I've noticed that it does seem to be true that as we get older, we seem to get more stuck in our ways. In particular, I've noticed how assumptions I make about myself provide me excuses for not being better about something or gives me a pass to not work at self-improvement. For example:
- Assumption: I'm just not good at keeping in touch with people.
- This is my excuse for letting myself fall out of touch with friends. Out of sight, out of mind.
- Assumption: I'm not good with names (but really, who is?).
- This is my excuse for not spending any energy to really remember someone's name.
- Assumption: If someone snaps at me, I will hold a grudge.
- This is my excuse for allowing myself to become inward facing and to lick my wounds.
- Assumption: I'm not really a phone person.
- This is my excuse for not making a phone call (and instead, sending an email or a text) in order to avoid awkward moments on the phone.
I'm sure there are many more. I'm sure there must also be a balance between the predisposition to these qualities and finding occasions to die to yourself. Sure, some of these things may seem small (as opposed to breaking a pornography addiction or something), but as Matthew Kelly says, each time we deny ourselves, no matter how small, we create an ounce of self-possession.