By Paula Lau
Recently, while walking in my neighborhood, I’ve taken notice of another woman who is up early and walking as well. There are many people who walk in my neighborhood, but this particular woman stands out. The reason? While she walks she carries along a cup of coffee and a cigarette! Now before you form a mental picture of what she may look like, I’ll tell you she looks fit and trim and energetic. I can’t tell you about the condition of her lungs, but every time I see her I think, “There goes one of life’s ironies.”
The definition of irony is “the indirect presentation of a contradiction between an action or expression and the context in which it occurs.” To extend that definition, you can say that life is full of irony. I got to thinking about my own life and it seems that to the extent one could eliminate irony from one’s life, the more productive and disciplined one might become. If you are engaging in behaviors that are at odds or even in direct conflict with what you believe, you will find yourself dancing the “one step forward, two steps back” boogie. It can be frustrating and downright depressing if you find this pattern repeated over and over again.
Has your life been so full of irony that you’ve just about decided to give up? Dismantling bad habits and bad thought patterns can seem almost impossible, especially if they’ve been entrenched for years. But here’s a thought: Some people believe that we replace all the cells of our bodies every seven years. Maybe that’s why we all act like children from time to time. With the constant replacement of cells, we eventually get an opportunity to recreate ourselves! Think about the changes you’ve experienced over the years. Most, if not all, have come about as a result of a change in your thinking and/or doing things differently.
What is our main offensive against the status quo? Don’t ever stop learning. Read books and attend seminars. Speak with mentors. Take advantage of personal coaching. Surround yourself with role models. When we keep a constant flow of new information coming in, it is like allowing fresh water into a stagnant pond. Are you going to whole-heartedly embrace and do everything you read or learn? Most likely not, but each piece of information that you glean will be added to your unique DNA, stirred around in that brain of yours and the results will fit your life and your personality in a way that’s comfortable and doable for you.
I think that for many of us, we imagine this big “Aha” moment that will change our lives forever, remove all irony, and catapult us to that place of success that we have always imagined ourselves to be. The reality is that it is the daily decisions based on new information that we receive that will make all the difference. While we painstakingly dismantle old thoughts and behaviors, we can begin resurrecting new habits and thought processes.
Those daily decisions, those new habits can lead to a whole new you in the future. Armed with this new attitude you begin to realize the power you have within you. If you read 10 pages a day of inspirational, educational or motivational material, at the end of the year you will have read 3,650 pages of life changing material. If you walk two miles a day (usually takes people about 30 minutes), then at the end of the year you will have walked 730 miles. The list goes on and on, about daily decisions made, that can radically change your thinking and lifestyle in the not too distant future. Join with me in eradicating irony from your life. As Anthony Robbins has said, “It’s in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.”