Tag Archives: skill

Doin’ It Hard, or Doin’ It Easy

Years ago I worked with a man whose company was undergoing significant change after it had been sold to new owners. He recognized that while the old ways of doing things were valid and good, they were not sacrosanct. He was open to new ways of managing the business.

Road race crowd, woman in forefront, other runners in background;  cool spring morning, blue sky, bare trees.

Exercising the mind to be open to doing new things or doing things differently is like exercising the body for physical fitness. It only works with effort and consistency, and we realize progress only over time.

His philosophy regarding these changes was that he could fight them, or he could be open to them, the choice was his. He knew that either way, he was going to have to adapt to the new requirements. He would periodically remind his staff of this by saying, “We can do hard time, or we can do easy time.” He had a firm habit of being open-minded. Continue reading

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How to Break a Bad Habit in 6 Steps

I am developing a new habit, and so this weekend, as part of my effort to break the cycle of the old habit, I learned how to sew buttonholes. How can sewing buttonholes be the secret to forming a new habit?

bald black man in orange jacket, headphones, at edge of football field

To break a bad habit, we must choose to avoid what we’ve been doing. To form a good habit, we must choose to practice it repeatedly.

I’ll explain shortly. First, if you don’t sew, you cannot appreciate how hard it is to sew buttonholes. Niccolò Paganini wrote his wickedly difficult Caprice No. 24 in A minor so that violinists could learn it in lieu of learning how to make buttonholes.

I have a mechanical sewing machine that requires four separate steps for a buttonhole. The jazzy computerized machines sew perfect buttonholes in one step. It’s the difference between managing a team of horses and driving on cruise control.

I am not known as a domestic goddess, but once in a while I’ll trot out the sewing machine and make pillow covers. I decided this time that I’d finish them using buttons. That means buttonholes. Something I have successfully avoided since my high school life skills class.

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Filed under Commitment