A Simple Conscious Everyday Choice that Leads to True Fulfillment
Monday November 27, 2023

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Did you know that when we want to teach ourselves something new – a new skill, build a new muscle to hold a yoga pose, learn the passé composé verb conjugations in the French language, anything our brain doesn’t already know, which requires creating new synapses in the brain, places where neurons connect and communicate with each other, it will take 400 repetitions to create this new synapses? HOWEVER, if we enjoy how we are learning, if we are enjoying the process and throw ourselves genuinely into the learning process completely, research now has revealed it only takes 10-20 repetitions to create a new synapses. What a powerful difference, and benefit, genuine enjoyment can give us along the journey of learning something new.

When I first heard of this differentiation of incorporating play and enthusiastic immersion into the learning process, I had to smile because upon reflection, the hobbies and skills I have chosen willingly and with a love and great curiosity have had the greater likelihood of becoming a part of my life, and not necessarily because I have engaged with them more often to reach the level of competency even if in the long-haul I have engaged with the new skill more often, but because my whole heart and attention were engaged each time I partook.

From cooking, to learning about an intriguing culture, to feeling comfortable in conversation with strangers I welcome onto the podcast, to yep, certain poses in yoga, to gardening, caring for my dogs, if I have a sincere devotion to or curiosity about it, it more quickly became a new learned skill or ability in my repertoire.

However, with each of the new skills learned, I made plenty of mistakes and am most definitely still honing and improving my skills, but because I am enjoying the task itself, I am both giving my full energy and attention and not distracted and because of my awareness and sincere desire to learn – for myself and not because I ‘have to’ – I can note the little steps of process along the way and celebrate my progress.

The simple choice to simply practice whatever new skill we wish to welcome into our daily habits is what is needed to put that new habit into place as the succinct quote shares above, something stated aloud recently during yoga class while we were all drenched in sweat trying to hold a challenging balance pose. And as simplistic as that statement is, it is true. What we practice, we put into place. Consciously or unconsciously, whatever behaviors we repeatedly do or don’t do welcome into our lives the effects such repeated behaviors cause.

The key is to consciously engage with the formation of new habits and to do so with enthusiasm.

We must remind ourselves of the simple truth about creating the change we seek that author of Yamas & Niyamas Deborah Adele shares, “to become something in the future takes effort in the now”. She goes on to write about Sadhana, the term in yoga that refers to spiritual discipline, or the consistency of one’s daily Yoga practice. It is this consistency of practice over a period of time that brings the change and fulfillment we seek.

And when we regularly engage in a new habit, engaging with the learning process wholeheartedly, we “put ourselves in places where the old debris that has collected in us can be removed”, and when we enjoy the process itself, the debris of old unwanted habits or ways of living or being, or not knowing how to speak French as the case may be, is removed or falls away all the more quickly.

The analogy of removing debris that is unwanted from our lives, those habits that no longer, or may never have served us or nourished our well-being, depicts the ease of how change happens when we focus wholly and sincerely upon acquiring a new approach of living, an approach that honors our true selves, that has tickled our curiosity and won’t relent. The unwanted, the malnourishing habits that depress our capabilities of reaching fulfillment in our daily lives, simply fall away, seemingly disappear, and we often forget that we engaged in such habits because we have gain such fulfillment, joy and enrichment from the new skills we have adopted.

So today, there may be a new skill, habit or way of living you have been realizing or know would enrich the quality of your life if only you could acquire it. Likely, it is something you have labeled as difficult to do otherwise you would have attempted it already; however, it only seems difficult because it is deeply desired.

Remind yourself of the truths shared above – (1) give the effort today, in the present moment that will enable what you desire to become in the future materialized; (2) Engage in this action repeatedly in order to put it into place; and (3) Permit yourself to enthusiastically engage with this new habit each time you practice which means chose a medium that you enjoy that will lead to the result you seek (i.e. if you wish to improve your fitness, choose an aerobic activity you enjoy and lose track of time doing even if the results won’t be immediate; they will eventually lead you to the outcome you desire and you will have enjoyed the journey). In other words, have fun along the way and you will arrive at your destination far more swiftly because you will be on a path you don’t want to abandon.

Before you know it, you will be living the life you once imagined, holding the poses, speaking the language, thinking the constructive thoughts that once were only but a hope. No longer are they dreams, this is your reality, and you, with your consistent practice, put it into place. Now savor, savor, savor. This is how you build a life of true contentment.

TSLL has written many posts and episodes about the topic of Habits. Explore them all here, and below I have selected three specifically you might be interested after reading today’s post.


6 thoughts on “A Simple Conscious Everyday Choice that Leads to True Fulfillment

  1. What an insightful reminder about the transformative power of genuine enjoyment in the learning process! Your personal reflections beautifully emphasize the profound impact of wholehearted engagement on acquiring new skills. The analogy of removing unwanted debris through enthusiastic learning is both poetic and resonant. Your encouragement to embrace the present, engage repeatedly, and infuse enthusiasm into the journey is truly motivating. Your words echo the idea that the path to change is paved with the joy of the process. Thank you for sharing these valuable insights—it’s a timely nudge to pursue our aspirations with zest and embrace the fulfilling journey of self-improvement.

  2. Shannon, when I read this I immediately thought of this quote by Pierre-Auguste Renoir:
    “Work lovingly done is the secret of all order and all happiness.”
    And another by Jean Shinoda Bolen: “When you discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.”
    As you so deftly remind us, we are surrounded by things that bring us joy. We just need to pause & look around & recognize them to bring them to us.

    1. Susanne,

      Thank you very much for sharing both of these beautiful quotes. 😌 The consistency and courage. Each really are worth the investment even if upfront, we cannot see where they will lead us. Thank you for stopping by. 💛

    2. I love these quotes Suzanne , thank you for sharing them …… I hadn’t come across them before , but they are such wise words ❤️
      Have a lovely weekend.
      Best Wishes from the UK

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