Monthly Archives: May 2014

The importance of good habits

There is a hole in the right pocket of my pants. If I put my phone or subway card in that pocket, they just slip through the hole and slide right down my leg. So why do I keep putting my phone and subway card in that pocket again and again? Moreover, why haven’t I gotten the pocket fixed?

My son, we are creatures of habit. As much as I tell myself every time I have to retrieve my phone or card from around my shoe not to put anything in that pocket, not more than an hour later I drop something into that pocket again, without even thinking I put stuff into that pocket, completely unconsciously!

That’s called a habit, you do things completely unconsciously. Habits are very powerful, once we start them, they are part of us and work almost on their own, but that frees our minds to do other things we deem more important to put in the forefront of our minds.

There is a power and danger there. If we create good habits, like looking both ways before we cross the street, that can save us even we are busily thinking of other things. The danger is we can also create bad habits, like interrupting people or worse, lying, cheating, abusing ourselves as a means of escapism. What’s even scarier is that bad habits like those could become unconscious reactions where you lose control from not being aware these are bad, they have become part of you.

First, get yourself into good habits. Be aware that you need to make good decisions about what you do so you don’t get into bad habits, find your moral compass. Pay attention to yourself, are there things you don’t like that are happening in your life possibly arising from your own habits?

You can change your habits, it’s not easy, and you may need a lot of reminders and patience and diligence, but you can change your habits, and in doing so change your life.

Fortunately your mom will mend my pocket tomorrow.

Why do people want to be independent?

I have a feeling you taught me something. Since you were born you’ve had a very strong independent streak, you’ve wanted to do things by yourself. You would fight us if we tried to feed you, and try so hard to use chopsticks or a fork or spoon to feed yourself. When it came to drawing, walking, playing with toys, the message was clear : you want to do it.

Sometimes, as you can imagine, learning can be slow, occasionally frustrating and messy business. But when you did it, when you were able to take food with a spoon or fork and put it in your mouth yourself, it was amazing and we cheered. You would smile and seem proud of yourself.

I also think, you may have known, deep down in your bones, maybe instinctively that you had to learn to do things yourself, always relying on others is not good if you are to ever become independent. Your grandmother Susan said you are trying so hard to be like mommy and daddy, you are trying to be able to do things on your own like us.

Lately, I’ve been trying to show you how we can work together as a team. You hold something and I hold something and we put it together. From experience I know you often will need help from others to accomplish some goals, so it’s good to learn to work together. But you also have to be strong and skilled enough to do your part, and I think wanting and learning to do things on your own will help you to be strong and skilled.

It’s awesome to see you becoming your own person.