03/20/2013 04:43 pm ET Updated May 20, 2013

Get in Control! (And Make It a Ritual)

"We are conditioned people and we can only find change if we decondition the mind"
-- Rosemary and Steve Weismann

My husband will probably laugh when he sees the title of this blog because he sometimes tends to think that I have some kind of "control" issue... But before getting in to much detail, this is not the kind of control I want to discuss here...

I would like to talk about how we can get control of our thoughts, actions and speech. Because those elements determine whether we are truly able to live in a healthy and sustainable way.

If we are able to control, for example, our unhealthy desires and aversions in life and if we are able to replace them with beneficial qualities like patience, compassion, generosity, gratitude and joy, we might also be able to act in a wiser and healthier way and make wiser and healthier choices -- for ourselves, others and our planet.

But changing our thoughts, actions and speech is not an easy task: we are used to think, act and speak in a certain way for a very long time. We are indeed conditioned people.

If we want to move toward a healthier and more sustainable life and society, we thus need to find a way to break our unhealthy conditioning.

Research has been done on how we can change different patterns we have in life and there is one thing on which researchers definitely agree: We can only replace a pattern by creating a new one, and we need to do it consistently! We need to create new rituals. Only then can we decondition and get in control of our unhealthy thoughts, actions and speech, and only then we can reach a life and society that is truly sustainable.

So yes, I don't like to bring the bad news, but it does require an effort. The good news is that it can be a fun effort, a fun ritual, that doesn't take a lot of time. It can be rituals that bring forth joy, build understanding, create new energy, inspire and will lead us to that healthier and more sustainable society that is needed so badly.

In my next blogs I will talk about those rituals and the great thing is that whether we are alone, a partner, a mother, a father, a CEO, a student or whatever, we can bring those rituals to the places where we can make a difference and where we have the potential to contribute to healthier lives and a more sustainable society.

So, if we want to reach a healthier and more sustainable life and society, we should get in control and we should make it a ritual to do so!

For more by Merel Bakker, click here.

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