so that you can see for yourself what happens, what is necessary, and what to look out for.

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Happier Than I Thought

Friday 11 March, 2016

I went to a comedy gig last month, and halfway through the show it occurred to me: I’m happier than I thought. I was watching a Dutch comedian (Samba Schutte) and I laughed from start to finish. I was impressed with his energy, the ease with which he told his story, and the way he played with the audience’s emotions – inviting us repeatedly to indulge in intense peaks of laughter, holding us there for a while, before allowing the whole audience to fall back to earth in the controlled descent of his sombre and serious interludes.

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Journeys Within Journeys

Thursday 2 October, 2014

In the days before I set off to spend a month in the sunshine, there was reluctance. I had booked the trip primarily out of need, rather than desire. Desire alone would not have sufficed to make it happen, because I have come to value routine over adventure; repetition over novelty. These past weeks have re-awakened the adventurous side of my character in the most gentle way possible: within the secure friendship of good people, and in a beautiful, warm part of the world where everything was in place for me to create my normal routine, meet new people, indulge ever more effortlessly in new experiences, and see myself in sharper focus.

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The People We Meet

Sunday 8 June, 2014

They say true wealth is measured not by money, but by how much time we have to do whatever we like. Similarly, we can measure how congruent we are by the people in our lives and the people we meet. This post is a comment on the fact that the people we meet are a reflection of ourselves. They are signposts informing us where we are in life; and our connection with them helps to shed light on whether we should continue on our particular path or make changes. In addressing this, I make a distinction between two environments: one which served me well but was not my goal; and one which brings more harmony.

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I Created My Environment

Monday 12 May, 2014

Following on from the previous post, Be Careful What You Wish For, this one uses the example of my training group to further the idea that we are capable of wishing situations into existence. We create the environments we desire, whatever the desire. Within the context of my story and the lives of the people who played their part during that time, the reason our respective paths converged was twofold:

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A Story Of Two People

Monday 21 April, 2014

There’s a woman who treads the pathways of the park where I take my morning walk. She pushes an old pram filled with bread and the treasures she finds in the bins she systematically searches, stopping periodically to feed the ducks, swans, seagulls, pigeons and the park’s resident heron. My first sightings of her triggered my judgmental side which quickly concluded that she is probably crazy and really shouldn’t be feeding the animals, but I kept my thoughts to myself and said ‘Good morning‘ whenever we passed each other. This morning I saw her up on the hill, inspecting the contents of a bin flanked by two benches, each supporting a sleeping bag, doubtless filled with the same homeless people I had seen the previous day.

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Making Everything Conscious

Tuesday 11 February, 2014

Late last night we found the final piece of the jigsaw. It took us an hour to get there and was triggered by a line in the previous post, about which I was not satisfied. By the end of our conversation, that line had been changed and both Karaj and I had gained insight into who we are. We had moved knowledge of ourselves from our unconscious into our conscious awareness.

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Find A Way To Open The Valve

Monday 16 December, 2013

A friend spoke of her professional development and how recent feedback suggested she needs to be more compassionate with her colleagues. For many people this may seem a rather lofty goal. Compassion, like forgiveness, appears to be one of those traits we idealise but rarely strive for because they are the property of the enlightened few and, therefore, out of reach for the rest of us. I disagree.

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Be True To Who You Think You Are

Thursday 7 March, 2013

Four people, four stories. All of them different, but all with something in common. Two are bound by family, two by career, and they stand like four points on a compass; connected opposites. The first person is aiming for a promotion he’s not sure he wants. The second is downsizing his career against all the logic of ambition. The third is constrained by what he thinks his family wants for him, and the fourth has to decide whether or not to have a family of his own.

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Never Give Up

Tuesday 22 November, 2011

I don’t know when or why my attitude changed, but it did. I remember the times before it changed: if I was late for a train I would resign myself to it on the way and give up rather than hurry. Nowadays I keep going, doing everything I can to make it, until I am stood alone on an empty platform. I do that because there are times when everything works out: there is a slight delay with the train and I make it even though I’m late, or I miss it only to catch another, delayed train minutes later.

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Finding Meaning in Everything We Do

Thursday 17 March, 2011

Today’s post from 11 years ago sounds a little desperate. I read a book recently – Man’s Search for Meaning (Frankl, 1946) – sent to me by a very good friend, in which the author describes how, during his time in the concentration camps, he gained the mental strength to carry on because he found meaning in everything he did. He found meaning in his suffering.

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Remembering Why I’m Here

Saturday 18 October, 2003

Experiment in Self Healing Community (Karaj, Dev, George, Michelle, Priya, Ishwar, Harriet, Imogen and myself). I went down a little with each of Karaj’s asides. At various times he told people I am petty, passive, and that I do not trust him. Although each of these comments got to me, they did not rock me too much. Karaj is acting in my best interests and I also want people to know who I am. I need to find a way to concentrate on my positives. Karaj told Dev, ‘You are like Jonathan. You’ve done well, relax and you’ll learn even more, instead of trying to sort things out.’

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Decide What I Want & Follow It

Sunday 12 October, 2003

My first thoughts on waking were what a waste of my time and energy clubbing is; and I am not relaxed with who I am. My friends know what they want and they stand by what they say because that is a true reflection of who they are. But who am I?

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Realisations Among Friends

Saturday 11 October, 2003

Yesterday Aubrey and I headed up to Manchester for Sonny’s belated stag weekend. Aubrey was lovely company. I talked to him about his life and his future. He takes things one day at a time and does not care what he does so long as he is happy. He is a person who is clear about what he wants, likes his home comforts, but also enjoys a good time. He is happy in his marriage and looking forward to having a family.

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