No Going Back 3/14

winter.drivingMarch 2014

Not surprisingly, Friday, December 13th was another treacherous, cold, snowy day in Edmonton. I knew it was a bad day for driving. I didn’t know I would be part of a four-car melee spanning three-lanes. Mine was the fourth car.

The first two cars that caused the jumble drove off unscathed. The third car swerved into my lane. CRASH!

The only car that did not lose control, and the one who sustained the most damage, was mine. Yes, I am both the hero and the big loser.

If you’ve ever had an accident you know it’s a pain in the butt (even without injuries) because it requires involvement, and consequently time, with police, insurance adjustors, auto body shops and car rental agencies.

It wasn’t all bad. Nothing ever is. All those businesses were efficient and professional. My insurance company even waived the deductible. But the really good news? The rental car I was assigned had heated seats – a soothing remedy for my pain in the butt.

Given this winter was unusually cold pretty much everywhere, you probably understand my euphoria. If you are lucky enough to own heated car seats, you are used to having warm buns at the touch of a button, day after day.

Of course I had experienced heated seats before, but never from the driver’s seat. Attachment to this luxury was instant and my use of it was constant. I found myself not wanting to get out of the car.

The funny thing about luxuries and advances in technology is that once you experience them there’s no going back.

Imagine:
• turning the dial on the television to change the channel
• using a telephone attached to a wall
• waiting until after your vacation to see your travel photos

Ha ha ha! That’s not going to happen.

When you didn’t have a remote control for the TV, you got up off the couch to change the channels, or to turn it off, because that was the only way to do it. But there came a time where you had to learn to use the remote. All those buttons! And now you’d never go back – in fact you can’t.

Do you remember the first, under-utilized bank machines? Many people didn’t trust them. You wouldn’t wait in line for a teller now if you didn’t have to, would you?

Getting used to something new is often worth the effort, isn’t it?

What is a change you’ve purposely assimilated into, or out of, your life? I’m betting you would never go back to the old way.

As Lou Tice of The Pacific Institute says, “Goal setting is simply deciding what you want to get used to in the future.” Often technology decides, but so can you.

What new habit would you like to get used to in the future? Maybe you’d like to:
• enjoy nature
• floss your teeth
 drink more water
• eat less sugar
• sleep more
• work less . . .

Choosing a habit, or goal, you really want and are ready for increases your chances for success. In fact, there’s not much point setting any other goals than ones that you want and are ready for. And visualizing your success is part of getting ready. It helps you get used to what you want. Before you know it, you’ve assimilated a new habit into your life because the old way no longer matches your picture of reality.

If you’ve ever sabotaged your weight loss because you weren’t ready for the smaller body you found yourself in, you know it’s important to visualize the new, desired state.

In my life I have gotten used to daily meditation. I feel cheated when I don’t fit it in, or if I have to cut it short. Hemp hearts and flax seeds are staples in my diet. I never even heard of hemp hearts ten years ago.

I will never go back to believing meditation is weird or eating an unbalanced breakfast. I think this formula sums it up. Desire + repeated experience = habit. Thinking about, and seeing yourself successful is repeating the experience. So is practicing the habit. Eventually there’s no going back.

Unfortunately, I had to go back to the car rental agency. My car was ready two days early. Normally that would be considered great news . . . but I didn’t want my car back. I wanted to keep the rental with heated seats.

I’ve decided I will get used to heated car seats in the future, as my next car will have to have them. But I won’t get so used to them that I stop being grateful for warm buns at the touch of a button. Ooh la la.