Imagine you bought a horse and at the age of 3 years (18 in human years)We will name him Raphael after the famous renaissance artist. Also going to Travel back in time when horses were the main transport. You formed an attachment with Raphael the beautiful horse. Feeding , grooming and riding him regularly. The bond becomes stronger as you learn to trust each other.
One morning you go to the stable and notice Raphael is starting to look his age but he was keen to see you. On that day you have an important appointment to attend. You start to prepare Raphael with his saddle and bit. Raphael is little hesitant as you buckle up the saddle ready to go to this appointment. You have been riding Raphael now for 21 years and his old age of 70 in horse years started to show. Faithful horse is happy but reluctant to continue on this important journey. Then the horse stops and falls to the ground , “oh no you cry out , I am going to be late”. This is day when your trusted companion has had enough and dies.
A friend passes by and notices you and the horse on the ground. The friend shouts across to you and says “ get off the horse he is dead”. You are in shock and motionless as time stands still. The connection you had with your trusted companion is there but you feel the emptiness inside as your world falls apart.
Now you have two choices: Carry on to the important appointment or stay with the horse and forget about the appointment?
In life we are faced with choices every second of the day. Many of our choices are programs we have already run before so it’s easy for the brain to take the same neuropathway because it has been there before. Bad habits are same as good habits in essence what brain normal responses are. For example every morning and evening we brush our teeth. Another example we go to a friend or restaurant and eat a delicious meal have a drink with it. When We are feeling feed up we eat a sugary treat or buy something because the brain knows how it felt afterwards. Habits are easy to start but after some time they are hard to stop.
One of the triggers and sabotage of habits relate to Emotion dysregulation. For example we know that eating the wrong food or drinking too much is not good for the body. Emotion comes along and hijacks our resolve to do the right logical choice.
There are myriads of self help books with excellent advice but the society still struggles to make the right choices and I include myself in that category. So you may wonder how the ………..? can I change? The simple solution is get off the horse because it dead and want take you where you want to go. But the problem we face like our trusted Raphael who served us for many years. Raphael and you managed to get to where you are know in life as an emotional attachment.The simple answer is that some behaviours no longer works for us at times. If you continue with a habit or choice that doesn’t work you will miss that important appointment. Our illustration reminds us that a friend may tell us get off the horse but we have to take the action.
We all love happy endings, let’s go back to the story again. The friend said jump on the back of my horse and I will take you to that important appointment. Afterward we can come back to faithful Raphael and give him a special burial and erect an message for all to see.
This is what the message said in memory of Raphael:
My faithful companion I thank you for your trust and support because you helped me get through the good and difficult journeys we made. I am grateful for serving me all those years and I was responsible for both of us. Now you are gone and I understand you can not serve me anymore so I will leave you and go on a new journey with my friend who has given me his trusted companion Michelangelo.
Michelangelo is the new powerful habit that will take you places