Creatures of habit

Yesterday marked my one month anniversary* as a full time worker. This means that Monday must have been my one month anniversary** in Townsville – and no one sent me a card or even an sms. Clearly you’ve all moved on.

Doing the same thing 30 days in a row is meant to establish it as a habit (I read that somewhere – if this was an impressive blog there’d be a link to it here – that’s not a real link but it might help you find the information you’re looking for). So here’s my current habitual daily routine:
7.00am – Mobile phone alarm goes off – I am roused to the sounds of Strongbad yelling “TROGDOR” – I open my phone and quite coherently for the time of morning set it to snooze for a further 30 minutes. As far as I’m concerned this is much more efficient than hitting the snooze button the 6 times that would otherwise be required – LG life’s good.
7.30am – TROGDOR…snooze button
7.35am – TROGDOR…snooze button
7.40am – TROGDOR…snooze button
7.45am – TROGDOR…sn… You thought I was going to say snooze button again didn’t you. But this is where I get up.
7.46am – Shower and shave (if required)
7.55am – iron shirt, put on shoes, search for wallet, two mobiles and keys
8.05am – Drive to work
8.30am – Arrive at work
8.30am – 9.00am – read the papers looking for references to Townsville or anything we might have done with the media the previous day.
9.00am – 5.00pm – juggle “a thousand” (that’s in my best Fatty Vautin voice, indicating that it’s not actually a thousand, just a lot.) responsibilities to our different departments – including putting together press releases, handling media requests, writing columns for different magazines, organising “famil” programs for visiting travel journalists, going on famils, and eating free meals.
5.00pm – drive home from work
5.30pm – get home from work – at this point my day decends into chaos – some nights I do interesting things, other nights I go across the road to the shops, buy Chinese takeaway and drink beer in front of the television.

As you can probably tell with a variety of responsibilities that are always changing it’s pretty difficult to establish a “routine” in this role.

But what I really wanted to write about today is monks. Monks wear “habits.” Are they called “habits” because monks have very structured daily routines? Do they have to wear them thirty days in a row before they can be called habits? Why am I even writing about monks? Well… in Romans 5 there’s a famous passage about suffering being a good thing. Some traditional monks devoted their lives to this belief – often flagellating themselves to bring about spiritual growth. I’m thinking of starting a “ministry” where I offer to “flagellate” others to help with their spiritual growth. I think that’s a biblical idea. However, I wouldn’t look up flagellation on dictionary.com to find out what it means. You may assume I’m perverted (I know all of you have already done that – read entry three. It’s a punishment people. Nothing suss). So join this ministry today and whip a fellow Christian – you’re really doing them a favour.

*Technically you can’t have a one month anniversary – an anniversary is annual – as in once a year. I guess popular usage dictates meaning, so in the absence of a better word I’ll stick with that one.
** See above point.

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.

6 thoughts on “Creatures of habit”

  1. I think you forgot to add ‘put on pants’ at 7:55am. If you didn’t, and the blog is a true representation of your morning, then I think you should, (or will), be arrested.

    On a happier note, good to see that you have settled into life as a worker… One month worked=1.6(repeater) days of holidays earned.

  2. Your new ‘ministry’ idea could see a revival of the Horse Fly Bite craze that swept my school in 1995. Can you believe it just took me three attempts to type the word ‘swept’. Ok, now it’s five.

  3. Does that mean Steven Covey’s book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Monks” is about clothes washing strategies?

  4. I hope you enjoyed the cyclones I sent you, I made them, just ‘specially for you to make life a little more interesting. And here you are saying no one cares…..

  5. Colossians 2:23Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

    The context is not as clear as this verse states, but the principle applies. Just thought i would send you a nice little heresy alarm.

  6. Visualization is a tool that has been used for thousands of years by initiates of all the metaphysical schools. Today, it is incorporated into top athlete’s daily routines and is used in business affairs frequently. It’s use is wide-spread among highly successful people, either consciously or unconsciously, aware of its create power. So if it has stood the test of time and is still being used by high achievers we must come to the conclusion that it works! But has it ever worked for you?

    If you answered ‘yes’ to the above question then you know how powerful this technique can be. If, on the other hand, you gave the more likely answer ‘no’ then take heart for I am about to reveal to you a sure fire way of reaching your objectives through this mostly misunderstood art.

    The trouble with visualization is simple – its in its name!

    When studying and contemplating the art of visualization most people have the impression that they must create visual images and make them real or life-like. Many people, in fact the majority, find this almost impossible to do. Even if they can formulate a solid picture of their objective they find it extremely difficult to sustain the image for any length of time. Either the image fades, changes or other intruding thoughts intervene.

