Aristotle said something in 385 BC, which still holds true for us.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Thus, Excellence is a habit.
When I was young, I would continue to waste time in the bed even after waking up. It was not that I was putting the alarm for five more minutes to sleep again but just lie there without leaving the bed. This continued for a long time and I realized I have been wasting away 30 minutes every day. However, an amazing thing happened as I realized this because after that thought, I could not enjoy those 30 minutes and my mind kept reminding me for the waste of time that I was indulging in. 30 minutes in the bed then became excruciatingly painful and somehow a new habit of leaving the bed immediately began taking shape with which I am still adhering to.
Five learnings from my struggle with this bad habit;
- It was painful to continue because I strongly believed what I was doing is wrong.
- There was a constant reminder to get rid of the bad habit, as there would be this irritating self-talk going on my head on why I should get up quickly.
- I also asked my mother to ensure I wake up; social pressure (environment) can help in changing our bad routines. (one more thing she did was switch off the fan J)
- The will to change came from within, there was no external stimulus
- The added enjoyment of the feeling of being in control helped in continuing with the new habit.
It is very easy for a bad habit to turn into an addiction and once that occurs the habit is tough to change. Thus to avoid falling into an addiction, we better self-evaluate ourselves regularly and just like we weed out a garden to keep it healthy, a strong regimen followed to self-introspect can help us in quitting habits we don’t want to live with.