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The art of creating pearls from life's annoyances

What irritates you, especially something that you have little or no control over? Here's a way to create beauty from irritations. (No, this is not a philosophy lesson.) You’d know how pearls are formed. In case you need a refresher – here’s the gist: A pearl forms when an irritant works its way into a particular species of oyster, mussel, or clam. As a defense mechanism, the oyster secretes a fluid to coat the irritant. Layer upon layer of this coating is deposited on the irritant until a lustrous pearl is formed. In the Tiny Habits system, we have something called Pearl Habits. To develop a Pearl Habit - we use an irritant as an anchor* for positive behavior. Let me share an example – I live in a neighborhood that is green, has many parks, and little traffic. While this is ideal, the flip side of it is that it attracts bikers (motorcycle riders), many of whom throw road safety, noise pollution guidelines, and caution to the wind, and zoom away at top speed even late at night. Most of these bikers have removed silencers from their bikes (motorcycles) so when they ride past it’s a cacophony. So much so, that it sounds as though someone’s lighting extra loud fireworks. This used to rile me up each time. Every time I heard a loud bike, I cursed the biker. And if the loud sound woke me up at night, I wished he / she fell (harsh and mean, I know. They really did drive me up the wall though). When I came across Pearl Habits, I decided to try it. My recipe looked like this, After I hear a loud bike, I will be grateful for where I live. I started doing this and now instead of getting worked up when I hear a loud bike, I am grateful and count my blessing. The noise doesn't bother me anymore. In the Tiny Habits book, Dr BJ Fogg narrates the story of Amy who used her ex-husband's insulting remarks as a prompt that reminded her to do something nice for herself. It eventually ended up moving their relationship from acrimonious to amicable, despite the divorce. That’s Pearl Habits in a nutshell – you use something negative as an anchor for positive behavior. Try it when you can. Think of something that irritates you which you have little control over. What Pearl Habit can you start?


Image: BrendaLawlor @ Canva

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