Don’t “resist” but “replace”

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This just in:  I read an article in the NY Times the other day about “replacing” instead of “resisting”.  I strongly agree with this and have been practicing it for some time.

The idea is that, for example, if you are on a diet, don’t sit on the couch trying not to eat a donut.  Instead, get up and eat a cucumber.

I was talking with a friend the other day that is withdrawing from heroin.  When I asked how she was doing she said, “I’m just sitting around the house trying to not think about using.”

Bad idea.

What we resist…persists.

My advice to her was to roll three pair of socks into three balls.  Then, turn on a YouTube channel and learn how to juggle.

My idea was based on “distraction” but from another perspective, it was actually about replacing a craving with an unrelated action.  Same idea.

Basically, it comes down to “action”.  There are things we can actually do that promote behavior we want.  There are things we can do that replace behavior we want to leave behind.  Action is stronger than words or thoughts.  Yes, things begin as thoughts then migrate to words and finally into action.  My recommendation is that we maintain this train of progress all the way through the “actions.”

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up in a hotel in the middle of the night and couldn’t go back to sleep.  This rarely happens.  If sleeping was an Olympic event…I’d be on the podium.  However, on this one night, I couldn’t sleep.  My mind went to the thought, “What am I doing with my life.”

I don’t typically ask myself this question.  I have a gifted life with very little to complain about.  Still, the question is valid.  Just because I can afford my car payment doesn’t mean I’m accomplishing what I want to accomplish.

So, I got out of bed and made a list.  This list contained things I wanted to do every day.  It includes things that would benefit me physically, mentally, intellectually and spiritually.  For example, one item is to contact a friend or family member.  Another is to play my didgeridoo for 5 minutes. 15 minutes for reading.  View a 30-minute educational video.  Eat a salad. Go for a walk.  Don’t eat desert. Meditate.

So far, I have 18 items on this list.  I track my progress every day.  On one day I did all of them.  After 2 weeks, I found that I usually do about 12.  Writing this blog post is one of those items.

This list helps me commit to action that puts me on a path that suits me.  Interestingly, I find that I’m waking up every day looking forward to putting a check next to as many of these as I can.

Maybe this will work for you…maybe not.

What’s important is that I found something that works for me.

I’m replacing “nothing” with “action”.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim