Monday, January 12, 2009

Picking Preferences

I think I've learned a lot about my personal preferences by being out of my element the past few years.  I guess the ability to choose a new way of doing things provides me the perfect platform for deciding what I prefer.

My question is: Do you have to find yourself in a new environment to feel compelled to change? People talk about how difficult it is to break habits, but I wonder if preferences are the same.  I'm thinking of preferences in daily life, like college students who redefine their image freshman year or professionals who relocate for greater growth opportunities.

For example, my church in Ohio encouraged hospitality by asking all members to change seats every week to accommodate guests and facilitate new relationships.  For nearly 20 years, not only did I sit in the same side of the church, but I sat in the same row and the same chair.  This little 'hospitable action' was asking a lot.  When I found a church in Seattle, however, it wasn't about my preference for the right side or second row, I went to a completely different place and even tried the balcony... that is... until I started to establish a favorite pew.  The past few weeks I've been making a new preference here!

Here are some others:

Sorry clothesline, I tried line-drying in Armenia and will always prefer the dryer.

Sorry elliptical machine, the treadmill wins my exercise time.

Sorry plastic bag, reusable is much more durable.

Sorry rainy weather, I thrive in a sunny environment.

But wait!  I could see these preferences changing with a change in my environment.  I could skip the dryer if I had a little breeze, I would use the elliptical if I had sore knees, I would grab plastic if I forgot my canvas bag and I could easily prefer rain if there weren't this unemployment lag. Sorry about the rhyme.  

So, my conclusion is that we change when we're forced out of our comfort zone.  We learn faster, work harder and live better when we're motivated by some kind of environmental change.

Am I right? 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds logical to me.