February 13, 2011

A Stronger Habit than the Morning Coffee

Day 44: 32.8 miles/2:00 

“You can’t fix anything in simply one lesson. That is why change is so hard – we have to keep working at it until we get good at it.”

For those people who have a routine or are process oriented, their habits are obvious to everyone close to them.  If you spend enough time around someone who has a routine, it is pretty easy to see what that routine is.  For some, like me, my routines or habits are not nearly as obvious.  I rarely drive the same way to get somewhere, my morning routine is anything but regular, and I rarely order the same item from my favorite restaurant.  When it comes to change, I relish the opportunity to mix it up and stir it up.

We all have habits that we embrace and hold on to.  Most keep us organized, in control, safe, and comfortable.  Some are bad habits that we are not even aware of.  Those are the ones that are the hardest to recognize, accept, and change.  The habits that get in our way are any habit, routine, or behavior that prevents us from true opportunity and complete fulfillment.  Whether it is that internal self-limiting talk, fear of failure, or aversion to risk, these are the changes that we often avoid making.

Changing the behaviors that have limited our potential are the hardest to adjust.  I know my personal struggle is the focus and belief in my personal abilities to accomplish something.  I love my ideas.  I love my concepts and values.  I simply don’t believe in them enough to do something with them.  As a result, I keep developing cool concepts and programs that are shared with no one.  Until someone believes in them strongly enough for me, they won’t go anywhere.  To change this, I have to make myself do something that breaks the habit—I actually have to put something in place, with a plan, with a belief, and with a commitment to make it happen.  I think giving up my daily cup(s) of coffee will be easier than this.

Through 100 Pedals I have forced myself into a different routine that has empowered me to take action in this area.  I am already out of my comfort zone when it comes to these daily rides.  The energy I receive from these rides gives me enough confidence to push myself to do something else.  As a result, I am taking action on a couple of other projects in the form of conversations, prospecting, and programs that I have never done before.  I allowed myself to break a habit and a routine.  Once I broke that behavioral trait, it provided the confidence to open other doors.

No one has ever said change is easy.  If they did, they were a moron.  However, change is possible provided you force it to happen.  Start with something you know you need to do that you, but have been reluctant to embrace or change.  Make a commitment to do it.  Gain momentum on that activity until you have developed the excitement and the confidence that you are accomplishing something great.  Then, tackle that life changing behavior or opportunity that has been your dream or your challenge.  Your experience with the other change will carry you forward and give your confidence and focus.  You will be amazed where it takes you, provided you allow yourself to explore the opportunity and do not allow yourself to worry about anything other than making it happen.   Change isn’t easy — it simply takes a commitment and focus and time.

About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.