Trip wires – our triggers and tendencies

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By Dave Henning / April 29, 2021

“We all have triggers and tendencies that serve as trip wires.  We’ve got to cut the rope by cutting those wires.  How?  The best way to break a habit is by establishing a good habit.  When you attempt to establish a new habit, progress is slow. . . .  You’ve got to work hard to establish a new habit, and you’ve got to do it one day at a time.”- Mark Batterson

In Chapter 10 (The Grand Gesture”) of Win the Day, Mark Batterson talks about a behavioral pattern called the escalation of commitment.  The term refers to the natural human tendency, despite increasingly negative outcomes, to persist in doing what you’ve been doing.  Even when it’s obviously not working.

Certainly, Pastor Batterson acknowledges, not everything you face is your fault.  But, you still need to cut the rope.  Make courageous decision that chart a new course.

However, Mark notes, slow initial progress occurs when you attempt to cultivate a new habit.  Project management refers to this concept as an S curve.  Because it take time to gain momentum.  Above all, the hardest step is the first step.  In addition, steps get harder before they get easier.  And that’s true of every good habit.  So, imagine unborn tomorrows rather than worry about them.

In 2007, author J. K. Rowling struggled to finish the final novel, The Deathly Hollows, in her Harry Potter series.  Rowling tried writing in her home office, but constant distractions stymied her focus.  As a result, she checked into a luxurious hotel to complete the novel.

The world of deep work refers to this curious but effective strategy as the grand gesture.  And when God desires to do a deep work within us, that deep work often requires a grand gesture.  For example, Mark observes, the Ephesians built a giant bonfire to burn their sorcery scrolls.

Therefore, the author encourages:

“Do you have a dream that is gathering dust?  Give yourself  a deadline!  Not to finish, but to start.  You can’t just imagine unborn tomorrows; you’ve got to get up every morning and move in the direction of that dream.”

Today’s question: What triggers and tendencies serve as your trip wires?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Playing the long game – unborn tomorrows”

About the author

Dave Henning

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