Last week, before I started Saying Two I took a moment to Look Back and realized why my habit stacking* from Saying One didn’t work.

I hired a trainer January, I doubt he reads this blog, but he said something. Stac pays attention and could tell just by watching that I wasn’t taking in the nutrition I needed. Often I think no one notices when I’m doing something wrong, (1 John 1:8) the reality is, it’s just rare anyone says anything.

Stac didn’t just say something, he sent me a meal plan. I wake up and have oatmeal, two hours later Chicken, Zucchini, and Red Potato, then I lift and have a protein shake. Two hours later it’s Chicken, Zucchini, and Red Potato again. Two hours later it’s the same meal but, this time no potato. Six meals a day, and with the exception of breakfast they are basically all the same. But, a habit is just a simple repeatable rhythm.

Since I’m not going to attempt to stack habits until this one is a habit, I asked how long. Stac told me he wouldn’t even start dialing in this new eating rhythm for at least a month.

All of this was on my mind as I turned my attention to…

Saying Three

Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person,
    do not associate with one easily angered,
or you may learn their ways
    and get yourself ensnared. — Proverbs 22:24-25 (NIV)

Step One: Unpack

Sometimes step one is about me unpacking the text. On the best days, it’s about the text unpacking me.

I was a really angry man. For a long time, it was hard for me to admit that. Owning, as my friends in recovery say “I was powerless over” for my it was anger “and my life had become unmanageable” brought to much shame. I wanted control and not having it was a huge source of anger.

Now, having dealt with my anger and realizing, as the line from Hamilton sings, “I am the one thing in life I can control” I look out and see so many angry men. Rather than learn to use anger as fuel to live tov, we put fist through drywall. Could you imagine the world if even a small percent of that anger was turned toward addressing Saying Two.

“Deal with your stuff, or your stuff is going to deal with you,” was the single statement that got me started dealing with my anger. Tricia and I had gone in for marriage counseling. Our counselor, in the first session, said “You don’t have marriage issues, you” looking me dead in the eye,” need to deal with your stuff or it’s going to keep dealing with you.” He also, after Golding us he wouldn’t take us on as a couple, told me he would help me as an individual.

He was a counselor but, for the first time I made what Saying three would call a friend without a hot temper. It changed everything.

Step Two: Apply

Maybe for you, it’s not anger. It’s not for me anymore.

Maybe it’s not even just real people. Saying Three would have to consider the 33.5 hours of TV an average American watches each week “friends.”

“Birds of a feather, flock together” echoes an underlying theme of Saying Three. But, here’s the catch you can change your flock.

About two years ago, I wasn’t writing as much as I wanted. So I made friends with writers and started All Write, All Write, All Write. In January, when I wasn’t in the physical shape I wanted to be I brought Stac into my flock.

When we unpack Saying Three, it becomes clear we are influenced by our environment. So if your feathers need to change, do an end run and try changing your flock.

Make the meeting,
schedule the lunch,
join the club

Do it now… and please share your steps forward in the comments. I love hearing how you fly.


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