Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Donkey Haughty

A story about habits...

When my dad was about 7 years of age, he went to Mexico and met his grandfather (my great-grandfather) for the first time.  One day, he took my dad for a ride in a wagon, pulled by a donkey.  The only problem with taking a trip in the wagon was that the donkey had one bad habit:  It didn't like to go anywhere.  It was happy in its corral, eating, sleeping, and doing what donkeys do when they're not pushed to go anywhere.  

Fortunately, my great-grandfather was always able to get the donkey to move, but he had to motivate it by using a switch on its backside.  After a couple of swats, the donkey would give in and begin its march away from home, much to its disdain.  So, away they went, traveling down the dusty road, with my great-grandfather enjoying the rare company of his 7-year-old grandson, in a wagon pulled by a bummed-out donkey.    

After reaching their destination and taking care of business there, the time came to turn the cart around and point the donkey toward home.  Once that happened, the donkey suddenly became energized and took off happily down the road, trotting, without a need for a switch, as if it had a carrot hanging in front of its nose.  The donkey realized that it was finally able to go home, back to its corral, to once again eat, sleep, and do what it is that donkeys do.  

In much the same way, we can be like the donkey.  Our bad habits will cause us to return to the place where we're most comfortable.  Unless we use our own version of a "switch" to prod us along in our personal development, we will take off trotting back toward the bad habits that keep us from moving forward.  We will be the slave of bad habits until we make a conscious and sincere effort to replace them with good ones!