Creatures of Habit

Human beings are very habitual. Being habitual is an instinctive trait. Memory builds a list of experiences that bring desired outcomes and we tend to stick to those experiences to fill our needs. Stepping into a new experience can bring rushes of adrenaline, anticipation and even stress. Don’t believe me? Just think about the extra sense of excitement when you a try a new exotic food (and then there’s sky diving!)

The thing about habits is that they can be bad or good. A golfer practices their golf swing to build muscle memory. After a while, your body can repeat your golf swing with very little conscious effort and it will be remarkably similar time after time. So why aren’t all golfers of Tiger Woods caliber? The problem is in the programming. When building the muscle memory people build in mistakes that they then repeat over and over again. It’s the golf coach that analyzes the swing and instructs about where correction is needed. The golfer must then make a lot of effort to re-program their swing as it is easier to build a new habit than renovate an old one.

In life we have also built in bad habits or had them programmed into us by people as we have grown up. We can however, change our bad habits. We can replace bad habits with good ones and fine tune our habits so that they become beneficial for ourselves and others.

A lot of smokers are successful in giving up because they replace smoking with drinking water. When they have a craving they drink a glass of water or eat candy. Instead of eating to relieve stress you can retrain yourself to go for a walk or go to the gym. Instead of waking up slowly and unhappily, depressed about the fact that you have to get up early, you can train yourself to get out of bed earlier than normal, eat your breakfast and go for a walk.

“ Many things effect your life but none as much as you.”

Take a good long look at yourself. Don’t try to change everything overnight. Choose one thing about yourself or one habit you have that is negative and work on replacing it with a habit that is positive.

Quote from ‘My name is Earl’ : “ We tried replacing cigarettes with carrot sticks but we couldn’t get em to light”

Don’t let life get you down, build yourself and others up. Amen


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