Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them – Mathew 7 :20.
It is the little things that we do consistently that add up to what our life becomes. We decide if the little things, or habits, we do are a good habit or a bad habit. One way to determine if a habit is good or bad for you is to look at the net result from that daily habit and ask yourself, “Will this make me a better person long term, or am I seeking immediate and temporary gratification?”
I am, and always have been, a big reader of self-help books. One of the first reads that really stuck with me, even though I didn’t quite stick with it, was The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino. It is a book of 10 scrolls which offer an almost spiritual guide to the philosophy of salesmanship and how to be successful in both your personal and professional lives. The scrolls where written and created to help retrain your thinking by reading them one at a time for 30 consecutive days, three times a day, and then only after you did that consistently would you move on to the next scroll. I was 18 when I first read that book. I wanted to become the master of my own thoughts and hoped this book would help me with that. I still have this book, and from time to time will pick it up and read the wisdom in its scrolls.
Another book I am looking forward to reading and would encourage you to read is Make Your Bed by Admiral William H McRaven. I mention this book because it is about the little habits in life and the application that make the difference. Check out his various speeches on YouTube! They are definitely worth viewing.
It truly is the commitment to self and the application of small habits that becomes the key to change. Finding information in some great books like those I speak of above, I was only absorbing the information and not really committed to applying said information on a regular, habitual basis.
Here are 3 tips I would give on making the switch from lackadaisical information absorption to purposeful application of the information you accumulate:
- Don’t go in blindly. Change will affect you and others around you. Sometimes others are not excited about your change because change is scary. Not everyone will be as excited as you are about the changes you are making. Being aware of this obstacle is important so you can create your strategy to overcome and pull through it. Keep your focus and stay committed.
- Remember to observe. Intentionally observing what it is we are thinking about and why we are thinking that way is so important. It is through this purposeful and objective observation of our thoughts and looking at them as pure DATA that we can begin to react with less emotion and find reasons that matter to us for long term success, rather than just reacting in the moment.
- Stick to one change at a time. We are so good at adding more to our plates. We get excited and want everything to change right now. This is where I would advise caution and patience. Contain yourself to one change for 30 days. Practice, practice, practice. This can make life more bearable. Then after 30 days add another change, again something small, for the next 30 days, and so on. This will provide both yourself and others around you needed adjustment time to the new change.
Even if you have made little choices that are not serving you, you can, if you are willing to experience the discomfort, change it, just by one little thing that you do daily, one day at a time. I’ll end by looking to the Al-Anon slogans #keepitsimple #onedayatatime #easydoesit #justfortoday. Be patient and kind to yourself when seeking to change.