Why we do what we do!

I used to have a routine every day after work. I would get my clothes for the next day, lay them out, take a shower, pick out the clothes for the gym the next morning, and then say hello to my family. I always did it in that order, until one day one of my kids walked by me and said hello, and started telling me about his day. 

I was helpless! Speechless. My son was violating my ritual, my routine that must get done before I get into family things. This felt weird, and usually when I got home everyone was busy doing something. Not this day. I was set in a routine, and was forced to decide between the routine or listening to my son. I did listen, and slowly made my way to my closet to complete my daily ritual. This time it was different , I realized how I had gotten into such a habit that it had overtaken me.

There is a story that I have heard, about a young woman and her mother cooking Easter dinner. As they were cutting the bone off of the ham, to put in the pan, the young daughter asked her mother why she cut the bone off. The mother stopped what she was doing, and smiled. ‘We always do it that way, honey” she responded. The daughter just would not give up and asked that they call grandma and ask her why we do cut the bone off of the ham. After a reluctant call to grandma, the mother hung up the phone, looked at the daughter, and said “like I said honey, grandma said we always have done it this way”. Still not satisfied, the young daughter insisted they call her great grandmother and ask her. “Surely someone must know why we do it like this!” she snapped. After debating for a minute, the mother finally gave in, and called her grandmother. After the question was posed once again, the great grandmother simply stated ” I have no idea why y’all are cutting the bone off! I did it because 40 years ago I did not have a pan big enough to hold the ham and the bone!”

Simple story, and funny. It also makes me wonder how many of us do things everyday because that is the way we know? Do we know why? Do we have any good reason to do what we are doing? Many times the answer is no. Just like Carey Hart had to remove previous limits to accomplish his goal, we also need to take a look at why we do what we do, and perhaps we might find out that we do not have to stick with mundane routines. Think outside of the ham bone today! What limits have you set on yourself?

Leave a Reply