This book isn't written well enough.
This drawing isn't life like enough.
I play piano more poorly than my four-year-old.
Negativity is my bad habit.
Eventually, I started catching myself being negative to others just to make my self feel better.
I might not think I sing well, but at least I am not as tone deaf at my husband.
Thoughts like this one eventually become attitudes that find their voice through words.
I had to find a solution to ending this cycle of negativity.
I tried comvincing myself I wasn't being a pesemist.
I was a realist.
No matter what I called it, the behaviors and thoghts continued.
Rationalization was making me hard, brittle like a faded statue about to crumble.
Instead of tackling the whole mountain of problems in my life, I started conquering it one step, one second at a time. Because seconds turn into minutes, which turn into hours. Hours become days, weeks, months and eventually years.
Honesty.The first step is always the hardest.
Inching closer to the edge as the merry-go-round of life spins. The people and places around me are in a blur as I prepare to jump. Looking back I long to stand in the center. It is the easiest place to feel comfortable; forcing the people around me to be on the precarious edge so I can be the center of attention, the center of importance, the center of this part of the world.
Self preservation isn't something to be ashamed of, it is part of being human.
We would not have survived past cave man days without it, or would we have?
Co-operation begins when an individual in a community is honest with themselves about their own aptitudes and ineptitude.
Hence the hunter and gatherer distinctions.
What are your talents and well honed skills?
What are your shortcomings? Where are you frail?
Only once you are honest with yourself will the life long habit(s) being to weaken.
It was only then I was able to find the courage to jump off the merry-go-round.
Courtesy.The magic words in my house are please and thank you.
My son has learned he will not get what he is asking for without using them.
It can be begrudgingly or with genuine feeling.
Why would I accept empty words?
Because I am helping him build a habit. A good habit.
It is so easy to grumble and complain about something I don't like.
Finding the good in a bad situation can be very difficult.
But when I stop trying to find it, I've learned it becomes harder and harder.
Like buried treasure, sand will keep collecting and over time those tiny rocks will become pebbles which will build into boulders with collect to form mountains.
Our habits harden us overtime in the same way.
How does one excavate treasure?
Don't blow up the mountain.
The treasure buried that is us will become more damaged and hurt.
I learned we need to chisel away our bad habits until the beautiful sculpture that is us remains.
We need to replace habits of swearing, demeaning sarcasm and materialism with something better.
By simple saying simple words of pleasantness and courtesy, their meaning will slowly begin to affect our attitudes.
Perseverance.It is so easy to spout the cliches of how important and rewarding overcoming difficulties through hard work, patience and perseverance is, but they won't help. I learned this the hard way.
Words are meaningless with out action achieved through hard work.
"I know that sounds so ABC Family drama, but cliches and stereotypes exist because they hold some degree of truth, right?"The only way to discover and understand the value or wisdom in cliches is to give them a try.
(said by Autumn Croft in Left on the Edge by Sarah Richards)
Failure is inevitable.
But statistically the more you try, the closer you come to achieving or attain your goal.
Math doesn't lie.
It can be misunderstood like the things and people in our lives, but that doesn't make the truth disappear.
Persist in changing habits not by looking at the whole mountain before you, rather decide to change one little moment, one second at a time.
Instead of honking your car horn and swearing at a driver who just cut you off, slow down and let them in.
Change doesn't happen all at once.
It takes time, just like the construction of the terra cotta army of Qin Shi Huang.
Human evolution took billions of years.
Wind and water needed time to make the Grand Canyon.
There is no fast fix for behaviors and habits.
But if we all make an effort, think of how much stronger our communities will be.
Stronger communities where we rely on each other will not only improve our lives individually, but one community will start to bind to another community in the same way that individuals do in order to form a global community.
Each terra cotta solider is unique and can fend off one evil in the afterlife, but with an army the first emperor began his next journey with the strength of a community.
Honesty. Courtesy. Perseverance.
It will take a lifetime to sculpt the work of art that is each and every one of us.
How do you want your statue to look?