We create our habits and our habits make us.
Life is controlled by the habits we cultivate. What we continually do is who we become. The knowledge you feed your mind is what dominates and eventually defines your beliefs and life. There are bad habits and good habits which have their respective consequences. Habit, according to the Collins Internet-Linked Dictionary, is “a tendency or disposition to act in a particular way.” Said another way, it is the way you keep acting without thinking twice. Bad habits like overspending and oversleeping slow progress, whereas good habits like investing in buying and reading books will inure to your benefit. The first century passionate evangelist, the Apostle Paul, understood embracing good habits. In Galatians 6:7, Paul said, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Gal 6:7-8, NKJV).There are four lessons we can learn from this Scripture to help us cultivate good habits.
It is easy to blame others for what happens to us in life. But we forget that many times the habits we pick up determine how our lives turn out. I have heard it said that bad habits are easy to develop but difficult to break away from. However, good habits are hard to develop but easy to live by. If you want to achieve your entrepreneurial dream or career success, you must learn good habits to facilitate them. No one can start a habit for you. You must personally start and feed it always to grow. The Scripture says “a man”, implying that it is ‘personal’. Just as driving is learnable, good habits are learnable too. If you want to become an author, it is good to cultivate the habits of daily reading and writing. Take it personal!
Every habit was once a seed which was planted or sown. Once planted, we feed it to germinate and grow. Every habit we plant, changes the course of our lives. Jenny Craig said that, “A change in bad habits leads to a change in life.” In other words, when we uproot a bad habit and replace it with a good habit, it changes our life for the better. Years ago, I was poor at reading. In 2006, I changed from that habit and bought my first newspaper. It has been years of reading my way to personal and professional enhancements. The Apostle Paul said, “Whatever a man sows”. Plant good habits and enjoy its fruits.
Between sowing and reaping is the period of waiting. It takes time for a good habit to manifest and take root in our lives. If you want to see some good results, you must be resolutely committed to the process. In a research by University College London (UCL), it was estimated that it takes 66 days to form a new habit. I remember in 2011 when I made the decision to read the whole Bible, the first few days were struggling moments for me because I had to wake up earlier than I used to. But I can say that with time and commitment to the process, I got used to it. You can always see good results from good habits planted by being patient.
What must keep you hopeful in your effort to cultivate good and enduring habits is the fact that you will reap the benefits of any good habit planted. To procure is to acquire something. And in this context, it can be used for reaping. Whatever habit you give yourself to, gives itself back to you in the form of rewards. For instance, my intellectual prowess have tremendously improved as a result of the simple decision I made in 2006 to develop the habit of reading as committing myself to continuous education. The reason why many of us are lazy about developing good habits is that we do not see what we can possibly reap from them five or ten years from now. What you are reaping today is a result of what you planted yesterday. Make a decision to develop good habits now or you will reap from the ones you are living by today anyway.
The level of your life today is as a result of the habits you have lived with up till now. American businessman J. C. Penney advised that, “The best way to stop a bad habit is never to begin it.” If you want to see a better life, you must kick in good habits. No one is born with good or bad habits. We grow to develop each one of them. You can begin good habits today which will turn your life around. The great philosopher Aristotle once said that, “What it lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do.” Use your power to develop good habits and reap its benefits.