Week 7, Everyday Tuesday, February 14, 2017 A different kind of bike.

Learning to do something differently than you already know isn’t as easy as it seems. For example, riding a backwards brain bicycle is nearly impossible to master. It takes a lot of practice to adapt to understanding something differently than you already do.

Destin Sandlin, known for his educational video series Smarter Every Day, shows us that “knowledge doesn’t equal understanding” when he struggles to learn to ride a bicycle that turns the opposite direction of its handlebars. Destin challenges the idea that “once you have a rigid way of thinking…you cannot change that, even if you want to” and he determinedly sets out to understand something new and change his way of thinking.

Destin, like many of us, learned to ride a bicycle as a young kid. Watch his video here as he explains why it takes him 8 months of practice before his mind and body are able to adapt to learning how to ride a different kind of bike. It’s fascinating!

So, how does this relate to practicing contentment? As I watched Destin on “Episode 133 – The Backwards Brain Bicycle” I suddenly realized that I’ve had a flawed assumption. I thought that practicing contentment and being part of a contentment movement would simply make sense to everyone. I’ve been thinking that folks would take to embracing contentment “just like riding a bike.”

I’ve realized that the idea of a cultural shift toward the practice of contentment and being unshakably ok is, in a way, like asking you to try riding a backwards brain bike. And I know that practicing contentment isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Knowledge of contentment doesn’t equal understanding of contentment. That’s where a willingness to practice will have to come in to play. Many (if not all) of the Everyday52™ contentment practices likely seem obvious. You already know that breathing, being kind, getting enough sleep, or taking the stairs are things you probably should be doing every day.

Just like learning to ride a different kind of bike, practicing contentment means learning to do something differently than you already know. I will help you learn to pay attention to the little things you do each day with the mindfulness of truly caring for yourself. I am certain, when you practice, that you’ll discover the mind-blowing transformation of the ordinary into the extraordinary in your everyday life!

I’m certain because I already know how practicing contentment leads to being unshakably ok. I recognized the ways that discontentment had become a rigid way of experiencing my life as I knew it. So I set out to understand something new and changed my way of living. I looked at all the ways that discontentment had a hold on my life and then I practiced by doing things differently. Paying attention to how I was breathing (or sometimes holding my breath or breathing very shallowly) transformed how I felt in my day. Bringing awareness to being kind provided me with opportunities for kindness all around me and transformed how I felt in my day. The ordinary ways of living my life became extraordinary.

Practicing contentment is like learning to ride a different kind of bike. I join Destin in recognizing that it’s possible to know and understand something new. And the best part is, when you begin practicing contentment, your life will begin to shift, too.

Learn more about Everyday52™ and join me in making contentment your way of being unshakably ok.  And then together, let’s create a culture of contentment that makes sense to everyone!