Ezine Header

2005: Issue 10

Keeping Your Balance

Today I want to look at Habit from a slightly different perspective: what are the thoughts, emotions, and actions that we should relegate to Habit, versus those that are best processed using our full attention and concentration? Asked differently, when do we let our unconscious, automatic mechanisms kick in and when do we override these mechanisms with our full awareness? This ability to optimally use Habit to enrich our lives and carve our characters is what we refer to as Habit Management. When we establish new, improved or updated habits, Habit Management becomes the chisel with which we sculpt our lives, and thus, our character. The trick to good Habit Management is balance and awareness.

Early on in my career as psychiatrist, I developed the Habit of dictating my notes as soon as the patient walked out the door, and then I further refined the Habit to include certain phrases in the documentation so that all regulations and other irrational stipulations were met. Relegating this process to Habit has served me well. It is one aspect of my “job” that I do not particularly like nor find fulfilling, yet a necessary evil, so I take care of it with Habit. My hunch is you can relate.

Perhaps the more difficult set of Habits to manage is our mental Habits. Those mental meanderings that pop up often repeatedly, combined with those mental frames of reference through which we filter all information. Most of the time they serve us well and keep us moving through each day, joyfully. However, when they slide out of kilter, they really take their toll; not only on us, but those around us. You know the signs---getting defensive when asked by a patient “why you are doing that”; shouting obscenities, laying on your horn when someone pulls out in front of you or drives too slow; eating that third donut just because you can; forgetting to say please and thank you; getting annoyed at the birds chirping; – the examples are endless.

The results of having our mental Habits out of balance are scattered attention, redundancy, re-work, wasted time and effort, and overall unhappiness and personal distress. Who wants that? The irony is that many of us choose that because we let our habits manage us, rather than us managing our habits. The overall irony of Habit Management is that when done well, time is not an issue.

Observation:
The joy of our soul lies at the heart of the tasks of successful everyday behavior, whether it is controlling our tempers, or our appetites, or our inclinations to sit all day in front of the television.

Assessment:
We learn to order our souls the same way we learn to do math problems or play baseball – through practice. By fixing our Habits at the thought level, we ensure that healthy mental Habits will not only stick but remain effective.

Prescription:
1. Remain vigilant at identifying your Habits and ensuring they are good for you.
2. Pay particular attention to your mental Habits, and use the Horseshoe of Habit to eliminate the negative and replace with the positive.
3. Commit to deliberately managing your Habits so that at best, they bring you personal and professional fulfillment, and at worse, they merely exist with a neutral force.


ABOUT Extra Ordinary Living

Taking their learning from 20+ years in corporate healthcare, Janet Crawford and David Scheiderer, MD formed Extra Ordinary Living, Inc. in 2003 with an intention of helping physicians, other healthcare professionals and their organizations identify possibilities and opportunities, remove obstacles, and ultimately, optimize results.

Usually the first question we are asked, is why Tiberius? Our trivia friends usually can identify the references……yes, Tiberius was the 2nd Roman emperor, and yes, Tiberius is the middle name of James T. Kirk from Star Trek. One of our life mottos and business principles is “to learn from the past, look to the future but live in the present;” thus, Extra Ordinary Living.

As Executive and Professional Coaches, we are trained to listen, to observe and to customize our approach to our client's needs. We provide tools, support, structure and accountability to help our clients unleash their full potential and optimize results. There are so many reasons for physicians in particular to feel disenchanted with their chosen profession, their calling. Having a coach helps them get back in touch with their passion for being a healer.

The best thing about coaching is that it is all about you and what you want. We may share our opinions and give you advice, but it is up to you to pick and choose what you want to accept. We suspend judgment and will support you in your decisions.

As Professional Speakers, our messages are inspirational while imparting useful, practical and memorable information in a fun and dynamic way to help you in your pursuit of authentic happiness, and the enjoyment of deep life experiences.


UPCOMING EVENTS

May 25 – 28, 2005
Janet will be escorting her 7th grade Destination Imagination (DI) team to global finals in Knoxville, TN.  The first time competitors – Amazingly Hilarious Artisans — won their regional competition, placed 2nd at state with their hovercraft invention and will be hovering on down I-81 to Knoxville for the international competition.




Tiberius Rx ... written by a physician for physicians and those who love them, work with them, or befriend them, and want to enjoy deep life experiences while more effectively pursuing a life of happiness.

Sow a thought and you reap an action;
sow an act and you reap a habit;
sow a habit and you reap a character;
sow a character and you reap a destiny.
- attributed to various sources
 
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
- Aristotle
 


UPCOMING ISSUES

Issue 11
The Tortoise and the Hare

Issue 12
Rising Cost of Energy