90 days ago I made a decision to quit an injurious habit. First step in following through with that decision was to abstain from the habit for 90 days straight. This morning I just woke up and discovered that I had just accomplished my goal (just reached 90 days) and I no longer feel the urge to indulge in the habit. It’s a weird thing to think of. Before I started I was full of doubt about my ability to avoid a habit that had been such a core part of my life for close to 10 years but today I just realized it wasn’t such a big deal. That’s how life is sometimes, before you start a thing it looks impossible to accomplish but once you set your mind upon doing it and you get busy on it, the simplicity of it becomes obvious. Well, in the beginning it’s usually tough and you feel like quitting but if you stick with it, it gets easier and easier. After a while it becomes more like a normal routine and before you know it you have accomplished whatever it is that you set out to do. I have learned two important things about achievement in the last 90 days: (1) make up your mind and start; (2) do not quit no matter what.
Have you ever noticed that you have a certain belief about how everything needs to be done? Like maybe how you should behave on a date, how fast you should go and stuff like that. Or even like how you should respond when something bad happens or someone wrongs you. It’s like that for me; I have certain beliefs wired in my brain that direct how I do everything. The weird part is, the beliefs never seem to match with reality. My actions, based on my beliefs usually produce the opposite reaction to what I expect. If I am overly nice to people, they don’t love and respect me but instead they feel exactly the opposite (resent and disrespect me). If I am readily available to people, they don’t appreciate my presence but instead cannot wait for me to leave. I have a lot of cases like this, where my actions based on my beliefs produce the opposite effect. I was watching a video on YouTube in which one guy said “in life we have ideals and we have reality. Ideals are ways in which things happen, according to popular belief and reality is how things actually happen”. The context he said it was in terms of dating girls and it instantly resonated with me. I will not share exactly in which way of course – for the curious one’s – but it was a particularly important moment for me because it made me look at other areas of my life and I found out the same thing. And I also noticed that these beliefs I have are mainly cemented by fear. The fear to try new things and the fear to push the boundary beyond what I do normally. Simply; the fear to put myself outside of my comfort zone. This has been holding back a lot and I think it’s time to push past my comfort zone. I now seriously think growth is outside your comfort zone.
I have this problem of not finishing what I start. A few months ago I decided to take up web design and after getting good at it, I gave it up. I started a blog and gave it up (I’m back now), I started a music album and gave that up as well. I have started so many things in my life that I have given up. Matter of fact my life is kind of a start and stop thing. Every month I start something and give it up a few months later. One of my friends told me that the best thing I could do with my life at the moment would be looking at everything I have started and not completed, and getting back to work on it until its completed. So I am writing this with the intention of completing everything I start/have started, which includes picking up my blog again. Before I would write caring too much about how my post would come across to the reader but this time around I am just going to write and post whenever possible and not give up when I have ‘dry’ days or don’t feel ‘inspired’. My mission at the moment is to kill the giving up attitude and make some progress… finally. So wish me luck and enjoy the show. Now just remember that some posts are going to be inspiring and some are going to….hmm, well, not too inspiring. But it’s all good.
It hurts when several weeks of hard work come to nothing. With deadlines to meet, my friend and I worked as hard as we could to finish up our project in time. By the way, this was last month. I won’t speak of the project in detail here, it wouldn’t interest anyone I reckon. I will just say; it meant a lot to us and we were overjoyed to have reached the deadline with everything completed.
