“We all change, when you think about it, we’re all different people; all through our lives, and that’s okay, that’s good, you’ve gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be.”
— The 11th Doctor (Dr. Who)
Sammul’s Log Oct 5, 2018:
What makes a person change?
What makes a person stay the same?
I witness lots of habits while working at a coffee shop. A lot of the same stuff.
Regular customers have their favorite tables to work at, or favorite drinks to sip alongside their usual projects.
We have one guy who comes in every morning carrying one or two books, gets himself a black cup of coffee and sits down for 45 minutes or so of quality reading before heading to work.
Certain baristas close the store in just a certain way. To the extent That when I open, I usually know who it was based on the state of things.
I see consistencies all around which remain undeniable.
Healthy people making certain choices, and unhealthy people making different choices.
Successful people have consistencies, and mediocre people have consistencies.
Devoutly religious people have habits, and devoutly unreligious people have habits.
It is those very habits which make the person the sort of person that they are.
But an interesting side to this is that habits don’t just make a person, but a person makes their habits, which in turn, make the person.
I have often lived my life on the side of safety. I don’t really do anything big, I don’t really take any real risks. I haven’t made much of a fool of myself.
In turn, what do I end up with? A life that is filled with safety, but no real substance. The thing I am lacking is the very thing I was trying to achieve by avoiding those “distracting” parts of life.
Did it help me?
Who knows really, my story is still being told.
But what I have begun to realize in recent years is that people change, not just physically, but morally as well.
Even more crazy than that, is that every change that happens in your life is because of you.
A person makes their habits, which in turn, make the person.
We like to say that people don’t really change, or that people are inherently good, but really, they aren’t all the time. And how did they get that way?
It’s the result of their choices and habits.
Now don’t misunderstand me, some people are great. But even those people are the way that they are because of their choices.
Every kind of person you meet is in the battle of choices and self-proclaimed habits.
- If you know someone who is ripped, or impossibly lean, it’s because they had the follow-through in their habits to get them to that point.
- If you know someone who has their own business, its because they made a choice to follow through on their dreams. And they are sticking to it.
- If you know someone who genuinely loves people, it’s because they decided to make a habit of understanding people.
- If you know someone who lives a ho-hum life and can’t for the life of them try anything new, its because they made the choice to live in safety. Never take a risk.
- If you know someone who wrecked their life through addictions or otherwise harmful practices, you can bet it’s because of the choices that they have been making for a long time. (The worst of these things never really sneak up on us, we like to think that they do, but we have been nursing them along ever since the beginning.)
- Even if someone is self-depreciating, and consistently makes themselves the victim, that is because of the habitual attitude to life in comfort and self-indulgence.
Finding the consistencies?
I heard an example that went something like this:
If you take two aggressive dogs and put them in an arena together, you will get a dogfight. Even though it may be brutal, there is only one sure way to know which one is going to win the match every single time.
It’s the one that gets fed.
See, when you feed a habit or a way of life, it becomes stronger. Eventually overshadowing those other parts of life that you aren’t as inclined to encourage.
Maybe you’ve gone through a time of laziness, and maybe for good reason. But after a time, you found yourself feeling less and less like yourself. More irritable, less energy, and increasingly uninspired.
All the while the numbers on your scale begin to go up and the world around you begins to fall into disrepair.
This is what happens when laziness is fed.
That doesn’t mean you are always or have always been lazy, but because you allowed that lifestyle the place to grow, it did, and now your other qualities aren’t quite as able to fight it off.
When you feed a habit or a way of life, it becomes stronger. Eventually overshadowing those other parts of life that you aren’t as inclined to encourage.
The Bible talks about two different opposing forces as well:
The Flesh (in other words the little voice in your head that has no filter and pulls you around whatever way you feel like that moment)
The Spirit. (That is to say the spirit of God. The outwardly defined essence of goodness and truth that hold true for everyone regardless of how you feel)
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law…If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:16-18 & 25)
This is evidence for me that if I want to live life in a way that I see as honorable and good, then I need to be willing to do battle against the inevitable opposition that will arise from within myself. Make choices and create habits so that I can, in essence, create myself.
It’s not going to happen overnight, and I have to be the one to make it and build it from the ground up. Much like starting a business, it’s a full-time job, but if you stick to it, you can find yourself in some really awesome places provided you follow through.]
So what makes a person change? What makes a person stay the same?
The simple answer is: We do.
We have a lot of habits that we probably don’t even realize. We follow these routines on the daily, but are they all helpful?
It’s October already and we’re all amazed.
How have you been following through with your goals for the year? Are there some different habits that you can put into place (even if you don’t really want to) that will help you achieve those goals before the year is out?
Remember, it’s not about what you feel is good right now, but which “dog” that you want to win in a fight. Which dog will you feed?