As I was pondering on what to write this week, my one year old said forcefully “Sha”…I had heard baby N say that word before and was wondering from where he had learnt it. I said “No Shaa baby… don’t say Shaa..” But he continued to repeat it over and over again. There were many words that I had been repeating and reciting to him and he was learning; but here was this expression …that he had effortlessly picked up….and was repeating.
Later that afternoon as I was clearing up after lunch, I noticed baby quickly crawl into the kitchen and pick up something from the kitchen floor and put it into his mouth… “Sha”… escaped my lips as I ran to take that particle from baby’s mouth and quickly dispose it off. That’s when I realized to my utter amazement the source from where baby N had picked up his new fav phrase!
That set me thinking…
1)How often when we act mindlessly or sometimes due to preoccupation with many things, we may respond in a way that may not even be aware of.
2)People who look up to us often catch the things we least expect them to and so we have to make a deliberate effort to be intentional (as much as possible) with our words as they do influence others.
To continue the story, I couldn’t help laughing out aloud as I watched my lil one’s mischievous grin & sparkling eyes as he was enjoy repeating “Sha” every time I tried to make him stop.
Let me apply this nugget to our life. Whenever we find imbalance in any area of our life, we usually think of change. To facilitate this,(full of good intentions) we make resolutions as we decide to strengthen our will to say “NO” to the addiction (be it food, TV, sports, work, people, shopping, drugs etc) Ironically, though we may succeed initially, it is only a matter of time that we will soon get tired of resistance & throw in the towel.
By doing this, we repeat the mistake that I made when correcting my baby. While correcting him, I had tried to make him stop by focusing fully ONLY on what needed to be changed. Unknowingly I had drawn both of our attention to that which we actually needed to forget. Was it any surprise that he remembered that word perfectly? The right way to correct baby was to teach him another word or to distract him or to entertain him with something more interesting that would make him forget what he was repeating. The same thing applies to us. Sharing below some practical tips to help us overcome old habits /learn new ones.
Sparky Laurie’s 10 Rs to either learn /unlearn something:
- Reason – Prepare a Declaration of Freedom for ourselves by listing the reasons why we choose to break free from that habit or learn a new way of life.
- Remind – Keep a print out of the Declaration (mentioned above) in front of us to empower us as we realize that we have chosen to break the power of the bad habit over us and be its slave no more/ Or work intentionally towards the goals we plan to achieve.
- Replenish – When we are tempted (to give in or give up),we could think of an appealing alternative action that we could engage in rather than use that time and energy in combat.
- Relate – Seek a support system, for instance call up a favorite friend/parent/ relative and converse about anything else except our struggle. No matter how many times it tries to creep into the conversation, switch gears. Give it neither our attention nor our time.
- Repeat- Say aloud, “I am made for better things than this. I will live my life to its fullest.”
- Review – Make a bucket list of the impossible things we would like to try in our life time. Even updating it when we hit our lowest point would uplift us and bring us back on track.
- Relax-Take a break, go out for a walk, breathe slowly. Get some sunshine. Feel the breeze. Smell the flowers. Thank God for life.
- Refresh –Do something for brightening up someone else’s day. Give someone a lift, smile at a passerby.
- Rejoice- Watch a Madea movie and laugh out loud… its wisdom and humor all in one!
- Recreate –Everyone is made in the image of God and He has deposited a part of Him in every one of us. Our gift is that which we could naturally do, that which brings us joy, that which excites & invigorates us. “That which honors God, blesses others and delights your heart, that is your calling, that’s your gift!” Discover and cherish your gift.
Coming back , I distracted baby N to see and enjoy a few other things and finally he stopped what he was initially saying. And just when I thought I had nailed it , ….guess what? …..Baby N says out aloud…. “Sha…” LOL…. 🙂 ….well, I guess that’s going to take a little more time!
The same may be the case with many of us as we try to overcome or learn new things. Always remember that No matter how many times we fail, each time we emerge stronger if we determine to learn and persist.
Nugget of Life : “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”- Socrates
Have a fun filled week,