Most of us go through each day looking for what we saw yesterday and, not surprisingly, that is what we find. – James A. Kitchens
The inspiration for this post came from an author I’ve never read, but his single sentence, found in a Google search, resonated with me. It prompted a question of which I can’t let go: what do we look for each day?
Think about relationships and consider something most of us have: a problem relative. Let’s call him/her, Pat, and imagine that Pat regularly fails to meet our expectations in some area. Maybe Pat has a history of whining or avoiding responsibility. Each day, we expect Pat to behave as he/she did the day before, and we are rarely surprised. So we daily respond to Pat just as we did the day before. When a change for the better occurs, we don’t believe it is real. We still perceive or look at Pat as having the same historical problem behavior.
Now think about how we look at ourselves. Imagine a woman who is frustrated by a lifelong failure to lose weight and maintain it. She has dieted numerous times, lost the weight, and gained more back too many times to count. So when she starts a new eating/exercise plan, she may expect failure even as she hopes for success. Perhaps her expectation colors the way she responds to inevitable slips: all or nothing thinking causes her to look at each slip as abject failure, and another diet crashes and burns. What would happen if the woman did not look at a slip as ultimate failure?
Maybe we need to experiment with changing the way we look at (think about) others and ourselves.
How might the way we look at things affect our daily experience? How might it help or hinder change?