As we grow, we do so in fits and starts, lurching forward then back, sometimes looking more like clowns than seekers.
Winston Churchill wrote: “Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on as though nothing has happened.”
We humans, in searching for success and happiness, have several great loves. One is the love of discovering new things. New places… new people… new ideas… they fascinate us.
We also love finding new ways to solve problems. If we’ve been suffering the indignities and inconveniences of a long-standing problem, we have an unquenchable urge to find what’s causing the discomfort and fix it.
Unfortunately, an equally strong drive within our psyche is the compulsion to keep things from changing.
We love variety and change, but we also love predictability. When things start shifting in our world, we get uncomfortable; uncertain; unsure what to do next.
So with our left foot we strike out to seek change, while at the same time our right foot drags along behind us, trying with all its might to remain planted in one spot.
Often, as Churchill points out, we unquestioningly follow that urge to maintain status quo. Why? Well, it’s the same reason we continue to do anything automatically — habit.
Then how do we break the grip of habit? How do we escape the gravity well of inertia?
It’s the same way we change any habit.
First step: become acutely aware of what we’re doing. No habit can operate properly when we draw back the curtains of inattention.
Have you had a realization about yourself or the way you live your life? Maybe you don’t want to let it drift away and become lost to you, the same way countless realizations have done before.
Then make a big production of it. Fasten your attention on it. Roll it around in your mind, play with it and explore the implications.
Don’t let old habits rob you of the treasure you’ve found.
And that’s exactly how you can stop yourself from stumbling over a truth and then continuing on as though it never happened.