I have recently developed a habit, reflecting on my life, while swimming. Surrounded by motherly embrace of water has become a helpful, soothing and mindful experience.
Lately I have been thinking about change a lot.
From birth onwards we are taught to play roles. We choose careers, spouses, friends by means of role playing. Our so called character is shaped via role playing.
Humans are pattern searchers; classifying is big part of our survival strategy. In our mind we build drawers: “liar”, “reliable”, “knowledgeable”, “ignorant”, “friend”, “enemy”. Then we put everyone we meet into one of those drawers.
It will take awful amount of effort to break our convictions we hold about someone. Change is considered suspiciously. We hardly shuffle contents of drawers.
Like everyone else we are being constantly put into one drawer or another in others’ minds. Therefore subconsciously our struggle becomes reflecting the familiar and consistent patterns of behaviour that would match our role, the convenient drawers we are placed in.
We also have drawers in our mind for ourselves. I call them self-drawers. Self-drawers are the ones that matter most, but often they are the most neglected ones. Our concern about being misplaced in an unsuitable drawer in others’ minds is often the most overwhelming force.
Failure creates opportunities for us to go ahead and change our self-drawer.
Changing our self-drawer often becomes a liberating experience. The key is ability to reflect on our lives, where we are at, and whether we are content with our self-drawer. Then all it takes is to pull the knob and make the change.
So next time you go for a swim how about thinking about your self-drawer.