Each month, I plan to write an editorial article in the areas I have spent my adult life learning, studying, researching in one way or another. Most Likely, it will be topic of psychology, technology, philosophy, sociology, of my passion for photography and literature. You can signed up to receive the periodical Editor’s Corner.
Habits. The Good, the Bad and the Essential
By Christopher Saleh
May 9, 2016
It’s been said that humans are creatures of habit. The definition of habit according to the dictionary is: an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.[i]
We subconsciously develop these habits to eliminate using critical thinking and logical decision making out of performing routine tasks, such as brushing our teeth, shampooing our hair while showering, looking both ways when crossing a street. The list goes on and on. There are a lot of routine things we do on a regular basis which have become involuntary or otherwise a habit. They are in sort of “Autopilot” mode. If we were not able to put these routine tasks on so called autopilot, our productivity or efficiency would come to a grinding halt. So, we form these habits due to their necessity, not to be overwhelmed in our daily lives.
At this point, you probably are wondering why you are continuing to read this. I am sure everyone knows what “Habit” means, but I needed to break it down to make my main point, which I hope you will realize at the end.
For as many good habits any of us may have, on average, we all have just as many if not more bad or disruptive habits. However, if you study some of the most successful people in the world, you will begin to see a pattern. You will see that those individuals have methodically have fortified their good habits, and have abandoned or transformed their bad, unproductive or disruptive habits into good habits.
They have done so by changing those habits in small incremental steps, gradually. In fact, looking deeper into success of any individual, you seldom see an overnight epiphany and change of lifestyle. What you usually see is creation of small purposeful and intentional habits, which serve some type specific purpose. All by design to serve them in reaching their goals and objectives.
The reason for making small gradual changes, vs. big radical changes, is that it’s more effective to consistently chip away and make small but consistent progress in reaching the desired and planned objectives. It is no longer needed to put much thought into it anymore, as they are on autopilot. It seems effortless to do these habitual tasks as they are broken into small steps, and they often are not even noticeable, while still very effective.
Our Life’s Trajectory
Make no mistake, the trajectory of our life and where it leads us, is mostly determined by all these small and seemingly insignificant habits that we consistently perform. Thus, these small and little transparent habits actually are the key factors in succeeding or struggling in life, whatever our individual goals and objectives in life might be.
This seems to be true regardless of what our primary goals are. It might be financial security and building wealth, or wellness and health physically and/or mentally. Perhaps even shorter-term goals of saving money for a car, a house, a boat, trip around the world, or just a rainy day.
This certainly stands valid and true in creating a successful business or managing / planning a successful career.
Business or Professional Life and Career
Our mind and our ability to form habits is an advantage if we use it right. But, it does require that small first step. It does require a certain amount of discipline and commitment.
I could tell you that I could coach you to become very wealthy in 3 months, or lose all the weight you need to lose in 60 days, etc. But, it would be a lie. There are no quick shortcuts to success. What you actually would be doing is playing a part in the person who promises you that to reach their goal, as they are doing one thing consistently, and effectively. They know that, there are always individuals who want and need to believe them. However, no matter how efficient they are at their craft, it is build on a lie and dishonesty, as any structure with a weak foundation and integrity, it will eventually come crashing down.
In reality, one only needs to believe in themselves, and that they could accomplish and reach any goal they truly desire. Simply by using common sense, logical decisions to gradually change their collective habits, which ultimately alter the trajectory of their life. Enabling them to reach whatever goals and objectives they have in life.
This brings us to the critical point of using these same techniques to create successful environment beyond individuals. That would be in teams and companies to promote and ensure consistency in success, with minimal volatility.
I will dive into that next, as well as importance of emotional habits.
Christopher Saleh ©
May 9, 2016