The Chain Method
May 28, 2018
When we think about change in ourselves and our children, we need to think about the process of putting one foot in front of the other. In May 16th's piece in The Daily Stoic, there is a a quote from Epictetus that discourses on change.
"If you don't wish to be a hot-head, don't feed your habit. Try as a first step to remain calm and count the days you haven't been angry. I used
to be angry every day, now every other day, then every third or fourth . . . if you make it as far as 30 days, thank God! For habit is first weakened and then obliterated. When you can say 'I didn't lose my temper today, or the next day, or for three or four months, but kept my cool under provocation,' you will know you are in better health."
This is really the best way to effect change for the better. It starts today with one change that is repeated tomorrow and then the next day. Soon, it becomes a habit that is beneficial. I have personally found this to be true many times in my life. The most recent example is with Duolingo the language learning application. Every day I am challenged to complete three short lessons in language learning. The days pile up and a chain of learning begins to a point that to miss a day feels off.
Start a chain,