We are all creatures of habit but seldom do we think about what our habits are. For instance, when I go to the grocery store, I park in the same isle and within one or two spots of the same place every time I can, and when I can’t, the whole shopping experience seems somehow off. That may seem like a trivial matter, but if you would take a moment and examine your own daily practices, you will find dozens of such habits that you’ve developed over the years. Yes, we are all creatures of habit. Some habits are good, some are neutral like the parking thing, and some or very destructive.
One of the best selling self-help books of all time is Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of highly Effective People, and it is one of my favorite books as well. But habits are more than just the actions we take on our daily journeys through life, because all habits begin with a thought. As you begin to follow your own destiny, the most difficult obstacle you will have to overcome is the habit of negative thought and to form new habits that reinforce the goals and desires you seek.
The world is ruled by habit. All forms of government, industry, and social norms that exist, do so because we have formed a habitual acceptance of them, both as a mass of humanity and as individuals. But over time, our minds about many social issues and types of government change, and so has our acceptance or them, but social change comes very slowly and so it also is with our personal mental habits. We have spent years forming the mental habits that have resulted in the lives we currently live. Make no mistake about it, whether you love your life or hate your life, it is the direct result of the habits you have formed and the thoughts behind them.
Most of us have spent our entire lives thinking of ourselves as just common people; as having limited abilities or maybe even as failures. These thoughts become pervasive in our actions and our actions then become a repellent to the occasional thought of greatness that may creep into our minds. In other words, we have formed habits of ineffectiveness and failure, and as such, we fail to achieve the true destinies we were created for, or perhaps that were created for us. Wallace Wattles wrote, “Whatever you habitually think yourself to be, that you are.” Until you can begin to habitually change our thought process to one of consistent success and greatness, you have no hope of becoming great.
In order to find the personal destiny you seek, you must form the habitual thoughts of being a person of limitless power and then you will become that person. It is the constant and habitual thought, not the periodical thought that decides your destiny. It is not enough to set aside an hour or two a day to visualize and think great thoughts of yourself, and then spend the remainder of the day mired in negative thoughts of what a failure you are or how much you hate your job. These become the belief system the universe responds to. They become the magnetic force of your life and attract only more negative results and bad jobs that reinforce the thoughts that dominate your mind. Those occasional thoughts of greatness and success get drowned out by the chorus of negative thoughts that cry out to the universe beaconing your beliefs to come. If that cry is of is of greatness, greatness will come. If it is of negative things, negative things will come.
This is not to say that there is no place for daily affirmation, visualization, meditation and prayer. These are the tools by which can begin to change your thoughts. But the new thoughts must begin to grow and grow and slowly over take the place of the old habitual thoughts that used to dominate your daily mental processes. The thoughts of your true destiny must become the only thoughts you have.
I know this may be very difficult to do, but one of the best things you can do to begin this process is learn to love the job and your life as it is today. Yes, that’s right, it doesn’t matter if you currently have the worst job in the world that is significantly less than you are capable of doing and well below past jobs you’ve had or even if you have the worst boss in the world, you can decide to love the job anyway. Being happy in your current circumstance is a decision only you can make. It doesn’t mean being content to stay there forever, it simply means accepting that it is where you need to be at this moment, and you have decided to use it as a learning point for the next destination on the road to your personal destiny.
I can tell you from my personal experience, both as an employee and as a manager, it is impossible to not like someone who is always happy to be at work, grateful for the opportunity, and willing to do whatever is asked of them. These are the people that we want to see get ahead. It’s a natural and often unconscious response to want to help someone who enjoys their work regardless of how difficult is seems to be.
On the other hand, nobody likes someone who is constantly complaining about how difficult their life is and how they got screwed in this deal or hates to do this task or that one and is constantly trying to get out doing work and justifies it by telling everyone how demeaning or beneath them the task is or how unhappy they are in their job. As a manger, you naturally do everything you can to avoid having to even deal with these people and look for every opportunity to drive them away or get rid of them if you can.
Habit begins with your thoughts, and you can decide to change your habits. Your thoughts, and not environment or circumstance has made you what you are. Every person has some habitual idea or thought form of themselves and by these thoughts we arrange all our facts and all our relationships. We classify our facts according the idea that we are a great and successful person, or by the idea that we are a failure, a common or weak person and these classifications drive everything we do and how we think and feel about everything in our lives. You cannot change your destiny by simply repeating an endless string of meaningless words or phrases, but you must change the habit of thinking negative thoughts about yourself into one of constant thoughts of your limitless power and ability.
Old habits are hard to break. They can feel like they are cast in bronze and set in concrete when we try to remove them from our lives. When you begin to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of moving a seemingly immovable habit, try an exercise that I often use.
As tragic as the World Trade Center collapse was to watch and is demoralizing as it was for our nation, I try to use it as positive analogy of moving an immovable habit and replacing it with new mental habits. Try visualizing all that rubble right after the collapse; millions of tons of steel and concrete lying in heap. It was difficult to imagine how it could ever be removed, but little by little, day by day, the trucks rolled in and the debris rolled out until there was none left. Now, in its place is the beginning of what will be an even grander building with more meaning and greater significance to us as a nation; a monument to our resolve as a nation to not let anyone take away what makes us great.
That is how you must think of old habits. They are just piles of rubble; daily reminders of the needless and senseless catastrophes of our lives, needing to be torn down and hauled away. Little by little, day by day, imagine the old habits being taken away by the truck load until there is nothing left but an empty lot waiting for the newer and grander habits to take their place. And with each new habit that rises on the sight, a new action will bring you closer and closer to your personal destiny.
Habits drive every aspect of your life, but you get to decide what those habits are. Choose today to tear down your old habits that have created the negative aspects of your life and replace them with ones that will bring your desires to you instead of chasing them away. The law of attraction is working one way or the other, but you must decide to form the habits that will result in positive attractions rather than negative ones.
Until next time, God Bless.