“We are what we repeatedly do.” - Aristotle
Humans are creatures of habit. Agreed? But is that a good thing or a bad thing? You make that choice for yourself. Because habits are learned and you can always unlearn them. So you can decide which ones are worth keeping.
“It’s about choosing to make up for what you lack in innate ability with discipline, hard work, and good habits. It’s about becoming a creature of champion habits.” - Darren Hardy, The Compound Effect
We develop most of our habits unconsciously. Copying a family member’s morning routine, adopting the same eating habits as a sibling, getting used to the same studying schedule as a friend, and so on. But if those habits are hindering you from achieving your goals, you need to drop them like a hot potato. Sounds so easy. But a habit is like an addiction. The moment you let down your guard, it will nab you back, and once you are in its clutches, you’ll have to put in twice the original effort to get rid of it. And the first time was so difficult. Again? Forget it.
No one wants to be obese or fidgety or lazy. But we become that way when we allow ourselves to make the same mistakes, time and again, until it becomes a bad habit. Eventually, by the time we decide to kick the habit out of our lives, it has sunk deep roots into us. And honestly, most of us don’t have the willpower to do it. Not for lack of trying. We’ll try repeatedly, in fits and starts, but unfortunately, we won’t succeed.
Unless, there’s a force stronger than our vices, stronger than the hold that habits we’ve had for years have on us, stronger than our willpower, comes into the picture. The reason why we want to drop a habit in the first place. A smoker who’s scared that they’re harming their six months old baby might find it easier to quit smoking than someone whose friends smoke all the time. The motivation, the passion behind our trying to quit a bad habit, can determine if, or when, we’ll be able to or not.
The habits that we think to be insignificant might come back to make us regret underestimating them. A man had the habit of adjusting their collar before any interview. A competitor figured that out and ripped his collar button by mistake, or so he said, and the man fumbled throughout his interview, losing his dream job. Coincidence? I think not. When you become dependant on a habit to an extent that it controls you, rather than the other way around, beware that it’s time to leave it behind you.
Actions speak louder than words. And habits are actions that you repeat again and again, so they speak even louder. Holler, maybe. What do your habits say about you?