Someone was telling me about a book on change called One Small Step can Change your Life. I’m not sure I’m going to rush out and buy it, but there were a few tidbits worth experimenting with.
Apparently, the idea is (obvious enough): big change means big fear. Little change means no fear. It seems to have to do with primitive survival instincts. Too much disruption and our fight-or-flight mechanism sets in. The flight-mechanism diverts all our energy from the parts of our brain that could respond creatively or wisely, so we run away from change rather than engaging with it productively. But apparently, if the change is small enough, the panic response lies dormant, and we can get on with being creative, adaptive human beings. Now I have no idea if this is scientifically true, but it sounds intuitively plausible, which is good enough for now.
So that means we need to look for tiny little steps towards change — something I suspect we all know, but often fail to apply.
The other helpful reminder was about how easily our brain can be programmed. Apparently, if we ask ourselves the same question every day, our brain learns to track the information for us throughout the day. That means that if we ask the question, ‘where was God’s blessing’, our brain will tag and sort blessings throughout the day; whereas if we ask ‘how have I failed?’ our brain will tag all our downfalls. (This is ‘Pavlov meets Ignatius’, isn’t it?)
If that’s true, it means we need to choose our questions wisely. But imagine if by the simple act of asking, we found that our brain got in the habit of noticing blessing, or beauty, or laughter, or forgiveness… if we got in the habit of noticing God.
So, here’s a one-off question (or two) for anyone who will join in:
What’s the best question we could ask ourselves each day? What will draw us closest to God?