We’ve spoken before about the “holes in your bucket”.

Now is the time to start focusing on the right ones.

Have a look at some of the lists you’ve created before, searching for issues that come up repeatedly, or challenges that you haven’t taken up yet.

We looking for the program that runs and does stupid things like persuading you that surfing the internet or dawdling on Facebook for hours is a better idea than making your dreams into realities. Or that running the same old comfortable routines are going to do any more than that. Or “forgetting” at strategically opportune moments to avoid doing something productive; or not taking on a relatively straightforward project that’s useful and beneficial but might involve effort because “I don’t have enough energy/time/money/etc.

Choose the one you’ve been clinging to… no doubt for very good reasons… but that is getting old fast or is well past its sell-by date and is beginning to wear thin.

Choose it now.

Imagine it sitting there in front of you. What does it look like? What is it? What color is it? How big? Does it make noise? Does it speak? What does it say? How do you feel when you look at it?

Go on and study this imaginary thing for a moment.

That behavior or set of programs, which we’ve just represented – no matter what it feels like – is not you. It is not who you are. It is not what you are.

It’s a program that you might identify yourself with but it actually isn’t your identity. It’s just another adaptation that was perfect for its time but you’ve simply let it run too long.

It’s like one of those… Yorky dogs, or a Chihuahua – a yappy purse-pup with “small dog syndrome”, that you allow to poop everywhere. It’s a good dog gone bad. And it went bad because you didn’t train it properly. Baaaaaad dog-owner. Baaaaad.

I hope that was sufficient recriminations over it for the rest of a lifetime as now is the time to take this thing seriously and deal with it. There’s a hole in your bucket… and this is it. Let’s plug the hole, and get that puppy trained, and you get freer and set up for a happier life.

It’s simple.

Using the tools we have been working with, deal with this matter as if it is a simple project, made up of a sequence doings (because that’s what it is, and that’s all it is).

Treat your narrative(s) about it, and your defendings of suffering, and the sunk costs involved with it, and all the rest of the insanity – and deal with this as a simple matter.

That means working out what you want to be doing instead (precisely). That means thinking through how that might work. That means considering the resources that need to be brought to bear.

That means working out what made the old behavior the right one, the correct one for its time and circumstance (pattern detective time!). That means connecting the accomplishment of the new behavior up to every other part of your life and what will make it worthwhile.

It means… you use whatever other tools and insights you’ve gained to make this change happen. … or, if you don’t want to do something beneficial that will improve your life, you can do as my grandmother used to say, “kids… I want you to go out to the garden, pick a tree, and count the number of crabapples on it before you come back…”

Man, I counted crabapples for HOURS…

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