“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle
Who Am I?
"I am your constant companion. I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden. I will push you onward or drag you down to failure. I am completely at your command. Half the things you do you might just as well turn over to me and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly. I am easily managed—you must merely be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically. I am the servant of all great individuals and, alas, of all failures as well. Those who are great, I have made great. Those who are failures, I have made failures. I am not a machine though I work with all the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a human. You may run me for profit or run me for ruin—it makes no difference to me. Take me, train me, be firm with me and I will place the world at your feet. Be easy with me and I will destroy you. Who am I? I am HABIT!" (By that famous artist, Anonymous, so I will take credit for the moment.)
Recognizing Habit as the cause and effect of your life is to recognize the Real Secret to the Abundant Life. Habits cannot be eliminated (Remember: Nature abhors a vacuum!); they must be replaced. Simple? For sure. Easy? Well...
Replacing Bad Habits
- Set a goal: you must know where you want to go.
- Take a small step each day: make it less than easy, but not too difficult. Small steps keep you balanced, on target.
- Be persistent: changing habits is more about sticking to it than anything else. Patience here is indeed a virtue.
Your daily habits and patterns are clear signs of the direction you are heading. Change the patterns, change the direction. It really is that simple. But rest assured, it isn't easy. Your habits have served you, for good or for ill, and they will resist your attempts to undermine their power. Take slow steps. Don't rush. Otherwise, you'll scare your habits and they'll dig in their heels. Treat them gently and they're more likely to relax and let you go about your business of creating new ones. Before the old habits know it, they will have been replaced. And they won't even mind.
I won't lie--it takes commitment and daily practice. But the payoff is worth it.
See you soon.
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