A continual choosing
Trails are made by the act of walking. Once made, we travel along the grooves that our own repeated action has made for us; the paths we take are well-worn because we take them every day, and we take them in part because, being so well-worn, they are the paths of least resistance and because venturing off the beaten path demands more work, and even risk.*
We can’t help being aware of the pull (the attachment, really) to what we’ve done repeatedly. Even when we know it’s not working, we often find ourselves reverting to old, automatic patterns, whether it’s holding on to our positions, playing it safe, being right… Patterns established long ago many times aren’t consistent with who we are and what we’re up to today. Transformation doesn’t merely change our outlook and actions, it uncovers the structures of being and interpretation on which we are grounded. It removes arbitrary ideas and views that limit and shape what’s possible.
It takes practice, courage, and real work to give up old, unproductive ways of being. Choosing higher ground, inventing and sustaining frameworks that pull for possibility, forwarding the action, becomes a lifelong practice—a continual choosing. The more we practice giving up what doesn’t work, the more the speed and frequency with which we free ourselves increase dramatically. An early-warning system gets built; new environments and courses of action get established. The outcomes extend in all directions and create the future like a possibility.
*Adapted from Out of Our Heads by Alva Noe
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