Habits are the key to existence. A bad habit can kill you; a good one can set you free. The difference between people who drown in the sea of life, and people who surf those same waves, are their habits.
But habits are sneaky things to pin down. Our family gives us a whole host of them that seem completely normal until you start travelling or seeing how other families operate. Humans are incredibly adaptable and we naturally take our present circumstances for granted. It’s easy to think that how things are today is how they’ve always been, and how they’ll always be. Habits tiptoe quietly and softly into our lives without us ever knowing. They’re like weeds growing up through the cracks, wrinkles growing underneath our eyes. And it’s not just our actions that are ruled by habit, it’s our ideas and our emotions too.
But for all the importance of habits, we sure don’t evaluate or change them often enough.
I am the ruthless, money-hungry, give-a-damn CEO of my body, and my habits are the employees. If they aren’t serving me, they need to be cut. I can’t treat them with reverence simply because they exist. If I do, I’m the one who pays, and my lifestyle (company) is not sustainable.
Habits are like memes or genes. They don’t give a shit about their host. They just want to get re-populated through the gene pool. They are their own entities.
Caffeine doesn’t care about me.
Optimism doesn’t care about me.
Stubbornness doesn’t care about me.
Forgiveness doesn’t either.
It’s up to me to pick and choose from the habit grab bag. I have to constantly be re-evaluating, because something that worked last year might have recently become irrelevant.
I used to really look forward to my vacations and my weekends because I’d think, “I’m going to write so much when I have some free time.” But sure enough when those times rolled around, I wasn’t nearly as productive as I thought I’d be. That’s because my writing habit wasn’t strong. These days I’m just as likely to write well on a Monday as a Sunday. All that really matters is, “what am I doing today?”