That's the only way I could honestly begin this post.
I have been reading a blog I find so very inspiring. The author of the blog penned a book which I find to be equally inspiring. In fact, it was her book that lead me to her app and subsequently, her blog. Funny how technology works. Today, she challenged her readers to share thoughts, stories, and ideas concerning, "The Practice of Habits." So here I am:
In a communications class during college, a professor used the text, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People as a supplement to our text book. I remember it being very interesting. The Seven Habits include: Be Proactive, Begin with the End in Mind, Put First Things First, Think Win-Win, Seek First to Understand then to be Understood, Synergize, and Sharpen the Saw. Glancing at these habits, it is easy to see just how potent these could be when put into practice in all sorts of contexts. And to consider habits in this way helps us understand their efficacy (or their harm). Granted my prof was using these to teach us about communication within organizations but they strike me as all-encompassing where habits are concerned. Probably should've have kept that book...
So when it comes to keeping certain good habits, I would not refer to myself as Highly Effective. I have such favorable intentions; such grand ideas about how new habits would benefit my heart, my mind, my physical self. But somewhere around Think Win-Win, I falter, blunder, and trip myself up on none other than my own two feet. Oh, how that speaks volumes! Not even remembering what this book had to say about the 4th Habit of Highly Effective People, also known as "Think Win-Win," I can say without a doubt that this single Habit of a Highly Effective Person has everything to do with perspective, the power of positive thinking, all those things involving my mind being set on the task; the hinge, as it were, of success or failure; triumph or tragedy. And this place is where I can most of the time lay claim to my defeat.
I get caught in a trap of my own construction...I convince myself that it just won't happen; that is, cultivating this new matter of course; that I should just give up and start over again some other time when it will be easier, when I will be better prepared, when I feel like doing it more. Weak arguments, all, because it will never be easy--most things worth doing just aren't. I will never be 100% prepared; at least not in the sense that I can foresee every.single.obstacle and shift myself around thusly. And there will be a part of me that won't feel like doing whatever it is sometime.
Dilemmas and conundrums. I must vacate this awful cycle. It is destructive and even more than that, keeps me from perceiving just how valuable to my life, these good habits truly will be.
So I will start again soon. I will attempt to be proactive. Put first things first. Begin with the end in mind. I will pray for a change in my frame of mind as I round the bend of Habit #4. I will pray to trust in the Lord with all my heart; I will pray to take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ. And I will hopefully let the Holy Spirit do the work of transforming me into someone who is highly effective--not just by society's standards but effective by the standards of the Kingdom. Will I form habits? I can't yet say but I am hoping, trusting, praying that God will change me in my attempts. And if practice makes perfect, perhaps I can get there after all.