Old Habits Kill Progress

4gats

A three-minute walk from Las Ramblas in Barcelona a very old cafe can be found. It is believed that Picasso used to regularly visit this place for a drink. He also held his first solo exhibition there.

On a central wall of the cafe hangs an enormous size painting of two men on a bike. One of them is trying to sit straight and smiling at the viewer. The other one, in a reclined position, is pedalling hard and looking ahead.

When I first saw the painting, I couldn’t take my eyes off it.

I stared at it mesmerised for such a long time that one of the waiters decided to give me an A3-size photocopy of the picture. That was almost three years ago and ever since I came back home this copy has been hanging on a wall in my house.

I would often look at it and wonder what the message that the painter left in the right-hand corner meant.

Tonight I went back to the cafe and solved this mystery.

‘To ride a bike you can’t sit straight’.

That’s it ??

I wanted to know more so, just like every ‘professional’ researcher nowadays, I Googled it 🙂

I found out that the painting was created specifically for the reopening of the cafe by a Catalan Spanish artist called Ramon Casas.

Few more articles later I learned that what the painter meant:

To make progress you’ve got to change the old habits’.

Trying to ride a bike while sitting straight, just like in the olden days, will not take you far!

I couldn’t agree more with these words!

We often live our lives on autopilots doing the same things over and over again yet dreaming about different results.

Our habits often help us stay in our comfort zone, keep us away from the unknown and make us feel seemingly safe.

They also allow us to switch off thinking.

But they can limit us too.

Any change starts with a brave decision to try something new. What follows, is the first firm step into the new direction.

Even if it feels uncomfortable at first, even if we don’t know exactly what we will find on our journey.

Deciding to make a change from some of our usual bad habits is the starting point on the journey to experience new adventures, explore new fields and to learn more about ourselves and others.

Only then we can truly grow!