Always, Sometimes, Never

By Susan Howard

Don't deal in absolutes

This phrase, “Always, Sometimes, Never” reminds me of an Algebra test I didn’t pass or an old drinking game that got me into trouble at a college house party.  Today I am referring to none of the above.  (Answer D) 

Instead, I want you to look at your absolutes. 

From; “I will never stop drinking coffee.” to “I hate weight training.” to  “I am not an early riser.” to “I always need something sweet in the afternoon.”  Whichever one of these phrases relates to you, (you could also fill in the blank with some of your own one-liners) aren’t completely true.

Yes, there are somethings you don’t want to give up…YET, but don’t block off the potential of change you could ignite by deciding that you are any one thing. 

At this moment you are you for as many years as you have been you. You feel most comfortable in your habits, but is the you today the same as the you in junior high or even the you 5 years ago?  No, I hope not.  New circumstances, jobs, relationships, trips, experiences, births, deaths all of these things affect your desires and attitudes towards waking up each morning into the new day.

Imagine this….

You are not who you were yesterday.

On an actual cellular level we are changing everyday.

If your old patterns aren’t working for you, pick ONE of them to try and change.  We tend to be dramatic and deal in absolutes, “I can never eat sweets again.”  Then when we have a scoop of ice cream and all hope is lost.  “It’s impossible to give up ice cream, heck pass me the carton.”   If your habit is eating sweets after dinner, maybe you limit yourself by deciding which days out of the week you can have a sweet after dinner.  Then if you are successful with that, continue subtracting days.

This is just one example.  We can make choices.  We can create change.  We are at the steering wheel of our own lives.  Don’t get discouraged by absolutes, like in a persuasive essay, they never work because there are always (mostly) holes in the extremes.  Think about the kids book The Little Engine That Could, that is all of us chugging one puff at a time up that hill, it takes time, but once we get there the view sure is pretty.  Stay Ready.

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