Changing Habits to Change Your Way of Life
by: John Doidge
Changing habits mentally to change your way of life towards fulfilling your potential. Identifying and overcoming the hidden habits that are holding you back.
What is a habit? We all know it is automatic behaviour without the need for thought, and changing habits is not easy. But are there not varying degrees of habit? Some are small and really have little effect. Scratching our head when confused, nail biting. Others have an effect on us. Smoking. I fancy a smoke and before you can stop yourself, you’ve lit up, despite that we should know it’s not healthy. Fancy a beer? How many of us tend to frequent certain local bars or pubs on certain days? We just tend to follow these regular patterns. However, although we do not stop ourselves, because changing habits is difficult, we are aware of what we are ‘habiting’. We could call these open habits.
What of the habits we are unaware of, the hidden habits? Changing habits that we are aware of can be done more directly, if we apply a conscious discipline to do so. Changing habits that we are unaware of, those that control our personality and everyday behaviour, habits that subtly control our actions, will not be done unless we identify them.
Why are they difficult to identify? Because they are habits of thinking, not action. Generally people accept who they are, at this level, as unchangeable, because if we do try to change our circumstance we do not look for the reason we are where we are, our thinking. Our thinking habits that control our personality directs how we interact with the environment.
Even in war there are people of honour and fairness. It is their nature and even in conflict given the opportunity they will still exercise this nature for it is who they are and how they think. Traditionally the officer will surrender his sword, accepting his defeat and knowing that his men will be treated fairly according to rules. Let us hope that this type of thinking whether in conflict, business or everyday life does not change.
What of our own individual selves. Hopefully we are people of honour and we keep that attitude to others. But, are we also fair to ourselves? Are we perhaps not realising our potential because we are held back by thinking habits that are negative and unidentified? Perhaps they are habits that save us from fear of progressing into the unknown?
Changing habits like these can be done, for even if not fully identified, they can be overridden by habits that induce us to progress. How do we do this?
Try imagination. Imagination is a very powerful force. It has enabled our technological advancement. Imagination started the car industry, the aviation industry, leading to landing men on the moon and further exploration of the solar system. Hopes and dreams begin with imagination. Harness this power and you are on the way to changing habits, from stagnating to advancing habits.
Find somewhere peaceful and relaxing. Pick a goal to achieve, a promotion, a completely new job, travel the world. Can you identify aspects of your personality that have prevented this goal from so far happening? Is it fear or anxiety of the unknown, accompanied by a lack of confidence? Is it laziness? Use your imagination and play a mind movie where you are confident and in control of yourself within this achieved goal. Dream the dream.
By running this movie through your mind you are changing habits to positive progressive habits. You are also rehearsing for the event when it happens.