The best definition I know of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. A classic example of this phenomenon is when a fly tries to exit a house through a shut window and keeps pounding its frail body against the glass endlessly. Another example of insanity is how some of us approach the new year with a long list of things we want to change but with no concrete plan to alter our thoughts or actions. If you never saw the movie "Groundhog Day", directed by Harold Ramis in 1993, do yourself a favor and rent or buy the DVD. In this movie, Bill Murray plays a TV anchorman who finds himself living the same day, February 2nd (Groundhog Day), over and over again. At first, he is despondent and self-destructive, and indulges in less than positive behaviors as a result of his predicament. After a few rounds of living the same day, however, he embarks on a campaign of altruism and self-improvement. I won't give away any more details of the movie in case you decide to watch it. Suffice it to say that the film serves as a paradigm of Tshuva (Repentance), and illustrates the vehicle for change as the protagonist's conscious decision to change his thoughts and behavior and thereby enjoy a different outcome. The changes we make for the new year need not be drastic. For example, altering one's course when flying a plane by only a few degrees leads to a dramatic change in the final destination. Similarly, minor adjustments in one's thought patterns and actions can lead to amazing positive transformations in one's life. The following are a few examples of small modifications we can make during the upcoming year that can lead to countless positive results: Thoughts
Keep a journal and note the number of positive thoughts you have during the day versus negative thoughts.
Gently reframe a negative thought into a positive one by creatively viewing the situation from a more proactive perspective.
Anticipate the outcome of a situation as positive instead of a indulging in negative prophecy.
Go out of your way once a month to do something nice for a family member or a friend.
Remind your family members once a week about some of the things you appreciate about them.
Cultivate a mindset of gratitude by counting your blessings and taking a moment to say thank you before you begin any enjoyable activity.
When we make a small commitment to upgrade our thoughts and actions, then we can anticipate the logical consequences of these modifications. In this way, we won't be destined to living yet another "Groundhog Year". By doing something different, we stand a good chance of not only managing to exit the house by trying a new route, we can transform ourselves into eagles and soar above and beyond our expectations. This plan of action provides us with a fighting chance of moving towards a life filled with infinite growth, balance, contribution, and satisfaction.
In addition to his personal coaching practice, Ben Goldfarb has led corporate training sessions in Israel, the UK, and in the United States. He is the founder and director of Paradigm Shift Communications. For more information, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, visit the PSC website at www.pdshiftcoaching.com, or call 972-(0)2-641-6673 or 0544-990-619 to arrange a complimentary phone consultation.