Work done, brilliantly done in fact and everyone is happy, so what’s next? We set up a meeting to discuss when and how we were to present the results of the project to the world. On the day of the meeting I got a call from my friend right about the very time we were scheduled to meet at his place. He asked me to go to his place ‘ASAP’. His voice sounded different, as in excited but I didn’t read much into that, I just put it down to the excitement surrounding our project. So anyway, I excitedly rushed to his place, hoping for a speculative sort of chat about all the things we could do now that the project had been completed. Ah me, little did I know I would end up spending the night speculating about something else. When I reached my friends house, I found him in a state of agitation, walking about the living room back and forth and occasionally beating his forehead with his right hand. The all thing was mighty curious so I asked; “what the heck dude. Anything gone south”. He answered – beating his forehead harder now- “probably, who knows where it is now”. For a second I thought he was trying to be funny but had made a poor job of it… but then his face did not suggest a dude speaking in jest, I kind of got worried. He kept up his act and I stood silently watching the proceedings. Then I begun to consider the possibly of him having gone mad, I mean he was behaving so weird. Well luckily he had not gone mad, here is what the ‘deal’ really was, as he put it;
I got a call from –blank–, he said he wanted my girlfriend and I to join him for dinner – he was going to pay. Now you know a dude cannot refuse such a lovely offer as that, so I secured my house and left. Okay, I thought I had secured my house, and then I left. Fast forward two hours and I am back at the house only to find out that I had not exactly secured it or someone had somehow managed to work around the security… and by that I mean the locks, because I had locked the place. You have seen me behave weirdly just now, this comes from the weirdness of the situation as I found it when I returned.
I left three laptops in my house, one of which contained every single thing that has to do with our project. Well, when I came back I found out one of the laptops had been stolen and guess which one it was? From your angry face I can tell you have guessed the right one, which is the laptop containing our project. It was neither the best/ most expensive of the three, nor the most accessible but somehow it got stolen and this just before we could present our project to the world.
Upon hearing this I felt… but never mind, I can’t really explain how I felt, I mean it was just heartbreaking, really heartbreaking. Wait, I think on top of everything my friend and I felt stupid for not having back up of the project anywhere else and this saved us an important lesson, ALWAYS HAVE SOME BACKUP.
I want to share a thought. Yes, I do think sometimes, I mean I am not the type to sit down and stress his intellectual faculties but once in a while a thought flashes through my head. So it’s like this, I wake up thinking it’s not enough to just want to stop a bad habit; you have to want to create a good one at the same time. If not the void you create by killing an old bad habit will eventually be filled up again with a new bad habit. Imagine a day as a piece of your lifespan that is divided into 24 equal parts that need to be filled with habits. You have a habit of sleeping and eating for instance. Also you have other habits that may be categorized as good or bad.
Now let’s say you use up 4 hours out of the 24 indulging in bad habits. If you decided to get rid of those bad habits you would end up with a 4 hour void craving to be filled up with some habit or rather. If you are extremely lazy you would probably just idle your way through the 4 hours but most people are not that lazy, even I am not that lazy… though I am lazy enough I confess.
Well, I think I will take the last sentence back, most people really are that lazy – at least I know I am – it’s just that an idle mind is the devils workshop and where Dev works bad habits are not far off. Let me just state here that for me I claim full ownership of my bad habits but some of my friends credit Dev and that is why I felt compelled to bring him into the picture. I have it under good authority that Dev is quite an energetic being, he walks into the workshop you create for him and starts raking havoc right away. It does not take him long to utilize all his tools in some deviltry of some size or shape.
Now back to bad habits, I have a lot and I have been fighting some for a while. Today marks an important day in my no bad habit journey – for a particular injurious bad habit – and I have come to make a few important realizations, most important of which is what I mentioned earlier; it’s not enough to just want to stop a bad habit, you have to want to create a good one at the same time. By the way, I am not going to name the bad habit because I am too shy to do so, pardon me on that one. I have tackled this habit a thousand times before and it always wins out in the end but now I am convinced I have got the better of it, though the job is not finished yet. Having other things to do – in place of the bad habit – has been key to avoiding it longer than I have before. Also I got a very interesting quote from the series House of Cards (Season 1: Episode 7) that I always recite to myself when I feel like sliding back. Here it is, rephrased “I cannot control who I am but I can control the zero, damn the zero” To me it just says; no matter what happens I will never go back to being hooked on the bad habit (back to zero) and that is something I can definitely control.
