I’ve heard this same thing said another way…
Repetition is the only form of permanence we can achieve.
You all know that I am a big fan of HABIT.
Habits developed have the ability to unconsciously move us through life, either for good or ill. They are powerful because of that unconscious component that is at work whenever a habit is put in place.
I have many habits. Some good, some not so good. I expect everybody does.
Example of a good habit: I am bless to have built a habit around my dish doing activities. Years ago, I decided I wanted a clean range top, so I put a note on the back of my kitchen sink that said: You are not done with dishes until the range top is clean. I then set about wiping clean my range top every night for a month, until I no longer needed the sign and I felt compelled to clean my range top EVERY time I did my dishes. Every time!
That’s the power of habit.
The problem with repetition is that it spawns bad habits too, and those buggers can be nasty!! Wayyy nasty! It is hard to un-ring a bell, as the saying goes, and this applies to bad habits.
Example of a bad habit: I love ice cream. Somewhere along the path of life I convinced myself that ice cream is not bad for me. It’s protein, right? It’s good food, right? It’s creamy, and silky, and has a wonderful mouth-feel, right? And if it has chocolate in it, bits of sweet, creamy chocolate, or crunchy chocolate bits, then all the better, right? My problem is that at one point I was eating too much ice cream. How much is too much? Well, let me just tell you what I was doing. I would go for ice cream at lunch–McDs for just a dollar, who can go wrong–and then also eat a small bowl of it at night, as my evening snack. Hey, it was just a small ramikin of the stuff, so how can that hurt, right?
Problem: All in all, on those double dipping days, I was eating over 350 calories in snacky ice cream soothers all by myself.
Bad habit, and one that is hard to break! Take my word for it.
My point with all this is to say that habits are going to be necessary if you want to achieve excellence at anything you do, but because they are such powerful things it’s best to be mindful of how they develop and why they get started, and which ones need to be dealt with in order to reduce the amount of bad habits taking hold in our lives, while increasing the number of good ones willing to serve us well.
Excellence is what we get when we routinely apply good habits, while focusing our efforts on an attainable goal.
I want me some o dat! How ’bout you?
Today, what habits are taking hold in your life; habits that you might conceivably see as bad habits down the road? What good habits would you like to see come about, and how can you begin the routines necessary to grab them and make them stay?