By Cheryl Hansen
I was in a meeting several years ago in which the leader of the group challenged us to question any and every sacred cow that may be limiting our growth. Sacred cows, of course, refer to a sacred animal in Hindu societies. But in our world, they represent ideas or beliefs that have either been around for so long or are perhaps so revered that nobody even imagines questioning them. I learned back then that it was actually a good thing to challenge these ideas in a corporate setting—the companies that do it are usually considered pioneers: In addition to free massages, meals and health benefits, Google actually has nap pods available to employees—imagine the sacred cow that had to be taken down to make that happen.
I want to challenge my own sacred cows when it comes to my habits. But by definition, it’s really difficult to identify one’s personal this-is-just-how-it-is behaviors. They’re sacred, right? I will give it a shot, however, because I suspect that by identifying these untouchable habits, I’ll begin to see that they’re not so sacred after all.
- I need noise to function aka the TV must always be on. It’s a little embarrassing, actually, because I don’t think that successful, peaceful, enlightened, fit people are all that tuned in to TV.
- I just do Facebook to keep track of friends and family I don’t get to visit often. It is possible that this massive time-suck is really more about redirecting my brain from uncomfortable thoughts (TV may fall into that category, too).
- I need to drink diet coke and/or eat carbs when I have a big project pending. OK—I know this is total bullshit, but I still do it. So apparently, I’m not really listening to me.
- I work out—take walks, go to yoga, hit the gym—only when I have time. Exercise, sadly, is the first to go when I have a busy day, week, month. Gah—just writing that makes me cringe.
- Fun days/outings always include food (and I don’t mean a great salad). It’s not fun if it doesn’t include some kind of treat. I honestly can’t imagine bowling, hanging with a friend or going to the zoo without imagining food being a part of it.
- If only I could find the right method, plan, diet, foods, I would be successful. Instead of sticking to plans that I know will work if I just do it, I am always looking for something else. It’s as if I don’t trust myself.
- Eating healthy foods is not fun. It’s punishment.
My list is daunting. And eye opening. But I figure if some executive figured out how to install nap pods in a place of business, I can surely turn off the TV. (And just like that, I did it. It’s quiet and I’m OK. Still focused. Still…)