A few days ago, I realized that my face is slightly asymmetrical. Fortunately, the asymmetry is not very pronounced, but it's one of those things in which once you realize it's there, you can't unsee.
Rest assured I'm still good-looking, so no worries about that hahaha!
I began to think why and how that happened.
Could it be genetics? or is it because of my lifestyle?
Then I remembered one day, my dentist told me that the right side muscle of my face is more constricted than my left side. I didn't bother to think beyond "cool", but the more I thought about it, the more I suspected that it's because of my lifestyle.
So I took a few steps back and thought about what else I'm doing that could possibly result in one side of my facial muscle being used more than the other side.
While I was researching, someone said "chew a gum and see which side you mainly chew with". So I did, and I naturally started chewing using the left side. Okay, so there's one prime suspect - I chew with one side most of the time and neglect to use the other side.
I also found out that sleeping on your side affects the symmetry. Of course, I'm a side sleeper and I face left when I sleep. And this habit has been continuing for a while. So there was my second culprit.
Although there might be other behaviors that eventually led to an asymmetry, but the bottom line is this:
My appearance or my behavior is a culmination of small habits over the course of time
This may not be a big news for some people, but for me it was I wouldn't exactly shocking, but more revealing because I could see how small choices that I almost sub-consciously made manifest themselves in a very visible way (I mean, after all, it's my face that I get to "see" every day!)
Unless I do something differently, I realized I'm going to stay the same way. So starting recently, I decided to grind/chew using the right side of facial muscles (is this the right way to put it?). I also began to sleep on the other side, facing right. On top of that, I started to do some "facial stretch" during my commute where I move different facial muscles deliberately.
I think this idea applies to other parts of my life as well. Whether it is working out (via exercise habits, eating habits), productivity (smartphone usage, frequent web-surfing) or, dating (manners, conversation skills/habits).
The key is identifying potential areas of improvement and diagnosing different elements that led to where I am and doing things a bit or a lot differently.
With that, I'm going to show you a diagram that captures this idea perfectly. It's from Mark Manson's blog (he's a bestseller writer, the author of "art of not giving a f***).
What he's saying essentially is that small change, compounded over time will lead to two drastically different trajectories. I've personally seen how this works, so this year, I'll be putting a lot of effort to be changin'.