“A habit is something you can do without thinking – which is why most of us have so many of them.”
Frank Howard Clark
We’re all guilty of it. “Just agreeing” happens all the time. Why do we agree with something? Most of the time we don’t care enough about it to look any further into it, sometimes it’s the most “desirable” answer, then there’s just agreeing or accepting because we think someone else is more qualified than we are. Sometimes light conformity is good, like when it’s opinion based, but like I said light. That doesn’t mean act like a passive-aggressive loser, just respect and understand (or at least try to…) other people’s differences. I’m going to share a story with all of you that I received in an email from one of my uncles overseas.
(A little girl was watching her mother prepare a fish for dinner. Her mother cut the head and tail off the fish and then placed it into a baking pan. The little girl asked her mother why she cut the head and tail off the fish. Her mother thought for a while and then said, “I’ve always done it that way – that’s how grandma did it.”
The girl was not satisfied with the answer, and went to visit her grandma to find out why she cut the head and tail off the fish before baking it.
Grandma thought for a while and replied, “I don’t know. My mother always did it that way.”
So the little girl and the grandma went to visit Great-grandma to ask if she knew the answer.
Great-grandma thought for a while and said, “Because my Grandma told once that the baking pan was too small to fit in the whole fish”.)
I’m sure this isn’t the first time some of you have heard this story, it’s pretty popular around the net. But let’s think about it for a second. We shouldn’t let any belief system or assumption get the best of us. We must keep searching for answers. Otherwise, we’ll fall into lazy habits of thinking and neglect some important issues. Even the little things we neglect will add up over time. There are times where we have to question our parents, spouse, peers, teachers, or government to understand what will be affecting our lives, maybe not right away, but in the future. Remember my formula in the last posting, “Short term discomfort = long term success/pleasure”. I like to keep that in mind when I go about anything and get a little impatient.
No one likes to answer questions because they have to be responsible for their answer. If the question promotes thought, look out, up goes their security blanket and out comes their animosity. The key is to ask with finesse, that’s the ‘light’ conformity I was talking about earlier. Let’s call it adaptability for now. If someone sees you as threatening or attacking, then you won’t get a desirable answer. People don’t like to be thought of as “different” so they just go along with the crowd. That’s the reason so many people fear public speaking, it causes you to stand out. In order to get over that, we have to get use to feeling uncomfortable. We have to put embarrassment aside and move on. Consider this for example. You’re walking down the street and you see a neighbor that you haven’t seen in a while and you both make eye contact. You both wave and move towards each other. When you get close, you say “hi” and stick your hand out for a friendly handshake, but your neighbor keeps walking past you, ignoring you. At that point, some funky things might start going on in your head, like anger, confusion, rejection, and embarrassment. The two things we hate the most are confusion and rejection. It slaps the Hell out of us! Now you can either be a product of your emotions and end up reacting to the situation or you can give it a little thought and come to your own rational actions. If you choose to let it affect you that much, then next time you might just ignore your neighbor all together and possible leave him as the victim of confusion and rejection. Why? Is it because YOU ARE the one afraid of rejection and embarrassment? If you can think about it rationally, then you will probably realize that you have lost nothing by what has happened.
A good habit to get into is for us to use our heads more. It may feel annoying to constantly brainstorm, but like any habit, it takes some time getting use to. Remember “Short term discomfort = long term success/pleasure” Put forth the effort and you’ll get back desirable results. Now please note that this doesn’t mean to disagree with everything you hear as well. Mindlessly disagreeing is just as bad as mindlessly agreeing. If you don’t know, say “I don’t know”, or ask some questions.