    This type of visualization is almost impossible to sustain and luckily it is not at all necessary. Why? Because it is in the subconscious mind that your visualization needs to be placed and there is good news. The subconscious mind does not know the difference between an imaginary event and a real one. Your visual image only needs to be a strong visually as any other imagined event. However, that is only half the story.

    If all you had to do was just imagine stuff and your world automatically changed to reflect your imaginings this world would be full of chaos (not to mention all those creepy crawly bug-eyed monsters!). Therefore, there are a few more steps to complete before the visualization is passed to the subconscious for manifestation.

    Let’s try a little experiment. Remember a scene from your past that has a lot of good feelings around it. Any good memory will do, like the first time you heard the words “I love you” from your partner, an amazingly spectacular sunset, a great holiday event or your last birthday. Pick one and remember it. How clear is the image? Can you remember any sounds? What way did you feel? Is there any sense of touch, taste or smell? Identify how your memory works. Is it mostly visual, auditory, kinaesthetic or of a feeling nature?

    Now we are going to create an imagined event in our lives that has the same strength and potency as that image. So relax and let’s go.

    Imagine something that you do everyday, something that you did yesterday, today and will do tomorrow. Let us take the example of waking up tomorrow morning. Don’t try to add or take anything away, just think about it and analyse the scene. Is it dark or light? Are you lying next to someone in bed? Do you still feel tired? Has the alarm clock sounded? Are you irritable that you have to get up or full of joy at the dawn of a new day?

    You will find that the imagined event is very similar to the memory with probably one key difference – your point of perspective. Is the memory behind you and the future event in front of you? Is one to the left and one to the right? Maybe they are both in front of you or the future seems to move in a clockwise direction. Whatever the perspective the thing to notice is that they are very similar in appearance.

    Now imagine doing your future event a week from now, then a month from now, then six months from now. Where are those images placed? Are they moving further away, going clockwise, from left to right? This is your time-line and using it is important in visualization as you will see later.

    Ok, let’s imagine something that is very unlikely to happen and see where it differs from the last image.

    Imagine you are sitting somewhere familiar which is extremely comfortable and relaxing to you. Now imagine that a person you know well comes up to where you are and says “hello”. Imagine them telling you that they want to show you a new trick. All of a sudden they have three juggling balls. They throw them in the air and begin to juggle with ease. Then they begin to whistle one of your favourite tunes. You suddenly realize that there is a strong smell of flowers in the room and notice a vase of them just behind the juggler. Imagine laughing loudly at the scene and feeling joyful at the experience. Then the person juggling leans forward stands on leg and puts the other leg outstretched behind them. All the while still juggling and whistling. Then they begin to hop on their leg as a small bird flies over to perch on their head. Once you have the imagined event and stayed with it a few moments just let it fade.

    Ok open your eyes. What was the difference between the two images? Can you spot any? Did you use more, less or roughly the same senses in your fantasy event as you did in the future one? Did you see them from different angles? Was the picture bigger in one than the other? Was the sound clearer, the feelings more acute or the smell stronger? Take some time and go back to each scene in your mind. How does the future event differ from the fantasy one? Are you looking at both from a different vantage point? Do you see yourself in the image of one but not the other? Analyse the scenes and see where they differ.

    Have you identified how the future event differs from the fantasy one? If you have then its time to make visualization work for you! Take a goal that you have been working on or would like to achieve. Nothing too far-fetched at this point please! Pick something that is possible but at the moment seems a little impractical. Once you have it form a mental image of what it would be like to have, be or do that thing or be in that experience. Remember to form it the same way you do a memory. Give it the same strength visually, in sound, feeling, taste and touch – use your mind in its natural state. All you have to do is imagine the scene.

    Ok how does it differ from the scene of waking in the morning? Can you identify the differences in perspective, sound, taste, touch, feelings and what you hear?

    Now there will be one other key thing that differs in the images- it is very simple but often overlooked. You know that the future event is going to happen! This is reflected in the way we experience the image. So what we are going to do is fool your subconscious mind into thinking your goal is definitely going to happen by manipulating your goal image!

    Once you know what the differences are in each image begin to change the goal image so that it is seen the same way as the future event in your imagination. Place the visualized scene in exactly the same position with the same perspective as your future event.

    Place it in the correct position on your time-line. You may already begin to feel that the goal is more possible. Visualise in this way everyday and you will condition your subconscious mind to manifest the experiences necessary to make your goal attainment certain.

    One more thing to remember: During the day think about your goal often. This reinforces the visualization and will begin to dispel doubt from your mind. personal-development.info

Comments are closed.