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Shower dial inspiration, manA funny thing happened in the shower the other day. It was all, like, steamy, and I was all, like, outta control. Yeah. I forgot which way to turn the dial for cold.

Been there? You get in the shower in a frenzy of morning gotta-do’s and thrash around like the concept of keeping hot-cold/clockwise-counter-clockwise straight will never be attainable. Like it’s beyond you. You wrote it off a long time ago. Just crank it.

Well, that shower took place in early 2013 [sniffs armpit]. Then I decided that since I’d be using the same shower for a hundred more years (when I’m 145), it was worth taking the time to cement in what was going on with that fuckin’ dial. So I took the time to learn it. I learned something new. And I reinforced it. And now, when I get in the shower, I’m all, “Yeah, dial! You’re my bitch!” (Disclaimer #5: I firmly believe that using the term “bitch” to claim dominion over something is perfectly acceptable – when you’re 99.9% sure that the something you’re conquering is an inanimate object.)

Doesn’t seem to you like it’s that big of a deal if every time you turn the burner on you’re switching all those fuckers on to find the right one? Wrong. It is the small things that matter. The “insignificant” ones we repeat again and again. They are more likely to make us who we are than any of the very noble conscious things we do less frequently.

So, who will you become when you learn the secret handshake between the deadbolt and the door handle to lock the Pella door? Being in control of what is controllable makes the whole of life look less out of control. Plenty of things in life are beyond our control. Let’s take back what’s within our control one Pella door mechanism at a time. It’s training ourselves into believing in the control we actually possess. That we can do something about things. That we can discern between what we can change and what’s beyond our control, and focus on the former. That we never give up.

There’s another benefit I’ve found to this practice. (Yeah, it’s a practice.) We become strong in what we know.

We become strong in what we know.

We stop questioning ourselves when we know. When we turn the shower dial the hot way, and it’s cold at first, we don’t freak out and get all “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing!” The other day I said something brilliant (well, every day), then someone questioned it from an unexpected angle, and I doubted my very basis for argument. I remember when this used to happen all the time. Ever feel like this? Like you had mistaken yourself for somebody qualified? You are fuckin’ qualified. Reinforce this.

The practice works this way:

  1. Pick your bitch. Don’t be a pimp, just choose one at a time. Let’s say it’s your shower dial.
  2. Get naked. Look at your shower dial. Be present with it. Turn it. Learn it.
  3. The next time you get in the shower, STOP. Don’t choose wrong. Make a point of stopping before choosing. This is what I call intervening on behalf of yourself. I say shit like this all the time.
  4. You might have to make some logistical changes to minimize failure potential. For instance, if you’re always pulling eight drawers open to find the spatula, you can – wait for it – decide where to put your spatulas. The hard part is, you have to stick to it. And those other humans in your house? Not controllable. In this case, consider yourself a success every time you open the drawer that is supposed to contain the spatula. Then chuckle and shake your head as if you’re a mom in a sitcom who actually finds this kind of thing funny.
  5. Celebrate. Yeah. Really. Take a moment to be present with the fact that YOU DID IT! It’s about time you start living in what’s working instead of living in everything that still sucks. Again – I say shit like this all the time. Again – repetition is a powerful thing.

Now do your practice.

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