Who among us cares to go to ‘any lengths’ to change? We sit. We think. We wish. We talk. We fantasize about. We do the same thing. We fail. We do it again. We think. We wish. We ‘try’. We fantasize. We fail.
We walk the same path in the woods to get food and water. The path is well worn. Now we can even walk it in a trance; without thought, the path is so well worn. One day we notice a cabin. We walk a new path unworn to reach the cabin. We go inside the cabin. There are books with a note “don’t remove”. We return each day to read. We create a new worn path now; the one we were used to and the new one . In time, we can even walk this new path in a trance; without thought.
This is similar to how neuralplasticity occurs in our brains as we learn something new. As we repeat something, and use that portion of the brain, in a focused way, we develop new neural pathways.
Do we want to quit smoking? Lose weight? Attract better partners? Establish healthier relationships? Change patterns? Brake old routines? Keep our mind sharp? Learn how to better understand others?
Then, we must be wiling to radically disrupt our patterns.
Drive to work a different way. Speak our minds when we would normally shut down. Listen when we would normally talk. Breath deep when we would normally use an acerbic quip. Be willing to walk when we want to sit. Forgive instead of hold grudges.
Most importantly we must live awake. We must slow our minds enough to be aware of every action, and every thought. We must choose consciously what we put into our mouths. We must choose consciously what we speak from our lips.
We must especially be conscious of what we think, because only thoughts can lead to reactions.
This will not be easy. Our neural pathways are well worn with habits, reactions and trance like walks down a path well worn. If we are to change, we must be willing to go to any lengths?
I wrote down what I wanted. Then I wrote down what I was willing to do to get it. Then I became aware of my thoughts. Then I made a conscious decision to be aware of my reactions. I saw myself reacting and sometimes I could not stop myself. So I did it again. I failed. I did it again and again and again. Sometimes I saw myself about to react but did not. In time, I was able to witness my thoughts without an autonomic reaction to them. Then my thoughts began to change. This all took incredible focus. It took giving up the comfortable worn path; the reactions that did not require conscious thought anymore. To forgo the trancelike state I was reacting to life in. I decided to wake up.