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Every Friday is Wisdom Friday.  It’s just a way for me to share with my readers the little gems of life that I’ve learned either during the week or living life in general.

I am not sure if this true for everybody, but I find that it is infinitely easier to change myself if I first adjust my attitude to fit the new me.  For example, I’ve been trying to practice patience for most of this year.  Patience comes in many forms, but for me a lot of it is about having compassion towards others who have done me wrong.  I realize a lot of the mishaps that lead to my angry state are unintentional, yet many times they anger me just the same.

For most of this year, I tried hard to control my anger without much success.  The problem with that approach is I was treating the symptoms and not the cause.  It wasn’t until I actively tried to adjust my attitude that I began to make progress.  In my case, instead of artificially telling myself the incidents should not bother me, I told myself there was no reason to be angry because the consequences of what happened were unintentional.  The more I actively changed my attitude towards the environment that triggered my anger in the first place, the more I was able to divorce myself from anger.  The result?  I am proud to say that I have not been angry in over a month as of this writing!

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I started a strange habit last year — I decided to experiment with a new lifestyle by making minor changes to my life one alteration at a time.

Last year, I decided to give up shopping for clothes for 6 months.  At first, it was kinda hard — not because I was a shopaholic but because I was such a sucker for bargains!  There would be times where I would browse a store, found an incredible deal but had to talk myself out of the purchase.  At the end of month six, however, I’ve lost all my appetite for clothes shopping altogether.  It was not the outcome I expected at all, but I guess I’ve conditioned my brain to lose interest in clothes shopping.  Now I buy clothes for the occasions for which I need the outfits.  It’s true that I may end up spending more money this way (because it’s rare to find something you need on sale right at the moment you need it), but it is more than offset by the amount of money I don’t spend on clothes regularly.

This year, I decided to give up alcohol.  It was chosen out of randomness.  I don’t consume much alcohol in the first place, so I don’t miss it on a day-to-day basis.  What is more difficult is when I hang out with friends in social drinking settings.  That’s when I find myself wanting a glass of wine or a pint of beer.  While most of my friends respect my decision, they try to tempt me nevertheless.  So far, so good though.  I don’t know how my life will be different after this experiment is over, but I look forward to the change.

How about you?  Have you ever challenged yourself by making long-term changes?  If not, may I suggest that you give it a try?  Just choose one thing in your life you want to change and try to stick to the challenge for six months.  You may be surprised at the outcome of your experiment!

When you challenge yourself, you inevitably change yourself.  Most of the time, such discipline changes lead to better life and living!