A pyramid made out of Legos.

Pyramid Theory – The Next Right Thing Isn’t Always Easy

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G-Man had an early flight to Chicago, so at 2 am I was awakened by the concerned bark of our dog, Miss Butter Jones. I could not get back to sleep. While tossing and turning there was a good deal of inner debate about what I was going to do when that alarm clock went off at 4:35 am. Go to the gym or get more rest? At 4:41 am, when I was leaning strongly towards hitting the ‘off’ button, I asked myself, What choice aligns with the goals I’ve set for myself? Sometimes I have to get back to basics. Are the small choices I’m making throughout each day supporting the things that are important to me?

I have heard it said, “You can’t think yourself into right behavior, you have to behave yourself into right thinking.” For years, I was convinced that something major in my life was going to set me on the right course. A new career. Going back to school. But it wasn’t until I focused on the little things that I slowly discovered the huge impact they had on my life. I thought of it as a pyramid. The person I wanted to be was at the top. To get to her, I needed to make certain that all of the building blocks were in place. I thought back to times when things were flowing in my life. What was I doing? What was working? I came up with a list of things that I needed in a day, a week, a month, and a year to be the best version of myself. Gradually, I made those needs a priority. Suddenly, making my bed in the morning, putting my clothes out the night before, going on weekly dates night with G, were all relevant and important because they were my concrete commitments to actually do something about my situation rather than just complain about it.

Of course, there are times when staying up late or spending extra money or taking a mental health day from work are exactly what I need. But with my personality always wanting to gravitate toward ‘all or nothing’ thinking, I have to be mindful that those ‘feel good in the moment’ choices don’t quickly become my new normal. So much of growing up for me has been about learning to do what I don’t want to do because it’s the right choice. Even when it’s not necessarily the easiest choice. And what I’ve been noticing lately is that the more difficult it is for me to make the right choice, the more important it is for me to make it.

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