Changing the Future

The highlight of the recently concluded Academy Award ceremony — popularly known as the Oscars — was Will Smith striking presenter Chris Rock on stage. The star slapped Rock before a live audience after the comic made a joke about the actor's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Smith has since apologized to Rock, but I am sure he would give anything to take back that moment.

We do idiotic things, too, sometimes repeatedly. And who among us hasn't wished we could live our life over to rectify some of the foolish things we have done? Unfortunately, we would probably make the same mistakes all over again because we are creatures of conditioning. Also, we realize many of our goof-ups only in hindsight. What we can do, however, is ensure we don't repeat the mistakes in the future. Here are a few tips to help us change.

One, identify mistakes. We tend to gloss over our mistakes because we prefer not to remember them, but we cannot expect to change unless we identify and acknowledge the wrong things we have done.

Two, replay the mistake. Very often, the things we do result from certain events that have triggered a particular action or emotion. Replaying the mistake helps us identify the triggers.

Three, analyze the mistake and the trigger. Asking ourselves a few "why" questions can help us here. Why did I act in the manner that I did? Why did that trigger me? There is usually a root cause for all behavior, and discovering that can help us fix the problem.

Four, think about reacting differently. Asking ourselves how we would have reacted differently in the situation and then putting this into practice the next time will ensure a different result. Remember, practice makes perfect!

Five, get God into the picture! Spending time in personal prayer will help us achieve all the steps mentioned above and get God's grace flowing into our lives. That will make it easier to live a life marked with less foolishness. 

May the Spirit be with you.

P.S. Send this to Will Smith, somebody!

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