Pattern Recognition for Growth and Success

Our brains are excellent at pattern recognition. Except, that is, when we’re looking at the patterns of our own lives.

The premise of Henry Cloud’s latest book, “Never Go Back”, is that successful people come to a point where they see a pattern in their lives that is not working out. When they see that pattern “they go through a door and never go back.”

Or, to state the inverse, Proverbs contains a statement, “A fool returns to his folly.”

It seems like every time I’m in some sort of transition period, Cloud releases a new book that speaks directly to my condition.

It was four years ago this week when I found myself in the hospital for the first time since I was born with a painfully torn quadriceps muscle.

That event seemed to be the start of some necessary transformations, and Cloud released “Necessary Endings” which spoke directly to the situation. I needed to find a end game and start something new.

But then I repeated a pattern by getting drawn into another dysfunctional business relationship. Andy Stanley recently talked about decision-making–if you feel a tension stop and reflect. I felt the tension, but I didn’t stop. That was a pattern repeating. It had happened several times before.

I’ve gone through that door, hopefully to never return.

Sometimes the pattern is breaking a habit–more properly stated as replacing a dysfunctional habit with a new, healthier one.

There is a spiritual pattern we can fall into where we sort of “lose” the spirit. We can leave that situation through intentional spiritual practices–reading the Bible, prayer, join a small study group.

Others we break when we realize the dysfunction and never go back.

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