If you are like me your history of New Years Resolutions is spotty at best. Our ability to successfully follow through on a resolution or the forming of new habits will always be dependent on something more than just self discipline. It’s as if we cannot force such changes on ourselves, but instead must absorb them or, to put it a different way, we must allow the change we are seeking to happen from the inside out.
At a LIFE Marriage Retreat we help individuals and couples to build a strong internal foundation of unchanging principles and proven skills. One key to our success is in introducing what we refer to as Quantum Leaps which help our couples to take huge steps in their progress in just a few days.
For example, Stephen R. Covey, the renowned author and consultant, describes being on a train with just a few other passengers and enjoying the relaxed and peaceful atmosphere as he travels toward his destination. Then at a stop, a father and three children get on the train and everything changes. The man sits next to Covey and stares at the floor as the children run wild in the train, screaming and roughhousing, climbing over seats, falling into other passenger’s laps and generally ruining the ride for everyone. Covey sits there growing frustrated and angry over this terrible family, wondering why the father does not do something about it.
He finally indignantly asks the man if he can do something to control his children. The man looks up as if noticing the melee for the first time and says, “I see what you mean. We just came from the hospital where my wife died and I don’t think the children know how to handle it yet. And quite frankly, I don’t know how to handle it either.”
In that moment everything changed for Covey. He went from being angry and judgmental in one moment to compassionate and serving in the next. Did he have to read a book on “30 Days to Better Habits” to make that nearly instant 180 degree change? No, he simply needed to broaden and change his perspective, then his behavior automatically changed as well.
When we help our couples to experience this principle and quantum leap of Perspective they come to understand that as they work to change their perspective and to better understand that of others, their behavior will also change, almost always for the better. As they focus energy on clarifying perspective, other principles naturally flow through them, principles such as kindness, patience, and accountability.
So if you are looking for a couple of good New Years Resolutions, here are two suggestions:
1. Work to better see and understand the perspective of others, thus naturally creating a kinder and more understanding you in the process.
2. Join LIFE Marriage Retreats this year for a life and relationship-changing experience at one of our Retreats. It will make 2013 one of the landmark years of your life.
We wish you a happy and joyous New Year, filled with family joy and growth!