Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Hothouse Effect

To grow as a person, to change our lives we must turn out vision inward, however if the person we are sculpting ourselves into is not able to survive in the world, then our efforts are lost. The changes we create in ourselves cannot be delicate constructs; instead they must be able to survive the storms of social contact, the earthquakes of peer pressure and the terrors of doubt and bad days.

By creating new behaviors that can survive outside the greenhouse of our private space but also in the wild garden of the world, we will find successes. To do this we need to own our behaviors not just in the places we control completely but also in the places where we travel.

For example: eating habits. My first semester back to school I was in the habit of having a doughnut for breakfast every morning. They where cheap, tasty and easy to obtain on campus, but not healthy. During my second semester I worked on eating better. However I worked on the greenhouse principal of just bringing good food into my house, but not worrying about what I ate outside the house. I did try to cut back on doughnuts and for the first three weeks or so I did ok. Then convenience took its toll and I was back in line every morning waiting for my ring of chocolate covered goodness.

I had created a good habit that only served me at home and not always even there. All I had really done was limit my options at home. I had not worked on creating a habit that would last, I had not changed my behavior at all. Trying to live in a hothouse doesn't make for permanent change.


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