Life by catapult: The act of flinging one’s self from one situation to the next.
The landing is uncertain. The journey is sure to be challenging and difficult.
It is the only way to travel.
How to to make changes in one’s life?
“We all usually make a laundry list for everything we want to do differently and then attempt to change them all at once. That’s a recipe for failure.”*
“I get worked up and do five new things that are really good for me all at once. When it’s all said and done I end up with a few things that stick as habits.”
Whether it be excitement, frustration, or soul crushing depression. My changes have always had great emotion behind them.
At times, the pressure of my current situation has been too much for me to bear. Or I’ve read an amazing book. Or had conversations with my friends which reveal a life-changing perspective.
When these things happen, there is nothing to do but catapult myself into action. As soon as the stark disparity between where I am and where I could be is revealed; I begin to get restless. A tiger trapped in a cage. A gut feeling. No longer satisfied with the comfort of complacency.
Do I fail? YES!
Do I learn new things? YES!
Do I end up somewhere healthier than I was before? YES!
That moment of realization, the fog lifting, the breaking point. Where new eyes look on an old way of being and no longer find it palatable. That few seconds of “ah, ha!” That is the time for action! The Catapult releases and there is no going back.
The dust settles and half of the new habits didn’t make it. I’m left with a new perspective and new healthy ways of being. Not perfection, but it feels right. It is time to forgive myself for the habits that didn’t make it. Being gentle and grateful.
It is time to enjoy a new vantage point. A little higher on the health scale than before.
Super Fancy Graph:
Not quite where the catapult was aimed, but feeling better than before.
Back to the science:
“That’s a recipe for failure.”*
‘Uh, yeah. That’s the plan, man.”
The inevitable failure to adopt all of the changes used to be a reason for self reproach and depression. Now I use it as an opportunity to monitor for negative self-talk and practice gentleness.
Failure has its own merit.
It is an opportunity to learn about ourselves. To try things on, learn what works, acknowledge what doesn’t.
We are all going to fail and make mistakes. Why not practice by doing it on our own terms? Self-acceptance takes practice.
Hop on the catapult and go for a ride!
*Scientific advice citation (it is a great article): https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2015/03/02/expert-ten-super-smart-ways-to-build-good-habits-and-make-them-stick/
All photos are taken by the author.