No one decides to become a liar. It isn’t their goal. Instead, they tell a small lie, followed by another little lie. Eventually, as they become accustomed to avoiding the truth, their lies grow. They tell bigger and more damaging lies, until some point this behavior defines them.
There isn’t any person who decides it is their life’s goal to be a drug addict or an alcoholic. To mask some pain, especially the pain of not feeling a sense of belonging, they start abusing some substance. Later, things shift, and instead of them taking some substance, the substance takes them.
People don’t make a conscious decision to be lazy. Mostly, they seek comfort or escape. Over time, as comfort wins out over effort, and the comfort-seeker is marked by their laziness, their sloth, and their endless procrastination.
Stepping Foot on the Path
Once you step foot on the path, you have chosen a direction. The further you traverse down that path, the more the road is taking you away from what you might have been. Even when you are not conscious of how you are changing (and being changed), and even if no one yet notices, you are becoming something different from what you once were.
It’s the seemingly small decisions, repeatedly taken that propel you in a particular direction as much or more than the colossal choices that require more conscious thought. The first small decision is what sets you on a path, but it’s the continuation over time that changes your identity.
This same pattern of small decisions, repeatedly taken, can take you down another path, a better path to becoming something other than what has taken you. The first decision you have to make is to turn around and take the first step.
If, in the past, you would have undertaken some action, turning around means taking the opposite action. Being conscious of the new decision and repeatedly taking it moves you out of the wilderness and back towards a better place.
For some, the path out is longer and more difficult. For others, once they make a decision, the transformation is almost immediate and irrevocable. Either way, the new path begins with turning around.
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