Scottie wisdom & Faith: Scotties, politics, and chasing inner peace
Last updated 8/18/2021 at Noon
Whether it is about treats, car rides, catching balls, or taking walks, my Scotties are the more-more-kids. They never have enough of what they want.
When someone can’t ever get enough of something — anything — it will deprive that person of inner peace. This is the big trap for people who are heavily mixed up with today’s politics. When I was young most people didn’t pay much attention to politics except during elections. But today it has become much more common for many people to be tuned in to politics 24/7. Cable television probably has a lot to do with that.
If you are a political junkie, when your party is in power you’re always looking for more ways your side can institute changes. If your side is out of power, you’re always looking for ways to get back into power. Like my Scotties, your political appetite is never satisfied, depriving you of inner peace.
To find inner peace we each need to learn new habits. When I was a motivational speaker, many companies wanted their employees to learn new habits, so I invested time learning how we form habits and how or what can break them.
We form many of our habits in early childhood. The culture or environment in which we live teaches us a lot about what works and what doesn’t work if we want to get along with those around us. Many of these habits help us live peacefully today, and that is one key to understanding habit formation. We develop habits unconsciously based upon the quality of the outcome of a behavior.
When we do something, and we get a negative reaction to it, we generally don’t do it anymore. But when we like the outcome, we do the same thing again and again. As I’ve learned from my Scotties, and many research studies confirm this, it may take only doing something two or three times for us to form a new habit.
If it is so easy to form a new habit, why is it so hard to break an old one? There are several reasons. Habits are stored in our subconscious mind. This is the part of the mind that really runs our lives. The subconscious runs all your body functions. Its collection of habits help you drive, take a shower, wash dishes, play golf, walk down the road, and do just about everything in life.
How often have you been thinking about something important while you’ve driven to work? Only to find, once you arrived at your destination, you couldn’t even remember the drive. You accomplished this complicated task thanks to your subconscious mind. Your conscious mind worked with the problem and your subconscious mind drove. This is a great example illustrating your subconscious mind’s power.
As a matter of fact, once you realize how powerful your subconscious mind is, you may want to do what the sports world is now doing and begin deliberately building new habits.
Studies show, and college and professional athletes have taken notice, that your subconscious mind is always ready to learn. The amazing thing is that this part of the mind doesn’t know the difference between actually doing something and actively visualizing yourself doing the same thing. As a result of this discovery, advanced athletic training now has athletes spend time visualizing their correct form to achieve optimum memory. Coaches used to speak of muscle memory. Now they know they must also develop subconscious mind memory.
With this background, you can see that it is almost impossible to change a habit that produces outcomes you like. Therefore, diets don’t work. You like food! You probably like sweet food. You may be able to learn to like a lean body more than sweet food, but that will only happen if you spend a great deal of time visualizing the warmth and joy of a lean body. As soon as you think about the joy of food, the old food habit will jump right over the new lean-body habit.
This column started out talking about inner peace and never getting enough of things. Both conditions are habits. You can build a habit of finding inner peace by examining things in your life that make you feel peaceful. When you identify something, such as looking at the mountains with new-fallen snow, sitting by a stream, or walking down a forest trail, capture that image in your mind and practice visualizing that peaceful scene anytime you feel agitated. With enough practice, you can teach your subconscious to bring that feeling forward to help calm you down as needed.
When you build the habit of inner peace, you can end the habit of needing more of everything. Welcome to true peace and joy.
For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility. — Ephesians 2:14