Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Changing Patterns of Behaviour

There are many different types of behaviour which we may wish to change and there are probably as many ways to change the behaviour, just as there are as many times when we seem to be persuaded to change the  behaviour or pattern. However whether we assume our behaviour is good or bad or we want to stimulate change in our lives, here are a few concepts which I found intriguing:

Feel Good Concept:
Sun setting at the end of a day
There are  two aspects to this feel good concept. The first one covers performing a deliberate financial act of kindness for which there is not a tax break associated with the act. Perhaps there is a bit of mental jinxing involved in many persons attempts to try new things, or there are many naturally pessimistic persons, but since most persons are financially astute enough to know the various tax incentives which are associated with giving, try giving something without considering the cost. If this is too simplistic for you, then establish a limit on how much you can give to something which  falls outside of your normal boundaries. Some examples are:

  • To buy at least 10 breakfasts a week for homeless persons. Why breakfast or why 10? A substantial breakfast will warm a person  and get them on the road to feeling good.  10 means that you are buying at least two per day if you are working five days a week. Will it be a big sacrifice or will it mean that you eat a simpler meal for a while, it may be worthwhile to try it.
  • Try to donate to a charity  which supports feeding others. Food is one of the essential feel good things and not having food, can start a downward spiral in a person's life. On the other hand, if your cooking skill is all that you can give, then volunteer to cook for a charity. One of the benefits of doing this is that you will retain your skill while helping others.
The second aspect involves giving to a recognised charity which allows for a tax break. This is the easier feel good concept to tackle as someone else does the ground work and your donation is put to use. While this may not change your life, there may be a tiny bit of feel good associated with it.

Acknowledging our short comings:
One way to acknowledge our shortcomings is through learning something new. By identifying that there is a need to learn, you can start tackling challenges which you swept under the carpet.  Sometimes in the process of learning, you start realising that you may have challenges which are being brought back to the surface. There may be the temptation to use the same old method to solve the challenge, however the other players/parties may not be responding in the same manner and you may need to start reassessing your thinking. 
Another way to learn to acknowledge our shortcomings  is through prayer. There are many different ways to pray and by starting a pattern of prayer you can start to  see your shortcomings, or your shortcomings may start disappearing as your focus changes. Preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation can be another form of prayer. Understanding the concepts involved in the sacrament can be a start to learning and changing habits. Not agreeing with parts of the sacrament, does not make all of it invalid.

Acknowledging our need to be happy
There are many reasons to not be happy and sometimes unhappiness creeps up on you, while sometimes it may be something that you may need to acknowledge. Of course there are the standard, surround yourself with cheerful persons, joyful pictures, change one of your habits a week, change your routine once a week,  smile and you become attractive, laugh and you become even more attractive. Of course sometimes you may need to recognise that you have a choice in how you feel and just keep saying that you are happy which may inspire other changes.

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