perhaps today's take away, which i think i would like to embrace for this year, is one William James latched onto for a one year experiment. i am a watcher and at a very base level as i watch others i long ago came to believe that change is not actually possible, that the free will we believe rarely emerges from the forces of systemic histories that propel us into our own futures. i find this core undergirding belief unproductive, true or not. it inhibits me. no, in fact, it paralyzes me into an Eeyore mind set--"oh bother." This translates into WHY BOTHER?
'"All our life," William Janes told us in the prologue, "so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits--practical, emotional, and intellectual--systematically organized for our weal or woe, and bearing us irresistibly toward our destiny, whatever the later may be...
...James mad a decision...he would conduct a yearlong experiment. he would spend twelve months believing that he had control over himself and his destiny, that he could become better, that he had the free will to change. There was no proof that it was true. But he would free himself to believe, all evidence to the contrary, that change was possible. "i think that yesterday was a criss in my life," he wrote in his diary. Regarding his ability to change, "I will assume for the present--until next year--that it is no illusion. My first act of free will shall be to believe in free will." Over the next year, he practiced everyday. In his diary, he wrote as if his control over himself and his choices was never in question...Later he would famously write that the will to believe is the most important ingredient in creating belief in change. And that one of the most important methods for creating that belief was habits. Habits are what allow us to "do a thing with difficulty the first time, but soon do it more and more easily, and finally with sufficient practice, do it semi-mchanically, or with hardly any consciousness at all." Once we choose who we want to be, people grow "to the way in which that have been exercised, ..If you believe you can change--if you make it a habit--the change becomes real. This is the real power of habit: the insight that your habits are what you choose them to be. Once that choice occur--and becomes automatic--it is not only real, it starts to seem inevitable (ha so much for free will), the thing, as James wrote, that bears "us irresistibly toward our destiny, whatever the latter may be."
it may not be that simple, i wouldn't really even call it an attitude adjustment, but a test that i will run for one year, an experiment--acting on the belief (whether or not i believe) that i can change, direct my course, have free will, alter habits of mind and action. this does not negate the belief in a higher power, but falls under the concept that the best part of me that dreams, will do so in alignment with the way in which i was built. Anyhow, i will use writing to get there, to navigate, put into practice--work through the mundane unthinking daily rituals and invisible decisions of mind and body by unpacking them in real space [exercises] and through the space of the mind evidenced in writing, testing habit cue/ritual/reward loops, believing i can alter them, making it so and writing as though i am in control of all this, that i am asserting my will into creating a specific destiny. as an experiment i will function with belief that i have purpose, that what i do matters.