My cousin claims he is sick of lies. He says though they have worked to his advantage on plenty of occasions in the past, he has decided to reduce his usage of them. To explain how he reached about this decision he told me the following:
Lies are among the most cheerful growers of all things on earth. I rarely come across a lie that fails to multiply from its initial single state to a huge family of lies containing all varieties of untruths; big, small and everything in between. Why, just take this instance from last year as an example. At the beginning of last year I began circulating a lie about me having a girlfriend. When my friends got wind of it, they all inquired about “the lucky girl” and so I had to furnish a dozen more lies concerning her name, where we met, her age and stuff like that. After a while my friends got to grow to want to see her. Of course I couldn’t just produce her because she didn’t exist, the only I could do was to make up some excuses (lies). It wasn’t long before I started running out of excuses though because… you know, we live in a small town and you have to stressfully structure your life not to be seen by everyone to actually not be seen by everyone. Further excuses wouldn’t do. So what was I to do when my lies threatened to catch up with me? Lie more of course. Well actually what I did was to edit the original lie a little and say “we met online” and “she lives in the next town”. I thought that would fetch me a break but boy was I wrong.
Before I knew it, it was Valentine’s Day. A few day before Valentine’s love was in the air – as per usual I guess – and my friends were expecting me to go and visit my girlfriend or for her to come and visit me. Just one problem there, the girl existed not. I tried to find a her girl who was willingly to pretend to be my girlfriend only on Valentine’s Day but all the girls I talked to said it was a stupid idea and turned me down coldly so I ended up just locking myself in the house for a couple of days – Valentine’s Eve and Valentine’s Day – to create the impression that I had travelled. Then I produced myself and told my friends that I had had a “wonderful VD with my girlfriend” My friends innocently asked for pictures, so again I had to use up my creativity in furnishing another lie. At this point I thought to myself that I had cultivated my lie so well that it could easily survive on its own and hence let me have an easier time of it. But I soon found out different. People never want to just mind their own business as you know and my people – friends and family wouldn’t let the girlfriend issue rest. Finally I couldn’t take it any more and decided I needed to come up with a lie that would redeem me. The only lie that could reasonably save me was this I judged “my girlfriend and I have broken up” and it saved me sure enough, thank God.
Now, I am not going to tell you to never ever lie because a dude has to lie every once in a while but try your best not to. Do it only when its necessary. I say this not because I want you to be a better person but for your piece of mind.
“And that is all he said about the matter, before I put my two cents in and changed the topic” – C.W
I love inspiration. I always…, just a second, before I proceed I would like to highlight a relevant fact– though it won’t seem as such just now. Most of my friends consider me to be moody… I think. This comes from how they talk about me. They don’t use the word moody but their comments amount to the same thing. I have been asked on multiple occasions how it is that I can be “as cheerful as a body could be” on one day and then “gloomy and sad” on the next. I have also been told that my ever changing moods leave them (my friends) confused and they never know what to expect from me on any given day. They don’t know whether to expect “happy Colstar” or “sad Colstar”, “talkative Colstar” or “silent Colstar”. They say the cheerful Colstar is tolerable enough and they wouldn’t mind having him more regularly but that if I do not wish to drop the sad the Colstar, I should keep him in constant rotation because they are not too big on variety when it comes to a persons moods.
I think variety is a good thing. I wouldn’t want to experience extreme happiness every single day, I would grow numb to it. We all know that “joy wouldn’t feel so good if it wasn’t for pain” as 50 Cent once said in one of his songs (Many men). And also, there is a simple answer as to why my mood is always changing . That answer is inspiration. Now, I forgive the reader for wondering what in the devils name inspiration has to with moods…hmm let me explain. On days that I am cheerful it is because I feel inspired. When I feel inspired my mind suddenly starts to cook up ideas from left, right and centre and I have this huge urge to engage my senses; touch something (or if possible someone, a girl), see something, hear, taste, I want to work in all the senses, going mostly by instinct – thus not thinking too much. On such days I am “about whatever” as the rapper Drake would put it. But as soon as inspiration goes I feel as empty as an adult film star who has just been… wait that analogy won’t fly. Hmm… I feel like I have gone blind because the splendour of the world is not visible to me any more. That’s what the matter my friends! Anyone would “sad and gloomy” if they had a bright and beautiful world one day and the next it became dark. But that is why I love relationship inspiration. It’s never always in one place, sometimes you have it, and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you feel inspired to write about promises, other times your mind is blank and you shamelessly write about inspiration and moods instead. I will end here, I have wondered aimlessly farther than any man has any right to.