Have you ever noticed how in times of need humankind turns to phrases and expressions to justify their emotions or the circumstances that they find themselves caught in? We utter such clichés as everything happens for a reason, or what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger, and countless other little phrases to get us through a tough time. Even when everything in our life is going fantastic we try to pigeon hole the experiences afforded to us by saying I’m so blessed right now, or that my hard work is finally paying off. It seems as though we as a species need this validation of our thoughts, feelings and experiences. We appear to almost struggle to function without being able to justify every moment of our life through spoken and written word.
Sometimes it seems as though no matter what the circumstance, there is an expression ready to be recited in an effort to inspire, motivate, and aid you in overcoming it. Personally I love that mankind is so determined to understand itself. I’m even more thrilled that it has chosen spoken and written word as the vessels through which it seeks that understanding. My dreams of being a successful author would be all but screwed if we were more comfortable in taking the world and our experiences at face value. Without this thirst for knowledge and understanding there would be no writing, no art, no music, or creativity in general.
However, these expressions that we are so willing to affix to our situations can be dangerous. Too many are submissive and allow us as a species to flounder and fall short of our true potential. Shit happens. Yeah it does, if you’re prepared to let it.
Let’s back track a bit. This whole post came to fruition because of an article I recently read which detailed a study released by the European Journal of Social Psychology on creating habits. The study followed ninety six people over a twelve week period, during which they determined that the average time required to develop a habit was sixty six days. I found the article incredibly intriguing; the study suggested that through conscious implementation of a new movement or thought pattern for sixty six days it would become so ingrained in one’s subconscious that it would inevitably become habit. Being the inquisitive person I am I decided to take this idea give it a shot. I picked an expression that I could relate to and aspired to make a change.
You reap what you sow. At least that’s what I have been told. So I decided that for sixty six days I would sow nothing but seeds of positivity and determination into the fabric of my life. I resolved to cut the negativity from my soul and instead focus on finding the silver lining in every situation. I sat at my computer and I punched out articles of hope rather than angst, I stopped actively trying to cripple people and instead focused on being a better version of me.
The result? Well right now I’m on day eighteen of this little experiment and so far things are looking pretty damn good. I’ve been running this blog for a couple of years, amassing a somewhat decent audience of followers and likers to my sporadic ramblings. But with focus, positivity and determination I managed to double my readership by day eight. By day twelve I tripled it. And just today I received some exciting information that I can’t wait to share with my readers.
That’s not to say that the experiment hasn’t had its moments. I’ve nearly cracked a few times and reverted back to the narcissist arsehole that used to run this site. I’ve upset a few people close to me over the past three weeks, and to those that I have I truly am sorry. I love you to death and although I will undoubtedly slip again, with your help I will forever strive to be a better person.
You reap what you sow. Perhaps one of the most overused expressions of all time. But for this writer truer words have never been spoken. I’ve spent years walking around with clenched fists and a mind fuelled by rage, searching for my next victim. During that time all I have found is resistance, unhappiness and despair. But after just eighteen days of positivity and focus I’ve achieved more than I ever did during those times of shame. When you’re sowing seeds of hate or submission into your life, you’re going to reap resistance or dominance from life itself. But when you open your heart, free your mind and start sowing positivity the payoff is so much more rewarding.
As a writer you spend your entire life trying to create something new; something fresh. And at times in can become difficult to prevent yourself from falling into the trap of clichés. There’s the old Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch theory that states that there is only seven basic conflicts in literature, and to consistently try to think outside of the box and create something fresh and relevant can be exhausting. Add to that the fact that oftentimes you’re also trying to avoid drawing reference to clichéd expressions and you can find yourself walking an intellectual minefield of potential story ruining one liners and plot points. But as a man or woman who seeks to find enlightenment and their path in this world those same clichés can offer hope and guidance. You just need to pick the one that works best for you.
Shit happens to those that let it. But you reap what you sow. Sow shit and it’ll come back tenfold. Sow seeds of love, tolerance, determination and positivity and your crop will be more beautiful than you ever thought possible. We as human beings are forever going to subscribe to these expressions and clichés; but it is up to us as to how we draw inspiration from them. If you want to be submissive then you can continue to recite your tired adages of acceptance. But if you want to be the best damn person you can be than subscribe to a viewpoint that inspires. You reap what you sow. So chose your crop carefully.