We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. – Aristotle
Humans are creatures of habit. Good habits will improve your life, bad habits will make it more difficult. The subconscious mind is said to be much more powerful then your conscious mind. A small example is to think about your alarm snooze button. After the constant use of your alarm, you may find yourself turning it off in your sleep, out of habit when your alarm goes off. You can also think about a concert pianist or a guitar player… after years and years of practice, their fingers move much faster on the chords than their minds can possibly. Even breathing. You don’t have to think to breath. Take a look around today and think about all of the things you may actually do without thinking…
Habits can help make our lives easier by making things more instantly automatic… Remembering to take your vitamins every day, or brush your teeth. Even having an exercise routine every morning when you wake up. But bad habits can be destructive. Like putting off your bills, getting a daily morning coffee with tons of cream and sugar, only paying the minimum on your credit card bill.
Whether they affect your life positively or negatively, habits are repetitive actions that are extremely hard to break. Try forcing yourself to only pick objects up with your opposing hand. (If you are right-handed, with your left, and if you are left-handed, with your right). You may start out good, but unless you continue to concentrate on it nonstop, within a few hours you’ll be automatically back to using your other hand, out of habit.
Because habits, good or bad, come from the subconscious mind, they are extremely hard to break, but in Habits Die Hard, John J. Murphy writes about how the real key to success is not to break bad habits, but to replace them with good ones. He believes that once a person realizes they have the power to choose and the power to change, they will have the power to let go of old habits, and gain those of a champion.
His book gives you 10 amazing steps (or keys) to replacing your bad habits with positive ones. Do you have any habits you’d like to break? Check out his book Habits Die Hard!