Change Your Rituals
Like the little guy in the picture, getting from here to THERE can take time.
But with patience, persistence, and plenty of personal power, you can get THERE.
All too often, THERE is seemingly too far away simply because we have some rather odd habits.
Accordingly, it’s time to get rid of a habit or two!
But first, let’s discover the difference between a habit and a ritual.
After all, there is a huge difference between a habit and a...
rit·u·al (noun): A detailed procedure regularly followed
As discussed in my previous post, a HABIT is an act or thought completed by the subconscious mind. For example, locking your car door, tapping your finger on the desktop, and chewing on your lip or pencil are all forms of habit.
RITUALS, on the other hand, are more likely to be driven by your CONSCIOUS mind.
Ritualistic events require us to invest thoughtful effort and careful preparation. Almost ceremonious in how we apply them, rituals are often symbolic of a greater ideal and are usually rooted in deep-seated beliefs.
Those deep-seated beliefs are often based on teachings from our early childhood or events we believe to be of great importance to us today. Interestingly, rituals are primarily the choreographed, preparatory actions leading up to something of greater significance than the ritual itself.
Elections, weddings, and funerals are ritualistic.
Smoking cigarettes, sucking our teeth, eating crappy foods, driving the same route home every day, and “randomly” checking our electronic gadgetry are all bad habits that people often do, while claiming to do “on purpose.” Of course, many of us also have good habits. Brushing our teeth, combing our hair, and rubbing our chin as we dive deep into a thoughtful gaze are all relatively good habits.
Meditation, praying, intense exercise, and getting ready for date night are examples of rituals. Indeed, there are historical examples of “bad” rituals. But let’s save those examples for another day, another post!
As for contemporary living, believe it or not, starting your day can – and should be - ritualistic… if you invest quality time and stop letting your habits get the best of your best day (And today is obviously your best day, because yesterday and tomorrow don’t exist).
HERE’S THE IDEA:
A habit is born out of a decision you have previously made regarding a specific act. You have subsequently stopped consciously making decisions regarding that act, but have continued doing the associated actions. On the other hand, rituals are usually performed with deliberate intention and concentration. In other words, the primary difference between a habit and a ritual is not necessarily the action, but the attitude behind the action.
HERE’S THE DEAL:
Habits pave yesterday into today;
Rituals make habits simply go away.
A cornerstone of The Ideal life is to Change Your Rituals. By shifting your mental, physical, and emotional gears... and performing your daily activities with deliberate intention and concentration, you can change any habit, overcome almost any obstacle, and literally transform YOUR life.
In fact, if and when you PAY ATTENTION to your rituals, I guarantee you will change not only YOUR life… but the lives of other people, too.
How can you do this?
It’s as simple as ABC, 1-2-3…
From this day forward, commit to investing at least 15 minutes per day thinking about 1 or 2 of your specific habits and your (chosen) rituals. Remember: a habit is an act for which you have made a previous decision, but have subsequently stopped consciously deciding to do (the act) while continuing to do the same (thoughtless) actions. By investing a mere 15 minutes a day, you will begin to see (and think about) your (thoughtless) habits.
However, some of your habits may be out of your viewpoint. Sometimes, our very own view of the world prevents us from seeing the world the way it actually is.
Accordingly, truly listen to yourself today and study the subconscious choices you make (these are your habits). Focus on the conscious set of actions you need to do to overcome your habits (these are your rituals).
Changing our rituals can be a life-changing experience.
Do you want that experience?
If you do want that experience… start with an honest conversation with your self:
A. What three habits/rituals negatively affect me?
(Hint: Watching too much TV can be a horrific habit)
B. What daily and weekly rituals do I take seriously?
C. What three rituals should I take more seriously?
= = = = = = = = =
The best way to predict the future…
… is to create it!
Next week: Awareness of Self
Last week: Know Your Habits
Accept. Adapt. Achieve. ®
What do YOU want to achieve?
This is Part 8 of a 30-part series on how to achieve The Ideal Life.
Think about the word IDEAL. It is actually a conglomeration of several smaller words, specifically:
~ I ~ ID ~ IDEA ~ DEAL ~ IDEAL ~
In the final analysis, if you can learn to master your Id (as in the ego, id, and superego), you can do some rather amazing things.
© 2011-2016 John H. Clark III
Parts excerpted from…
The Ideal: Your Guide to An Ideal Life
(220 pages, BFG Press, 11/11/11)