Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Habit of Success

Habits are useful in that they keep us from having to concentrate on certain tasks that we repeat over and over again. Think of when you first learned to drive a car. You would really have to concentrate on every aspect of your driving. Now, after years of experience, driving has become a habit (hopefully a good one!). You don't have to think about it nearly as much. That's what we call learning.

Habits have their dark side, too. They can stifle (membendung / menyekat) your creativity, prevent you from taking advantage of new opportunities, and waste a lot of time and money. Habits like cigarette smoking, eating too much fat, and drinking too much alcohol or caffiene can be very harmful to your health.

The trick is to learn to control your habits -- to get rid of the harmful ones and encourage the good habits that will take you in the direction of your goals. Most great accomplishments require consistent efforts over a long period of time. Developing the right habits will take care of the "consistent efforts" part. Time will take care of itself -- it will continue to march forward whether you are going forward with it or not.

Getting rid of an undesirable habit takes a conscious effort. It is not easy. It is certainly possible, though, and with enough energy and desire, it can be accomplished. It is foolish to say that your habits control you -- that is admitting defeat. Developing a good habit is difficult work, as well. It is not easy. It requires determination. And it is vitally important.

Next time you find yourself driving your car, with your seat belt buckled, think about how you got there. Do you remember putting on your seat belt? Hopefully, it is just an automatic motion that you do without thinking. And someday, it could save your life. It is just a little thing that takes almost no time -- its power comes in the fact that you do it every time you get in the car. Ask yourself, what other habits can I develop that will allow me to consistently, automatically, move toward my goals?

Accomplishment comes one day at a time, little by little, day after day, month after month, year after year. That is the guaranteed way to success. It is the result of making a decision to abandon the harmful habits and replace them with the habits of success and accomplishment.

-Ralph Marston

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