I’ve spent years looking for the silver bullet of self-change. In the myriad of books, mentors, peers, meditations and workshops that I’ve participated in, I’ve yet to find that one thing which drastically altered my life. It’s been more of a slow, gradual change, one that is barely perceptible. Only due to my journalling am I able to see the shifts in my thinking and actions over time, yet one thing hasn’t changed, my habits.
I’m terrific at building lists, making plans, managing other people, yet I’ve been pretty lackluster in my ability to follow-thru on my personal goals and desires. Over the last 40 years, I’ve managed to find a groove where I am comfortable. It’s familiar, yet it’s not where I’d like to be. Once I became exceedingly clear on this discrepancy I started to dismantle everything in my life that I’ve built up over 15 years, my business, my marriage, my relationships and my ways of thinking. I’ve dismantled it in search of stripping my life down in search of the aspects of me that were contributing to being on the wrong path. I wanted to know how I contributed to the life I had with the hope of better understanding how I could build a new life, business and relationships that are more in alignment with what I want out of life.
I was hoping to find a profound insight but instead what I found was rather mundane habits. See, I’ve accumulated a load of experience, and I’m excellent at chasing my tail on an intellectual level by using this experience to create a never ending conversation with myself. The issue I struggle with the most is the consistent execution of daily habits that lead to positive outcomes. Unfortunately, over the last 40 years, I’ve relied on my ability to operate in crunch-mode. I can let items go for days until I’m against the wall, at which point I deliver. Typically, I hope for motivation and creative inspiration to hit me somewhere along the way, yet rarely does that happen.
Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words.
Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior.
Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits.
Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values.
Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.
– Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
A few months back I started using an iOS app called Habit List in the confidence I’d start developing new habits. It’s the simple things, clearing email on a regular basis, exercising, stretching, prioritizing, etc. I’ve found that in the adoption of new habits I’ve been able to de-stress and focus that frantic energy on productive outcomes. Thus far, it’s been working very well. My natural tendency is to want to ignore the habits with my popular lie of “I’m too busy right now.” That is my work. To ignore the natural tendencies and push through with the discipline to find a better path forward.