In psychology, there is a phenomenon called creeping normality. The man who coined the phrase, Jared Diamond, also refers to it as “landscape amnesia.”
Imagine you’re on a long train ride. For hours, you stare out the window. Every once in a while, you “wake up” and are surprised how different everything looks. Before you knew it, the scenery changed. From mountains to fields to forests and back. You were looking but, somehow, you’ve missed the details. That’s landscape amnesia.
On a train ride, it’s harmless. But in the case of creeping normality, it means we might accept a big, negative change because it happens slowly and unnoticeably over time.
That’s why it’s important to take stock once in a while. To reflect carefully on your trajectory. You might wake up and be surprised. How did I get here? Why did the scenery change?
Sometimes, you’ll realize you got lost. That you ended up in the wrong place. That’s okay. But now you’ve got to get off the train. That’s easier said than done.
These decisions rarely affect us alone. We’ll disappoint people in the process. We have to face our own failure. And we must trust that what follows will be better.
So don’t be afraid to ask the conductor. To get off at the next stop. Or to pull the emergency brake.
Love yourself enough to quit. And then buy a new ticket.
About Forgiveness Wednesday: No matter how the week starts, by Wednesday, we’ve had enough time to kick ourselves. We’re human. We make mistakes, we regret them, and we blame ourselves. But the only way we can keep moving on is if we forgive ourselves and those around us. So every Wednesday, forgiveness is what we’ll practice.
Let’s be kind to ourselves so we can succeed.
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