"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle
A habit is defined as a pattern of behaviour that often occurs gradually and automatically. The continual repetition of any behaviour, good or bad, can ultimately create a habit...and the result of any subconscious habit is that it becomes a major determining factor in the development of your self-image. Once a series of actions becomes familiar to you, they can begin to operate on their own as a subconscious behaviour...very often not even noticed by the conscious mind.
For example, here are some familiar habits...notice that these are patterns of behavior that once "learnt" can be accomplished with very little effort...or without any conscious effort at all...
...breathing ...eating ...walking ...driving
The things we do routinely every day are our habits...we all have them... and we all know that some are better than others. Habits are usually described as being either "good" or "bad" but either way, they're often referred to as "habits of a lifetime"...as the habits you have are all patterns of behaviour you've learnt somewhere along the way...and chances are you picked up many of them from your parents in childhood without realising it.
Some habits can be quite advantageous, but the problem is that negative habits are just as easily formed as positive habits...negative habits that can hinder your growth...habits that create negative belief systems...self-doubt...and a tendency to never follow through.... Your habits, whether negative or positive, determine your perception of reality. Your memories are not stored in isolation from everything else in your mind...they live alongside your feelings, your thoughts, andyour desires. As your feelings, habits, and goals in life change, your memories also change in accordance with them...your memories are not absolute...they change according to your situation. For example, have you ever noticed that when you get together with family members to recollect a past event, everyone's recollection of it is slightly different...? Everyone's memory of an event in the past is their own perception...and that perception reflects each individual's current reality.
For example, one recollection might be..."Ah! Those were the days." While another, reflecting on the same time in history, might be..."Wow! We've really come a long way, thank goodness!"
Successful people have successful habits.
Successful people not only recognize the habits that bring them success, they also recognize the habits that could hold them back...so learningto recognize your own positive and negative habits is key to your own success.... It then becomes possible to change existing habits when you learn to focus on the positive and eliminate the negative.
Positive habits of successful people include:
- Maintaining self-belief - successful people believe in themselves.
- Being proactive - successful people create their own success, they don't wait for it to come to them.
- Perpetual learning - successful people see lessons where others see failure.
Successful people are positive thinkers...they commit to their success...and they commit to creating the life they want for themselves.... They are not in the habit of giving up on their dreams, so they commit to doing whatever it takes...and they commit to making changes. Someof the strongest words I have heard from my clients are, "I will never, ever go back to being the person that I was"...and although there is nothing particularly bad about who they were, the new life they have built for themselves in comparison to the old one represents a dramatic change for the better.... In many cases, clients can remember the exact moments in which they changed their lives around...forever....
The old life was okay, but why live an okay life when you can live an extraordinary life...?
It's important to understand that you must commit to making the necessary changes in your life...you must commit to making those changes for yourself.... it's you who will have to put those changes into action.
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